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Motobu Town Office
Okinawa Prefecture
Location in Japan

Coordinates: 26°39′29″N 127°53′53″E / 26.65806°N 127.89806°E / 26.65806; 127.89806Coordinates: 26°39′29″N 127°53′53″E / 26.65806°N 127.89806°E / 26.65806; 127.89806

Country Japan
Region Kyushu
Prefecture Okinawa Prefecture
District Kunigami
 • Total 54.30 km2 (20.97 sq mi)
Population (March 1, 2013)
 • Total 13,783
 • Density 253.83/km2 (657.4/sq mi)
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
- Tree Fukugi (Garcinia subelliptica)
- Flower Orchid
- Bird Ryūkyū Scops Owl
- Flowering tree Sakura
- Butterfly Orange Oakleaf, Great Nawab
Address 5 Aza Higashi, Motobu-cho, Kunigami-gun
Phone number 098-047-2101
Website Motobu official website(Japanese)

Motobu (本部町 Motobu-chō?, Kunigami & Okinawan: Mutubu) is a town located in Kunigami District, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan.

As of 2013, the town has an estimated population of 13,783 and a density of 253.83 persons per km².[1] The total area is 54.30 square kilometres (20.97 sq mi).[2]

Several islands can be accessed from Motobu, namely the small islands of Sesoko (by bridge) and Minna-jima (by ferry). Both islands are incorporated as part of the Town of Motobu. Ferry service also runs from Motobu Port to Ie-jima. Motobu is served by three large supermarkets and eight individual schools from elementary to high school levels.

Like many towns in Okinawa, Motobu is composed of what were formerly several smaller and independent villages. In addition to Motobu proper other included districts are Sesoko, Kamimotobu, Sakimotobu and Izumi.

In addition to the aquarium other notable sites include Nakijin castle remains, as well as several cafes.


The town of Motobu sits on the northern part of Okinawa Island. The town occupies the eastern part of the Motobu Peninsula as well as two islands: Minnajima (Motobu, Okinawa) and Sesokojima. Motobu is bordered by Nago to the south, Nakijin to the east, and by the East China Sea to the west.[2]

The Minna River (6.5 kilometres (4.0 mi)) runs from the center of the Motobu Peninsula through the town and empties into the East China Sea at the small Toguchi Bay. Coral around the entrance of the bay was removed to create a natural shipping channel into the bay, and the town center is concentrated in this area.[3]


Motobu magiri covered the area of the present-day town. The magiri', a type of regional administrative district, were abolished under Imperial Edict 46 in 1907, and the Town of Motobu was incorporated in 1908.[2]

Ocean Expo 1975

In 1975, the World Exposition was held in Motobu, with a focus on the world's oceans. After the expo concluded, Ocean Expo Park was built on the site. Ocean Expo Park is the site of the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium as well as other exhibits highlighting the Okinawa Island and its culture.

Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium

The Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is located within the Ocean Expo Commemorative National Government Park. The aquarium consists of four floors, with tanks containing deep sea creatures, sharks, coral and tropical fish. The aquarium sits on 19,000 square metres (200,000 sq ft) of land, with a total of 77 tanks containing 10,000 cubic metres (350,000 cu ft) of water. The main tank, called the Kuroshio Sea, holds 7,500 cubic metres (1,981,000 US gal) of water and features an acrylic glass panel measuring 8.2 by 22.5 metres (27 by 74 ft) with a thickness of 60 centimetres (24 in). The aquarium was the world's largest until the construction of the Georgia Aquarium in the city of Atlanta, Georgia. The aquarium additionally holds 80 species of coral. The Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is one of only a few aquariums that keeps and attempts to breed whale sharks in captivity.[4][5]


The Omoro Botanical Garden and Tropical & Subtropical Arboretum are located in the northern portion this town.


Motobu operates its public elementary and junior high schools. The schools run under the guidance of the Motobu Board of Education located in Ohama Town, central Motobu. The Board also serves as a meeting place, art exhibit, English class, and other various town events.

  • Motobu High School, a public high school operated by the Okinawa Prefectural Board of Education, serves the area.
  • Located on Sesoko Island is another high school for the severely disabled
  • Motobu Junior High School and Elementary School located in Ohama Town, central Motobu
  • Kamimotobu Junior High School and Elementary School located in Yamagawa Town near the Churaumi Aquarium
  • Minna-Jimma serving the residing 5 students of the island, in view of Toguchi port. 25 minute ferry
  • Sakimotobu Elementary School located on the outskirts of Ohama Town
  • Sesoko Junior High School and Elementary School located on Sesoko Island
  • Izumi Junior High School located near Nakijin Town
  • Yashima Gakuen University International High School, a private school, is located in Motobu [1].


Motobu is located between the towns of Nakajin and Nago and can be reached by either route 449 or 84.


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