Churaumi Aquarium and Sightseeing Bus Tour (from Naha, Ginowan, Chatan and Onna) reviews, Okinawa Main Island tours & activities, fun things to do in Okinawa Main Island | VELTRA

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Churaumi Aquarium and Sightseeing Bus Tour (from Naha, Ginowan, Chatan and Onna)

Overall Rating

4.23 4.23 / 5

Reviews

296 reviews
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A good choice if you don't have a car

Reviewed by: Anna, 2020/03/10

This bus tour was a fun and convenient way to see parts of Okinawa we couldn’t reach without a car. It picked us up right at the hotel, and then we were just along for the ride!

The guide did not speak English (as we knew), but she was very friendly and tried her best to help us. The audio guide was a bit mixed, but did provide some decent information.

We decided to pay the extra 1000 yen for lunch, and it was actually really good!

The aquarium was definitely the highlight, but the bridge was quite scenic and the pineapple park was very true to its name.

Some of the stops (Dinoland?!) were pretty surreal, but that’s part of the fun.

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2020/03/01
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Good day trip.

Reviewed by: Evelyn, 2020/03/05

Enjoyed day trip. Not enough time to see dolphine show.

Rating:
Attended as:Families
Activity Date:2020/02/29
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No car? Limited Time? Like a good value? Then this is the tour for you!!!

Reviewed by: MeL, 2020/03/04

Using Google Maps it was easy to find the meeting spot. Once we arrived we could easily see the buses parked out front by the sidewalk. While the tour guide and bus driver did not speak English, it was not a problem at all! Our tour guide was very kind, courteous and made sure that we understood where and what time we needed to be back at the bus and the bus was equipped with English audio which provided us with interesting information about the area as we rode from place to place. Just before the stop at Okashi Goten the tour guide will ask you if you would like to preorder a set lunch (Okinawa style soba with pork, I believe.) I was traveling with a vegetarian friend so we did not choose to preorder. Once we arrived we had plenty of time (40-45 min) to have our own lunch at the restaurant across the street because they were not too crowded or busy. If you are traveling with children or a large group, you may want to choose the preorder option as it will be ready and waiting for you when you arrive.
Can't say enough about the Churaumi Aquarium! Could easily see how you could spend an entire day here. I didn't choose to watch the Dolphin Show, but if you do, just know that the show starts @3pm and you need to be back to the bus by 3:30-3:35. Plan accordingly because it is at least a 10-15 min walk from there back to the bus area.
The last stop of the tour is Nago Pineapple Park. I knew that this tour did not include the fee for the Pineapple cart, but thought I would be able view the plantation on my own. That was not the case. With this particular tour you will NOT be able to view the pineapple plantations or the museum as stated in the "write up." You will be given a shopping only pass and ushered into the shopping area. If the Pineapple Park is on your "to do" list then choose one of the other tour options. While the Pineapple Park portion of this particular tour was a disappointment, I still think it is a great tour for the price!

Rating:
Attended as:Friends
Activity Date:2020/02/21
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Nice trip around Okinawa island

Reviewed by: Tuomas, 2020/02/29

The trip was nice and there were quite many stops during the day. Stops were quite short but it was ok because there wasn't that much to see. First hour went collecting people to bus from different stops. Tour guide spoke only japanese but she was really nice. In bus there was english audiotape to inform about the route and sightseeings. All entry fees were included in the tour price.

Tour voucher said a light meal would include the tour but we only got a biscuit and ice cream and we needed to pay a proper lunch.

All other stops were nice except the pineapple farm was quite a disappointment. Only good thing there was pineapple wine and juice tastings.

All in all the trip was not bad but not really good either. It was nice way to spent a day. But I'd recommed to rent a car and drive the route on your own. But if you don't have a chance to rent a car this tour is good way to see the island because public transport is not that easy in Okinawa.

