Learn about the history and culture of the Pacific Ocean’s maritime people. Marvel at the night sky in a state-of-the-art planetarium at this museum complex.
Visit the Oceanic Culture Museum Planetarium to pay homage to the people of the Pacific region, including Okinawa and the South Pacific.
The museum, originally part of the 1975 Ocean Expo, features exhibits introducing the cultures that have arisen from humans’ harmonious relationships with the ocean. Numerous exhibits and narratives relate the history of Japan and Okinawa and celebrate the importance of the ocean in the region’s culture and history.
Explore the museum with a guided tour, a good choice for extended explanations of the exhibits. Watch the story of humankind’s move to the region and the development of South Pacific culture.
Enter the Voyage Zone to learn about navigation and shipbuilding techniques from thousands of years ago. In the Exchange Zone, discover the Lakatoi canoe, once used to trade pottery and other items.
Feel at one with the sea in the Oceania Zone, where huge screens on the walls and floor depict images of maritime life. Move on to the Okinawa Zone to see outrigger canoes and sabani boats, traditional Okinawan fishing vessels. The museum houses about 750 items from Oceania and Okinawa.
Take your experience of the Pacific region into the heavens at the museum’s planetarium. From your reclining seat, gaze up at 140 million twinkling stars on the dome screen. Learn about the seasonality of the night sky and hear Okinawan folktales starring celestial bodies and emphasizing the importance of the ocean in local residents’ lives.
The Oceanic Culture Museum Planetarium is part of the expansive Ocean Expo Park. Consider also visiting the park’s traditional Okinawa Village, Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium and Tropical Dream Center, where greenhouses feature more than 2,000 orchids at any given time. Finish the day with a swim at the white-sand Emerald Beach at the northern end of the park.
Take a trolley to get here. The museum is open daily. There is an admission fee for high school students and older. See the Oceanic Culture Museum Planetarium website for details on open hours and holiday closures.