Nago Travel Blog› entry 8 of 14 › view all entries
January 6th, 2008 – by: Chariot13
Thus, I give you our Northern Adventure...
This first morning we woke up early. Well, for us anyway. The plan was to get a jump on the day so we could get up north and go to Churaumi Aquarium before checking into the hotel.
By around 10:30 we reached the aquarium - one of the most popular attractions on Okinawa. The Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is part of the Ocean Expo Park and is a large, beautiful complex built right on the ocean.
We spent the morning exploring the inside of the aquarium and ate lunch in a cafe right under the large viewing tank where the largest manta ray I have ever seen flew right over us. After lunch we headed to see the outside creatures and to catch the afternoon dolphin shows. The main show was your run of the mill dolphin trick show except that we couldn't understand anything they were saying.
Once the show was over we wandered to the tanks where they keep the rest of the dolphins, including a very special dolphin named Fuji. Fuji is the first dolphin to receive an artificial tail fin. We saw her swimming around with it in the tank and it is just an amazing thing. Read more about her story at her page on the Churaumi website. On the far end of the dolphin lagoon, trainers were showcasing some things about the dolphins we couldn't understand, but we waited around hoping we'd have a front row view if they showcased more of their tricks.
As the dolphins waved us goodbye, a large black cloud rolled off the ocean and we decided it was time to get to the hotel. Luckily, I think it rained for two minutes, another great thing about living on an island. By the time we got to Busena Terrace it was sunny again, perfect for lounging on the terrace drinking hibiscus tea while the bell hop readies your luggage, the parking attendant parks your car and the front desk lady brings you the necessary paperwork to prepare your room. Ahhh, the good life. Having it for one night is better than nothing.
Suffice it to say The Busena Terrace Beach Resort lives up to its impressive name. Our room was beautiful with our own little terrace that looked over the white sandy beach and ocean. Who would have thought I'd be singing "Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind." in January? I love it. The hotel is all open with ocean breezes in the hallway, running waterfalls built into the walls, three pools, three restaurants, a bar, an English tea room, a gym, a spa/sauna (aka the place to go if you want to hang out with naked Japanese people), and a list of available activities to participate. There is also a very long pier that connects to an ocean observation center and a dock area with glass bottom boats and scuba rentals.
For the observation center we walked down a large spiral staircase and into the depths of the ocean. There were fish to see everywhere! A lot of them were the same black and white striped and large silver ones, but I also spotted quite a few parrotfish. We could have stayed down there until it got dark but we had to get to the boat for the last tour of the evening. On the boat we saw basically the same types of fish, along with some blue sea stars, sea snakes, and a whole group of puffer fish. Between the aquarium and these two sights, we definitely had our share of ocean life this day. It was all great though.
Wow, this is turning into the longest post ever.
Our Northern Adventure continues tomorrow...
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