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2020/02/24
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Fishtastic

Reviewed by: Greg , 2020/02/19

We had an amazing experience at the aquarium it is a long bus ride but there is a lot to see on the way there including the beautiful ocean once at the aquarium seeing the whale sharks was magnificent watching them feed the whale sharks was absolutely amazing and to think that they actually release them back into the ocean after they’re done studying them is amazing. I would definitely recommend.

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2020/02/17
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One day tour at churaumi aquarium.. Easy For those who do not drive.

Reviewed by: Celia , 2020/02/19

I have read good reviews for this trip and just nice that we lucky to get the rebate ( 2 for 1) promo.. So we book the trip!!!

Meeting point : The pick up point is not clearly indicate .. We just know that is at the hotel.. We reached early and scare that we might miss the bus .. Lucky we ask the hotel lobby, yes is the correct place... I suggest that can take picture where is the pick up point and shown at booking page is the best.. Attendance was smooth and easy.. Puncture and fast.. The tour leader couldn't speak english .. But anyway we still OK ..

Lunch at the restaurant opp the sweet potato shop is great.. The udon is nice !

Everyplace given time is just nice except that I prefer the churaumi aquarium to have longer time..
The tour leader bring us to the entry , give us the tickets and also give clear instructions where is the meet up point .. I thk 150min is not enough because what if is elderly ? They have no enough time to look around .. And walk back the carpark is a super long distance for them ..

Pineapple park: it a just mini park wit shopping area .. Time spent here is just nice .. Those do not want shopping can go take pictures outside the shop ..

Overall : it is a good experience .. Those who do not drive can join this tour!!!
We will recommend this to my friends and families ...

  • Cape

Rating:
Attended as:Friends
Activity Date:2020/02/14
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Big Fish!

Reviewed by: Greg , 2020/02/17

The aquarium was a wonderful experience it’s just amazing to see whale sharks in captivity I hope they do catch and release like what I was told The aquarium by far was the best aquarium I have been to little bit of a long bus ride but the scenery along way spray nice all in all it was worth the adventure.

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2020/02/17
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Good Experience

Reviewed by: Panida Pureepatipan , 2020/02/11

I’m from Thailand and took this tour with my friend on February 3rd, my chose this tour because we didn’t have a car and saw this tour online with good reviews. On the day we took the tour it started right on time with friendly staff and comfortable ride on the bus. Everything on the schedule was accurate, only negative part was guide not able to speak English but was very helpful to make us comfortable. We love the experience will definitely come back again with friends and family to take this tour again.

  • Our tour guide

Rating:
Attended as:Friends
Activity Date:2020/02/03
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Great day spent with my family.

Reviewed by: haiyen , 2020/01/31

Was lucky to get the rebate plan (2for 1) (rebate will only come in after review) for our trip.
As my family and I weren’t prepared for this trip due to our busy schedule, I only booked it on 22nd Jan(midnight) when I was already in Okinawa. It was confirmed very quickly with details sent within 10hours.

Pickup:
The pickup was at hotel lobby(wasn’t clear on pickup point)
The bus was a little late that day, made my mom frantic and afraid that we were at the wrong pickup point. Attendance was easy and smooth.

First 2 locations:
Scenic and the time given was just perfect. There isn’t much around the area so have a good look & take photos & move on.

Lunch: I DIDN’T GET TO EAT LUNCH
The restaurant opposite the shopping place was full and had no seats to accommodate more guest. There wasn’t any selection to choose lunch so I didn’t get to eat. :)))) again, there weren’t other restaurants to eat at other than a buffet hotpot. Lunchtime was about 50mins so no buffet, don’t waste money.

Churaumi:
Easy & smooth entry. Reach around 2 pm
The bus was to leave at 4 pm. Ok here’s what I’m ??? about:
Dolphin show was 3pm & 3.30pm(dolphin feeding) finishes at about 3.50pm. Bus Bay is 10-15mins of walk back, so we rushed. Imagine elderlies walking, it would take time quite a while. The bus should leave at 4.15 pm for guest to enjoy the shows.

Nago pineapple park:
Time should be extended by 10mins.

