SeaSeed

CONTRIBUTED BY THERESA COCKHILL

Sea plaque

One of the things I love about Okinawa is its complete randomness.  Most things are unexpected, and everyday can literally be an adventure to the American traveler.  One of my most favorite places is Gala in Yomitan, and if you haven’t been there then you do not know what you are missing!  This story however is not about Gala, but about Sea Seed, one of my random adventures.

Sea Seed is located right by Gala and if you are touring the Salt Factory area and decided to go to the gift shop then like me, you have passed the advertisement for Sea Seed.  I admit in my ignorance I looked at the pictures in passing, but since everything was written in Kanji/Kana I breezed on by.  I feel now, that was like buying the winning lottery ticket without ever checking the winning numbers.

Sea moat

So what is Sea Seed?  Well, it is coral farming.  They are a small group that grows and replants coral in Okinawa to help preserve the island.  That should be the main reason you should go!  It is literally amazing.  On the outside it looks like a prop for my Big Fat Greek Wedding, but on the inside it is Finding Nemo!

Sea Growth

All over in small bowls are coral and fish, as well as in the tanks.  It’s possible, if you do not snorkel or dive, to see what is truly amazing about this island’s sea life.  And are you ready for the bonus?  Well, we got to hold baby sea turtles!

Sea Baby T

In some of the tanks you are allowed to touch all you want!  Upside down jellyfish, sea urchin, sea cucumbers and starfish. You can even feed the fish seaweed! Throw in a clump and watch a rainbow of a feeding frenzy!

Sea Girl

Even though everything is written in kanji, pictures will allow you to muddle through and still enjoy the beauty of what this group is doing for Okinawa, and with your participation, you too are helping the cause.

Sea Underwater

**Please remember that there are seven species of sea turtles, all of which are endangered.  Turtles carry salmonella, so while this is an empowering experience, help your little ones to be very careful and bring some hand sanitizer for afterwards.

Price: 900 Yen for Adults, 600 Yen for Students, Free for children

Hours: 10 am – 5 pm

Phone:  Work in progress

Directions:  Take 58 to 6 where you will turn left.  Keep going past Torii Station and look for white signs that say GALA, follow the arrows to the big fork in the road and veer left….keep following the signs to GALA and park in their parking lot.  If you look over the wall towards the ocean you will see a huge stone platform (see below) and below it a white concrete Greek looking structure, that is Sea Seed.  Follow the stonewall to the right until you see the drive way…it is steep so be prepared, down is always easier!  Walk through the gate and down and you will see it on your left and the ocean on your right.

Sea View

15 COMMENTS

  1. This isn’t worth the ¥900. Took my son who is two and he couldn’t have been less interested. He is happy as a clam at the zoo or the aquarium. Guess it killed the morning but suggest looking elsewhere. Oh. And there were no turtles to speak of.

  2. The number of comments on this post which are objecting to the fact that the author held sea turtles and they didn’t is crazy.
    Any animal sanctuary is dependent on seasons and health of animals to give what there is to the crowds.
    I have been to Sea Seed and Gala many many times and it has been worth it every time. For those visitors who can’t get to snorkel or deep sea dive, you can see an awful lot of what you are missing by going to Sea Seed. The starfish are fun to play with and touch, and the large fish are fun to feed. Yes, it would be great to touch baby sea turtles, but I’m more sad that I’ve never seen the babies there because it means that either their conservation efforts aren’t leading to breeding turtles OR maybe I should be happy that whatever lost or abandoned baby turtles were there when the author went were eventually released into the wild to live happy lives. Sea Seed is about showing us what nature is capable of and how we need to help and conserve and protect what is out there. It is a wonderful little resource and a nice hour to spend out and about in Okinawa.

  3. I have to say this was not worth the money if u are wanting to do something fun. Not much to see and can’t hold turtles anymore. Would rather pay money for the aquarium.

    • However to support what their doing it’s worth it but the post is misleading I can’t hold sea turtles and u can see all of this snorkeling or at the aquarium many of the exhibits don’t have anything or their redoing them

  4. Anyone know what that stone structure is called? Its purpose? Does it belong to Sea Side? Was it built to simply give them a point to dive from?

  5. I have to say I have heard this from a few people…and all good things in time it seems come to an end….when we went there we were allowed to hold them and there were about 15 of them….so sorry, at the time this was written you were allowed and I apologize, I never would want to mislead anyone.

  6. My husband and I just visited Sea Seed (we are literally driving home as I am writing this on my iPhone). While the author is correct- it is decently cool, has great views of the ocean and (most importantly) is helping to restore coral around Okinawa, there is something very misleading about the post. There were three – yes, THREE, baby sea turtles to be seen at Sea Seed. You were NOT allowed to touch them. This wouldn’t have been that big of a deal if the post had not shown her holding one, thus giving us the impression that we would be holding baby sea turtles. If you’ve been snorkeling or diving at all on Okinawa, there isn’t too much to see here that you havent seen out in the ocean, so I guess it would be more interesting to those who don’t go in the water (as she mentioned in the post). I think it was only worth the entry cost to fund the important cause of coral farming on Okinawa. I don’t want to sound mean – the place is neat – but, visitors beware that the post is misleading if you were expecting to be holding baby sea turtles.

    • Wow thanks for telling us about the no handling of the sea turtles that’s what I was looking forward to the most now I’m a little disappointed now but we are still going to go just to see something different for the kids

  7. I live within walking distance of this and while we’ve gone down the hill and looked more closely at it, I didn’t realize there were things kids could do there.

    I’ll definitely be heading back again to go inside!

  8. Wow! I live right down the road from Gala and I have seen the platform and structure a million times. I had no idea what it was and now I do, thanks to you! To those that do not know, the Gala Plaza has an awesome pizza buffet place (Ocean’s Pizza) and an ice cream shop along with another resturant, gift shop, etc. While you are checking out Gala and all it has to offer, take a right out of the Gala Plaza and check out the grounds of the Hotel Nikko Alivia. They are finishing up construction on one of the most BEAUTIFUL churches (wedding chapel) that I have ever seen. There is a church to the left of the hotel that resembles the style of the hotel, and is nice, but the new church to the right of the hotel is AMAZING! If I were a photographer, I would be taking some amazing photos of this church with the sea behind it. I told my hubby that just seeing this church makes me want to renew my vows! Thanks so much for this post.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here