Recommended Tour "4"
Set Sail into
Japan's Naval History
Kure City | Etajima City | Hiroshima City
With the expansion of the Japanese navy and shipbuilding at the turn of the 20th century, the city of Kure grew from a small town into one of the most important naval ports in Japan. It saw the construction of the famous battleship Yamato and it is still home to the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force. This itinerary will take you around Kure, Etajima and Hiroshima to experience Japan's naval past and present.
From JR Kure Station to Yamato Museum
With the Kure naval base established in 1889, followed by the naval dockyard in 1903, this city grew with the development of the Japanese navy and Japanese shipbuilding. At the height of its powers, the Kure docks produced the legendary battleship Yamato - one of the heaviest battleships ever constructed. The Yamato Museum takes you on a journey of discovery through the development of Kure and firsthand accounts of life on the Yamato. There is also a scale model of the Yamato, as well as an actual Zero fighter plane and the infamous 'kaiten' human torpedo. A must for anyone with an interest in naval history.
From Yamato Museum to the JMSDF Kure Museum
Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force Museum
This museum easy to spot - they have converted an entire former operational submarine into their main exhibit. The accompanying exhibition space explains how the JMSDF fleet cleared the seas around Japan of mines after the war. But the highlight is walking inside the decommissioned submarine, where you can get an authentic feel for what life must be like under the waves.
- Kure Kaiji Curry
It has been a tradition for the Japanese navy to serve curry every Friday to enable the crew to realign their body clocks. It is especially important on submarines where duty shifts tend to blur the normal boundaries of a 24-hour day. Each navy ship and submarine has its own unique recipe for their Friday curry, and now you can get a taste on land. A network of restaurants and hotels in Kure have divided the naval curry recipes among themselves and offer them on their menus to give you a chance to enjoy and compare the different curry dishes.
From buying Kure Kaiji Curry to Boat Tour around Kure Harbor
On Foot : 10 mins to Kure Central Pier Terminal
Boat Tour around Kure Harbor
If you want to get right up close to the ships and submarines in Kure Harbor, the boat tour is your best option. This guided tour will sail past the enormous cargo ships and naval fleet ships at anchor in Kure, as well as providing the best views of the docked submarines. Time your boat trip to hear the bugle played at the naval barracks 15 minutes before sunset.
From Boat Tour around Kure Harbor to Alley-Karasukojima
By Bus : From the Central Pier ride on the Kure Tanbo Loop Bus "KureTan" and get off at Sensuitai-mae
As views go, this is probably one of the rarest. This small park in Kure harbor looks out to the docking area for the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force's fleet of submarines and destroyers. The number of submarines on view change as they slip out to perform their maneuvers and drills. A great photo opportunity for people who like navy ships.
- Kure Chilled Noodles
Thick noodles served in a special chilled spicy soup is a local delicacy and a firm favorite among Kure residents. Definitely one to try when you're in town.
From the hotel in Kure City to Omotesando Shopping Arcade
On Foot : 10 mins to Kure Port
By Ferry : From Kure Port to Koyo Port (20 mins)
On Foot : From Koyo Port to Koyo Bus Stop (2 mins)
By Bus : From Koyo ride on a bus, and get off at the Jutsuka Gakko-mae bus stop (10 mins)
On Foot : 2 mins from Jutsuka Gakko-mae
JMSDF First Service School
Inside the grounds of the present-day Naval Academy for the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force, the redbrick buildings of the former naval academy have been converted into the Museum of Naval History. As well as the thousands of recovered documents from Japan's Imperial past on display, a shell from the battleship Yamato and a midget submarine that took part in the Pearl Harbor attack are exhibited outside.
From the JMSDF First Service School to A-bomb Dome (Atomic Bomb Dome) and Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
On Foot : 2 mins to Jutsuka Gakko-mae
By Bus : Ride on a bus from Jutsuka Gakko-mae and get off at Koyo (10 mins)
On Foot : From Koyo Bus Stop to Koyo Port (2 mins)
By Ferry : From Koyo Port to Hiroshima Ujina Port (22 mins)
By Train : From Hiroshima Ujina Port to A-bomb Dome (Atomic Bomb Dome) (30 mins via Hiroshima Electric Railway)
Hiroshima was decimated when the first atomic bomb in human history was dropped on 6th August 1945. Thousands lost their lives that day and many would succumb to its effects in the years to come. Inside the flattened city, the skeletal remains of the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall with its naked steel dome remained standing. Located only meters away from where the bomb detonated, this building quickly became a poignant symbol of the bombing and began to be referred to as the Atomic Bomb Dome. Formally designated as a World Heritage Site in 1996, it survives to this day and continues to remind the world about the dangers and suffering caused by nuclear weapons and war. It is located within the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park featuring various other monuments and exhibits related to the bombing including the Flame of Peace, the Children's Peace Monument and the world-renowned Peace Memorial Museum. A visit here should be included in every travel itinerary to Japan.