Overall, good experience. The guide distributed snacks and kept doing headcounts before we left just to Ensure everyone’s on board. She was very friendly too!

That’s all folks!

  • cape manzamo

  • Nago pineapple park

Rating:
Attended as:Families
Activity Date:2020/01/24
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Long but enjoyable day.

Reviewed by: Lori, 2020/01/30

This was a great opportunity to see some of the country without doing the driving. The aquarium was great and there were many other sights to enjoy. Due to the language barrier, there were times when it was a bit confusing, however the wonderful guide went out of her way to explain things and showed us great kindness. I highly recommend this trip.

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2020/01/28
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24 Jan 2020. Worth the price.

Reviewed by: Lek, 2020/01/28

only booked it on 22nd Jan(midnight) when I was already in Okinawa. It was confirmed very quickly with details sent within 10hours.

So pickup:
Pickup was at hotel lobby(wasn’t clear on pickup point)
Bus was a little late that day, made my mom frantic and afraid that we were at the wrong pickup point. Attendance was easy and smooth.

First 2 locations:
Scenic and the time given was just perfect. There isn’t much around the area so have a good look & take photos & move on.

Lunch: I DIDN’T GET TO EAT LUNCH
lunch place was full and had no seats to accommodate more guest. There wasn’t any selection to choose lunch so I didn’t get to eat. :)))) again, there wasn’t other restaurants to eat at other than a buffet hotpot. Lunch time was about 50mins so no buffet, don’t waste money.

Churaumi:
Easy & smooth entry. Reach around 2pm
Bus was to leave at 4pm. Ok here’s what I’m ??? about:
Dolphin show was 3pm & 3.30pm(dolphin feeding) finishes at about 3.50pm. Bus Bay is 10-15mins of walk back WE RUSHED BACK. Imagine elderlies walking, it would take time quite awhile. Bus should leave at 4.15pm for guest to enjoy the shows.

Nago pineapple park:
Time should be extended by 10mins.

Overall, good experience. guide kept doing headcounts before we left just to Ensure everyone’s on board. They were very friendly too!

That’s all folks!

Rating:
Attended as:Families
Activity Date:2020/01/24
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Great Tour to Explore Okinawa

Reviewed by: Ninna, 2020/01/22

My friends and I enjoyed this full day tour offered by Veltra. We did not rent a car during our trip to Okinawa (and in Okinawa, if is very difficult to move around without a car) so we found the bus service very convenient. We were picked up at our hotel in Chatan which was very convenient as well. Not to mention that this tour made us go to different tourist spots in Okinawa at a very affordable price!

Booking this tour went smooth as well. We did not have any planned itinerary for our Okinawa trip due to our pretty busy schedule but we’re glad we found this online. We booked our tour a day before our scheduled trip (luckily they still have available slots!). Everything went fine and smooth, our trip was confirmed shortly.

We had a pleasant time during the trip. We were able to pass through some of the beautiful beaches in Okinawa. The Churaumi Aquarium experience was also great. We had fun watching the dolphin show. Too bad though we lack time to tour the entire park.

The tour guide does not speak English but we can see her effort to guide us in any way possible. We did not have any problem with communication at all since there is an English audio inside the bus.

Would definitely recommend this tour to my family and friends who will visit Okinawa in the future. :)

Rating:
Attended as:Friends
Activity Date:2020/01/16
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Convenient

Reviewed by: Natália , 2020/01/09

The bus tour was a very good way to go around Okinawa if you don't have a car. They picked us up at a convenient place and took us to the aquarium and other scenic locations around the island. The staff was helpful and friendly.

Rating:
Attended as:Friends
Activity Date:2020/01/08
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Fun Tour with Great Activities but maybe better Planning would be Nice

Reviewed by: Nathan, 2019/12/30

The tour was really fun with a lot of great places to visit and see along the way. I especially loved the aquarium but would’ve appreciated some more time there since it’s the biggest one out of all of the tourist attraction points. The bus tour guide was very friendly and they were also very patient as to wait for everybody to come back before departing.

