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Buses for destinations in South Okinawa Island depart from Naha Bus Terminal.

In North Okinawa Island

Ocean Expo Park (Kaiyohaku Kinen Koen) -- This expansive park on the northwestern coast, site of the 1975 International Ocean Expo, contains several attractions, most important of which is the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium (tel. 098/48-3740; www.kaiyouhaku.com; daily Mar-Sept 8:30am-8pm, Oct-Feb 8:30-6:30pm), which concentrates on the oceans and currents surrounding the Ryukyu Islands, from coral reef habitats to the deep sea. Highlights include huge whale sharks and manta rays, dolphin shows, a touch pond for kids, a movie theater, and a close look at the colorful tropical fish that call the surrounding waters home. Admission is ¥1,800 for adults, ¥1,200 for high-school students, and ¥600 for children. Plan on 1 1/2 hours here.

I also recommend strolling through the park's free Native Okinawan Village (Okinawa Kyoudo Mura), featuring more than a dozen sites modeled after a village from the Ryukyu Kingdom period, including thatch-roofed houses and storehouses, grand homes where the manor lord and priestess lived, and an utaki (sacred forest). Nearby, the Oceanic Culture Museum (Kaiyo Bunka-kan; tel. 098/48-2741; daily May-Aug 8:30am-7pm, Sept-Apr 8:30am-5:30pm), displays items relating to oceanic people from Asia through the South Pacific, including replica boats and canoes, fishing gear, money (like the Yap's stone currency), clothing, and more. Admission is ¥170 for adults, ¥50 for children. There's also Emerald Beach, where you can swim free (open only Mar-Oct).

To reach Ocean Expo Park, take express bus no. 111 from Naha Bus Terminal 105 minutes to Nago Bus Terminal, followed by a 55-minute ride on bus no. 65, 66, or 70.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.