The way to Kure is pretty easy and cheap from the hostel and from Hiroshima.
You need to walk or take the bus / street car to Hiroshima station and from there you go on by train towards Kure. On the way there you don’t even have to change the train so you can not get lost. The train from Hiroshima station to Kure will cost you about 510 yen for one way so 1020 in total. The first two museum (JMSDF and Yamato) are less than five minutes from the station, easy to find.
There are a few of museums around in Kure but the most famous probably is the JMSDF museum where you can see and learn a lot about minesweeping techniques, how are they have been developed, made and placed in the water and for what reason.
You can read about that how did they clear the waters from mines after the war and conflicts ended with boats, helicopters. In this museum you can see basically everything from the tools until the exact mines and even the ship / submarine types used to disarm and collect the mines from the water.
At the end of the round in the museum you will even need to go through the huge submarine standing right outside of the museum and take a sneak peek how is it look like living and serving in a submarine under the water. It is really interesting and makes me think how can people live and work on these submarines in such a small space. This is one of the best experience in Kure!
The is one more museum on the other side of the road which is the Yamato museum about battleships, torpedos and even suicide notes from kaiten pilots being short on time I decided to skip this and take a walk instead to the JMSDF base.
Really close to the previous two museum you can find a third, the Irifuneyama heritage museum. Here you can see a lot of western style rooms with old style original furniture all around the building.
If you are not a lazy person then you can go for a bit longer walk about half an hour to the JMSDF base in Kure (~ 3 kilometers from the station) where you can see the current submarines and navy ships in the docks which is a must do for fans of these huge ships! I always wanted to see these kind of ships and submarines in real life with my own eyes and imaging them so it was must do for me and I was not disappointed even after realizing all I can do is watch them from outside.
During normal times they usually have visiting days during Sunday when you can walk around the base in a group and maybe take a walk inside one of their ship if you are lucky enough not like I was during the pandemic!
On the way to the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force base there is a shipyard as well where if you are there in the right time you can see ships in the dock during the building phase or old ships being repaired too! When you see the small humans working on the ship, sometimes it is really unbelievable we are making these huge things.
Just a bonus tip if you like LAMU then on the way to Kure or on the way back to Hiroshima you can jump off from the train in Saka. The shop is around 5 minutes walking from the station so not a big deal. Get some kiwi icecreams !! 🙂
This article was written by: Zsolt Stenger
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