I really enjoyed the places that we went to but didn’t realize that they took so much time to enjoy and walk through. Especially if you want to go and shop after the activity there wasn’t much time to shop at all. They did mention the big market as an alternative but it can be quite hard to find things you would at the attraction.

I think they could’ve been more accurate with the description of the bus as it said “blue bus with an aquarium logo” but what showed up was a beige bus with a orange and green stripe through the middle so me and other tour goers actually couldn’t find it for 20+ minutes.

If you’re looking for a fast paced tour to see a lot of things then this is probably the tour for you. But I was kind of hoping for more time to shop and be able to actually read the information about things.

  • Aquarium

Rating:
Attended as:Friends
Activity Date:2019/12/27
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Disappointed.

Reviewed by: Laura, 2019/12/27

We were given the option to pre-order Okinawan soba on the bus ahead of the stop at Okashi Goten. We chose not to order as we wanted to look at other options. When we arrived, the pre-ordered food was ready on the tables. We only had 35 minutes at this stop and as the restaurant was busy we didn’t risk ordering food.

Churaumi Aquarium is lovely and you could easily spend a full day there. I recommend checking the times for the planetarium as we were sad to miss this!

I was most excited for Pineapple Park and had assumed that despite the pineapple cart ticket not being included in the tour, we would still have the opportunity to do it out of our own pocket. This is not the case. Instead we were given a ticket for the “shopping route” which meant we didn’t see ANY of the park and instead spent the 30 minutes walking through a big long gift shop. There was free wine samples but I could’ve done with a full glass after this long day.

Rating:
Attended as:Friends
Activity Date:2019/12/27
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Good way to spend the day seeing north side of Okinawa.

Reviewed by: N.Lim, 2019/12/14

If this your first time to Okinawa, this tour is a good way to see North Okinawa without the hassle of taking public transportation. The bus plays a recorded English commentary for those who can't understand Japanese. Bus was on time and Japanese lady guide was nice. She sang quite a few Okinawan songs during the tour which was entertaining. Good singer too!
After picking up all participants from various hotels, the tour started with a short stop at Cape Manza, then to Kouri Island and a lunch stop after. Next, we went to Churarium Aquarium (150min stay) which is located at Ocean Expo Park with free dolphin show at various time throughout the day , turtle & manatee pool outside the Aquarium. (There're many electric trolley that go around the park for Y200 unlimited ride) Managed to see Emerald Beach, Okinawan Village (I don't find this one interesting), and watched the 15-20min Dolphin show @3pm (this is the highlight of the tour) Walked back to the bus scheduled to leave at 3:40pm
Re: Nago Pineapple Park, nothing much going on here. Walked the Dinosaur botanical garden, sample some wine & snacks.
Overall, if you have time to spare, this is a long but quite enjoyable tour.

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2019/12/12
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Great tour at a fantastic price

Reviewed by: Belle, 2019/12/13

Fantastic tour with a very informative and friendly guide and a friendly driver. The schedule was quite well arranged--nothing felt particularly hurried although that could be because we had expected that all stops outside of the main aquarium one would be brief.

The lunch option (available for an additional 1000yen) was very good--beautiful environment and good food at a fair price. For travellers staying in Naha, I'd recommend skipping the Okashigoten shop there (there's a similar one in Naha with the same prices at which the provided coupon can be used) and exploring/ eating lunch instead.

Travellers who wish to visit the Pineapple Park in great detail should note that this tour makes but a brief stop there. There appears to be a few courses available at the Park but the tour only had time for the shopping course. There was barely any time left at the end of the free wine tasting (which I would highly recommend--the wines are pretty interesting) so travellers who wish to make purchases should be quick.

2.5 hours was plenty for the aquarium and the bus was timed such that tour participants had just enough time to catch the dolphin show at the end. Visiting other attractions, however, might be a bit of a squeeze since the park is quite large, as is the aquarium.

Overall, the tour was a great way to see a lot of Okinawa in a day at a very affordable price. Although the guide and driver didn't speak much English, they did their best and it wasn't a large problem. Would recommend!

