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High tech planetarium opens at Ocean Expo Park

Date Posted: 2011-06-30

A new planetarium is now open in Okinawa, exposing the heavens to visitors to the Oceanic Culture Museum.

It’s a highly sophisticated planetarium system that projects the world’s largest number of stars—some 140 million stars—onto a dome screen. The latest technology is incorporated into the planetarium using the 4k projection equipment, transforming the building into a romantic sky filled with twinkling stars. Visitors are carried along on a fascinating 3D journey with projections that include special sound effects that seem all too realistic.

Fisheye lenses and digital cameras are used to project background landscape images that allow guests to appreciate the stars in favorite places. The planetarium, a part of Ocean Expo Park, which also included the renowned Churaumi Aquarium, opened only a week ago.

Planetarium shows run 13 times daily through July 31st as part of the grand opening celebration. Shows are each a half-hour long, and start at 9 a.m., 9:45 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:15 a.m., Noon, 12:45 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:15 p.m., 3:00 p.m., 3:45 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 5:15 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. The current schedule will change August 1st.

The Oceanic Culture Museum is open daily 8:30 a.m. ~ 7 p.m., with last entry at 6:30 p.m. from March through September, and 8:30 a.m. ~ 5:30 p.m., with last entry at 5:00 p.m. from October through February. Admission is ¥170 for adults, and ¥50 for junior high school and elementary school students. Kids under six enter free. For more information, contact Ocean Expo Park Management Center at 0980-48-2741.

Investing in an annual passport is highly recommended for big fans of Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, particularly for those planning at least twice yearly visits. The annual passport allows entry to the aquarium an unlimited number of times, and provides a 5% discount at all shops, cafes and restaurants at Ocean Expo Park. It also includes free Tour Car services at the park. The annual passport can be purchased at the Annual Passport Counter at the aquarium entrance lobby. The passport is ¥3,600 for adults, ¥2,400 for high school students, and ¥1,200 for elementary and junior high school students. For more information, contact Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium at 0980-48-3748.

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