The weekend before our Okinawa trip we booked the hip hop bus tour. It allows us to get to several places on our list on the same day and with easy transportation. It was also reasonably priced. It was about $125 for the three of us and that includes transportation as well as admissions to all of our sites today.
In the beginning of the tour, our guide handed out a headset to each member of the tour. This way, we can listen to the important information in our own language.
Our first stop was Busena Underwater Observatory. We had an hour at this location, which was enough time to use the restroom, walk to the observatory, view the fish, feed some fish, and walk back to the bus. They also had a glass bottom boat to see the coral reef from above, but we didn’t have time for both.
There was a small wait to get into the observatory and about 50 steps down. The bottom was great though. There were 16 port holes. Eight of them were adult height and eight of them were Clarissa height. The water was really clear and we could see several fish.
The bridge leading to the observatory had beautiful views of the ocean and coastline.
There was also a spot to pay 200 yen (about $2) for fish food. Clarissa enjoyed throwing the food to the fish.
The next stop on our tour was Ocean Expo Park. We had a little less than three hours there including lunch. They only took yen (not card) at the restaurant we went to. There was a dolphin show that got really crowded at the same time as the dolphin feeding experience. We waited in line to pay 500 yen ($5) to feed the dolphins. When it was our turn, the lady said, “Sorry. Sold out.” Clarissa handled it better than I did. But then one of the adults in line gave us her bucket so we gave her our 500 yen. Clarissa had a great time feeding the dolphins.
Then we headed to the big outdoor tanks for the sea turtles and manatees.
There were also a pretty place to see the beach.
Finally, we went to the Churumi Aquarium. It does have one of the largest tanks in the world. It was so crowded that it was a little overwhelming. But Clarissa loved it!
The whole time we felt rushed because we had to get back to the bus on time. There was so much more that we wanted to see at Ocean Expo Park. We thought about leaving the tour but because we didn’t take the city bus there, we had no idea how to get back without the tour bus.
The next stop was Kouri Island, which was pretty and Clarissa had a few minutes to get her feet wet. But the stop was only 30 minutes long. I think I would have preferred another hour at Ocean Expo Park instead of the time it took to get to the island.
The last stop was Mihama American Village. We were running ahead of schedule, so we thought we would have extra time there. The tour leader posted a time even shorter than what was scheduled. We decided to leave the tour since we knew how to get back to the hotel. This gave Clarissa some time to play at the beach and allow us some time for dinner before we headed back for the night.
We even got to see the sunset at the beach.
We had sushi for dinner. I was adventurous and tried some new things. I didn’t like the squid though.