  • View from the bus!

Rating:
Attended as:Families
Activity Date:2019/12/09
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Great way to see a lot when you have a short amount of time!

Reviewed by: lesmizgirl, 2019/12/10

Nice ride around Okinawa
Loved being able to see a lot without having to drive around with three small children.
They loved the aquarium and I appreciated the lunch and small gifts that came with trip.
Would definitely recommend this to others.

Rating:
Attended as:Families with Young Children
Activity Date:2019/08/20
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The best way to check out the attractions if you do not have your own car

Reviewed by: Munib Shah, 2019/11/23

The tour was very convenient for us to take since they offer pickup and drop services from well known hotels. If you do not have your own rental car and only have about a day or two to explore the city, I would say this tour is your best bet. There are other operators that pick you up from the airport, but if you are living up north in one of the secluded beach resorts then this option works very well since you don't have to go back and forth into the city.

The guide spoke Japanese but also had English translation. We could not follow the translation much but the views make up for it all.

Time wise, we found 150 minutes good enough for Churaumi Aquarium but I would have liked to stay at the Kouri beach for a little longer. Then again it is a personal choice since I am a fan of white sand beaches. Other than the Charaumi Aquarium, I felt it was more about going from point A to B to C rather than savouring A, B and C. Having said that, this tour did introduce me to some of the amazing places in Okinawa. I spent half of next day at Kouri beach to sink in it's beauty completely.

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2019/11/21
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Covered the best of Okinawa in one day

Reviewed by: Judy G., 2019/11/17

Our resort hotel was on the northern side, quite inaccessible and we did not rent a car as well.

This tour enabled us to see (and taste) the best of Okinawa within just a day. As an added bonus, it was a great experience that started and ended punctually. Our guide was great and helped get the tour bus to drop us right at our hotel.

Highly recommend this to future participants!

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2019/11/16
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Churami

Reviewed by: Patty Brunk, 2019/09/04

Guide was great...sang an Okinawan song to us, and with a good voice.

Rating:
Attended as:Solo Travelers
Activity Date:2019/09/02
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Great tour highly recommend

Reviewed by: Ray Lugo of NJ, 2019/08/12

I was the only American that day on the bus but they provided me with a translator radio which explained the areas we drove through in English so I learned a lot about the areas along the beautiful coastal drive leading to the Aquarium.

Rating:
Attended as:Solo Travelers
Activity Date:2019/08/10
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6 Hours busdrive (to event and back) and less than 5 hours event itself

Reviewed by: Yasmin, 2019/08/11

First of all, the Guide does not speak english and doesn't even recognize me speaking japanese to her. Instead of talking at all to me, she just pointed to everything. She smiled and talked to the other participants, but couldn't even try to smile with me.
We drove 3 hours to pick up other participants and than had 40 minutes in the Pineapple Park. We rushed through it and had only 5 minutes left, when we arrived in the souvenir shop, i had no time to try anything or buy anything. Than we had 50 minutes in a shopping mapp in which we didn't even go inside, instead we went to the sandwich store infront, because they had coupons for it, for everybody to have one bad sandwich. We decided to have Okinawa noodles at that place and payed a bit more. Then we arrived in the aquarium, 3 hours are not enough at all for this huge place. It is so beautiful and there is a whole park around it with more museums and tropical gardens around it. Again i rushed through it. In the end we stopped at a sweet potato souvenir shop to buy stuff and then 3 hours getting everybody back.
The Pineapple Park is nice, cute and a bit bizarr, but 40 min are definitly not enough, the Aquarium is awesome, but 3 hours is not enough.
We spent more time wasting time with picking up people and eating bad sandwiches than with the main events. And the guide is only nice to japanese people. The english translator device is also bad, you don't understand anything and it has that disturbing cracking sound.
I am not satisfied with the tour.
I am satisfied with Pineapple Park and Aquarium which are definitly worth seeing it, but better go there by yourself. :(

Rating:
Attended as:Solo Travelers
Activity Date:2019/08/09
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Good for those who do not have cars and had a fun time despite rainy weather.

