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The Yamato Museum is dedicated to educating people about the famous Battleship Yamato, although the museum has a wide variety of exhibits.
The Yamato was the most advanced ship built in its time and even today it is said to rival modern ships however, by the time it was completed in WWII fighter planes had made the battleships less useful and the Yamato was sent on a suicide mission in which it was sunk by the airplanes.
The museum houses artifacts from the ship's wreckage and gives a lot of information about the ship itself, its history, and its crew. Many of the artifacts are from the crew members. The museum's English information is quite good, and there is also a free audio guide to accompany the written descriptions. In the main hall there is a 1/10 scale model of the Yamato.
Beyond the Yamato exhibits the museum also has an authentic Zero Fighter Plane, a few different human-controlled torpedos meant for suicide missions, and some other interesting war machines. There is also a children's learning center and special exhibits. The souvenirs here (and at the Tetsu no Kujirakan) are very unique compared to those you'll find in most of Japan. I highly recommend a stop here and Kure as a whole for any war and/or history buffs. It's well worth it!
Entrance is 500 yen.
Written Aug 23, 2012
Address: 5-20 Takaramachi
Irifuneyama Park is really not a park; it's where the former Naval Headquarters is located along with related buildings that have been moved here.
Two of the sites are just outside the entrance to the memorial park, the home of Admiral Togo during his time as the Naval commander and the clock tower from the Navy's engineering department built in 1921 and used until the end of WWII.
Inside the memorial park is the powder magazine filled with artwork of Kure by local artists, cannons, and a history museum with artifacts such as uniforms of former Navy generals and other memorabilia and documents.
The main attraction of course is the residence of the Naval Commander-in Chief, dating back to 1905 (the original was built in 1889 but collapsed in an earthquake). The building is quite interesting because the front is clearly European however, the back of the house was built in Japanese-style, making it an odd fusion of western and Japanese architecture both inside and out. The Naval Commander lived here until the end of WWII when occupation forces moved in. The building to the right contains information and exhibits related to how the ornate wallpapers in the European rooms were created.
Entrance to the memorial park is 250 yen. If you can understand some Japanese, there are volunteer guides that can give you a tour with a lot more details about the places and artifacts.
Written Aug 23, 2012
Address: 4-6 Saiwai-cho
The "Steel Whale Museum" (Tetsu no Kujirakan) is a museum attached to a real submarine. It is dedicated to the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force but the focus is primarily on mines and the various techniques utilized to disarm them. Artifacts include real examples of different types of mines, machines and parts of machines used to deactivate them, and the clothing worn by people involved in the deactivation of mines in the water. The museum has English descriptions as well as some good videos showing how some of the more complicated methods actually work.
After the mines, there is some general information about the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and emblems from those of other nations before leading you on into the submarine. It is an authentic submarine decommissioned in 2004 (the Akishio). Inside you can see what the sleeping quarters, kitchen, bathroom, etc. are like. In the front you can see the control panels and even look through its periscopes.
The museum is surprisingly free, so it's definitely a great place to pair with a visit to the Yamato Museum across the street.
Written Aug 23, 2012
Yamato (‘å˜a), named after the ancient Japanese Yamato Province, was the lead ship of the Yamato class of battleships that served with the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II. She and her sister ship, Musashi, were the heaviest and most powerfully armed battleships ever constructed, displacing 72,800 tonnes at full load and armed with nine 46 cm (18.1 inch) main guns. Neither, however, survived the war.
THE MUSEUM IS CLOSE TO KURE STATION
Written Oct 10, 2011
Kure is served by Kure Station on the Kure Line. From Hiroshima Station, it takes 30-45 minutes (depending on whether you get a local or rapid train), so it's an easy daytrip.
From the east, the Kure Line connects at Mihara Station, although many trains go as far as Hiro Station.
Although most sites of interest can be reached from Kure Station, other stations within Kure city include Kure Pootopia, Tennou, Karugahama, Yoshiura, Kawaraishi, Akiaga, Shinhiro, Hiro, Nigata, Ato, and Yasuura.
Written Aug 22, 2012
BOTAN is on nakadori street (a.k.a rengadori). They have mostly women's clothes, bags and purses. They also sell glassware and pottery. Some is traditional Japanese ware, some is more modern. Their are candles and insence along with nice candle holders to match. The coolest ones I've seen are where the candle floats in water. Their wooden toys are really nice and made in Germany.
It's a long time family owned shop and the father is a well known artist. His art is on display on the upper floors and some is available for purchase.
What to buy: Kure is famous for oysters!
There are a lot of ramen shops and bars as well.
You can find pottery, local crafts, clothing, jewelry, tableware.
What to pay: All ranges of prices.
Written Aug 8, 2004
Address: 3-3-17 Nakadori, Kure, Hiroshima, Japan 737-0046