Reviewed by: Mendy, 2019/08/07

This is a great option for those who do not have cars, but still want to see the Okinawan sites. This is a great alternative to get around, although the time at each place was tight and we couldn't spend as much time at each location as we wanted, we had a lot of fun following along the tour. Everyone on the tour was also very nice and accommodating.

Rating:
Attended as:Friends
Activity Date:2019/07/19
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A fun trip to Nago!

Reviewed by: Anonymous , 2019/07/16

Overall, it was an enjoyable trip. We had chance to see many nice places. The scenery was very nice at the place we had lunch.
The pineapple garden was really nice but we could have spent more time there. 40 minutes was not enough to explore the garden and do shopping. Unfortunately, we had to wait for a family for 25 minutes even though it stated that people who didn't arrive on time needed to go to the next destination by themselves.
Aquarium was good as well.

Rating:
Attended as:Families
Activity Date:2019/07/10
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A long way to the aquarium.. and too short time there

Reviewed by: Magokoro, 2019/06/21

I booked this tour because of the promised visit to the butterfly farm and Churaumi aquarium. But on the tour I’ve realized that it doesn’t include butterfly farm since April 2019 even though it is still in the program.. We stopped in a few shops for tourists (including pineapple farm that suits kids) till we got to the aquarium after 4.5 hours on the road (direct driving on highway from Naha takes about an hour to there). In aquarium we were given 3 hours but I needed 4-5 hours to see other facilities as well. The place is huge and 3 hours would be enough only to see the aquarium.
On the way back we stopped again in the place selling local sweets for tourists, when most of these sweets can be found at the airport so it was waste of time again.. we were only 6 people on a cloudy day of the rainy season so I returned to Naha at 6 p.m (last drop off) but I can imagine that the way back can take 2 hours more just for dropping off every participant in different locations..

  • On the way to the aquarium

  • Watching whale shark and other 145 species of sea creatures in captivity

Rating:
Attended as:Solo Travelers
Activity Date:2019/06/19
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Disappointing and not as advertised

Reviewed by: HCS, 2019/06/05

We didn't even stop at Ryugujo, the butterfly paradise. We had an hour lunch break near a hotel with shops/food court and I was expecting Okinawa soba as stated in the itinerary but we got a "hot sandwich" which ended up being a tiny triangle of basically taco salad sandwich. Had to go buy a bowl of Okinawa Soba to have enough to eat. We spent 40 minutes at the pineapple park. We definitely didn't need a whole hour for lunch as tiny as it was. It simply forces you to buy more food at the food court. Not going to see the butterflies at all was a huge disappointment. No explanation given as to why we didn't even go.
We had 3 hours at the aquarium which was great. Wish we had more time there.

Rating:
Attended as:Families with Young Children
Activity Date:2019/05/25
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Good enough

Reviewed by: Wong, 2019/05/12

Maybe a bit rush but covers many places. Good enough. Lunch is so so, better to buy your own at the lunch location. There are good food there. Friendly guide but as the tour stated, only speak in Japanese.

Rating:
Attended as:Families
Activity Date:2019/05/10
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generally good

Reviewed by: ryan, 2019/05/07

booking was fast and easy even if the tour was during golden week (i had problems with other tour apps during those time)
the bus late for a few minutes (understandable because it was golden week)
the tour was very nice! we were able to spend enough time to visit the whole aquarium. unfortunately because of heavy traffic, we were not able to go to the butterfly garden.

price was affordable as compared to doing it yourself. there was a japanese tour guide well enough to understand and speak a few english. he instructions were clear and there were alloted times per area.

Rating:
Attended as:Families
Activity Date:2019/05/02
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Lack of English translation

Reviewed by: KO YOUN CHANG, 2019/03/05

Lack of English translation. Hotel pick up is time-consuming.

Rating:
Attended as:Friends
Activity Date:2019/02/28
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