Sep 29, 2018 Attraction Kure

Kure, a Military Harbor City With a Retro Atmosphere

#Attraction ,#Basic Information ,#Model Route ,#Spring ,#Summer ,#Travel Tip

Kure city is located about 30 to 45 minutes away from Hiroshima city on the JR Kure Line. It has been home to a naval base and was a thriving military harbor since the Meiji era (late 19th century).

Even now, 70 years after the end of WWII, many of the buildings from that period remain as cultural artifacts and as facilities for the JMSDF (Japanese Navy).  In this article I’ll talk about the retro charm of Kure, built during the Meiji and Showa periods (late 19th – early 20th century).

Essential Sightseeing Spots

Yamato Museum(The Kure Maritime Museum)

The Kure naval base is where battleship Yamato was built. The biggest attraction at Yamato Museum is a 1:10 model of the Yamato. In addition, the permanent exhibitions include information about battleships, the Zero fighter planes, and the pre-war and post-war history of Kure.

Yamato Museum(The Kure Maritime Museum)
Address 5-20, Takaramachi, Kure(map)
Access 5 minutes walk from JR Kure station
Open 9:00am – 6:00pm
*Admission ends at 5:30 p.m
Closed -Tuesdays
*If Tuesday is a holiday, will be closed on the following day.
Website Official Website
Entrance Fee Adults¥500
High School Students: ¥300

JMSDF Kure Museum (The Whale of Iron Museum)

The JMSDF Kure Museum, known affectionately as the The Whale of Irom Museum, is easy to spot; the unique building is shaped like a submarine. This doesn’t just apply to the outside appearance.

The inside of the building is created an accurate representation of a real submarine, and you can see all of this for free. Enjoy learning about the history of the JMSDF.

JMSDF Kure Museum (The Whale of Iron Museum)
Address 5-32, Takaramachi, Kure (map)
Access 5 minutes walk from JR Kure station
Open 9:00am – 5:00pm
*Admission ends at 4:30 p.m
Closed -Tuesdays
*If Tuesday is a holiday, will be closed on the following day.
[New Year’s Holiday] Dec 29. to Jan 3.
Website Official Website
Entrance Fee Free

Irifuneyama Memorial Museum

This Western-style building was the official residence of the Kure naval base commander-in-chief, and in 1998 was designated as an Important Cultural Property. You can spend as much time as you want looking around inside the building.

Through the furnishings of the building, you can see how the former commander-in-chief had lived in this beautiful house.

Irifuneyama Memorial Museum
Address 4-6 Saiwai-cho, Kure (map)
Access 13 mins walk from JR Kure Station
Open 9:00am – 5:00pm
Closed Tuesday (If a national holiday, the following day will be closed as well.)
[New Year’s Holiday] Dec 29. to Jan 3.
Website Tripadvisor
Entrance Fee Adult: ¥250
High School Student: ¥150
Child: ¥100

Kure Old Navie Base Building

The former government office of the Kure naval base, this building now functions as the JMSDF Kure District Headquarters. If you apply beforehand, you can enter the building on Sundays. You can also see ships and the old Japanese Navy’s  underground operations room on Sundays.

Kure Old Navie Base Building
Address 8-1 Saiwaicho, Kure (map)
Access 15 mins walk from JR Kure Station
Open Sunday 10:30am -11:30am , 1:00pm – 2:00pm
*Prior reservation is required for tour.
Closed  Monday to Saturday
Website Tripadvisor
Entrance Fee  Free

Osaki Shimo-jima Island Mitarai Area

An island off the coast of Kure city center. Unlike the brick buildings that make up the military harbor, the appealing buildings in the Mitarai area retain the atmosphere of the Edo period (17th-early 19th centuries). The relaxed atmosphere is a bit different from the mainland, and it’s a great place to go for a stroll.

Osaki Shimo-jima Island Mitarai Area
Address Mitarai Yutakamachi, Kure (map)
Access  Bus
*Hiroshima City (via Kure City) – Mitarai-ko, 2 hrs 20 min by express bus
*Tobishima Liner (Yutaka/Toyohama area) from the bus stop in front of JR Kure
Station or Hiro Station, get off at “Mitarai-ko”. Approx. 1 hr 30 min
Website Tripadvisor

Otodo no Seto Park

The Ondo Strait, within the Seto Inland Sea filled with small islands, is said to be the narrowest sea route in Japan. It is said to have been excavated long ago by Taira no Kiyomori. In 1967, a statue of Taira no Kiyomori called Himaneki Statue was constructed to commemorate 800 years since the excavation of the strait. The name is apparently inspired by the legend that Kiyomori brought the setting sun back up. It’s a beautiful place to visit at sunset.

Otodo no Seto Park
Address Kegoya, Kure, Hiroshima (map)
Access *Hirden Bus(via Showa-machi), bound for Ondo no Seto,
approx. 10 mins on foot from bus stop, “Ondo Ferry Port”
*Hiroden Bus(via Showa-machi), bound for Mihayashi-cho,
get off at “Ondo-Ohashi-ue”
Website Tripadvisor

Locations Featured in the Film “In This Corner of the World

“In This Corner of the World” is a film released in 2016, which had a very long theatrical run in France. It is set in Kure during the Second World War, and is highly regarded for the accurate depiction of wartime Hiroshima. Let’s have a look at some parts of the film.

Haiga Peak

The film’s main character, Suzu, married into the Hojo family, who lived at the base of Haiga Peak. The location of their house is being made into a tourist location, “The Hill Where You Can Meet Suzu”. Since the night view is beautiful, Haiga Peak is also a popular for its driving spot.

Haiga Peak
Address Tochibaracho, Kure (map)
Access 35 mins drive from Kure Station
Website Tripadvisor


It’s just one inconspicuous location in an unremarkable area, but something about these three warehouses leaves a deep impression. This is part of the old Sawahara family residence.

They were an important large merchant family, and the buildings have been designated as an Important Cultural Property. Lots of people enjoy taking photos of it in the same way shown in the movie.

Mitsugura(old Sawahara family residence)
Address 3-15 Naganoki-cho, Kure city, Hiroshima (map)
Access Approx. 3 mins from “Higashi chuo 2 chome” bus stop

The Hill Where You Can See History

Kure-Miyahara is home to a shipyard. The area around the Yamato Battleship Tower is called the hill where you can see history, because you can look out over the ocean and see the dock where the battleship Yamato was built.

In the film, this was an important scene that expressed the pain Suzu felt. These are just a few of the many locations shown in the film, but it’s fun to wander around the city, comparing it to the movie and finding the locations that they used!

Rekishi no Mieru Oka Hill
Address  5 Miyahara, Kure (map)
Access -From Kure Station (JR Kure Line),
use Hiroden Bus “Kure Kurahashi-jima Line”,-“Aga Ondo-no-Seto Line”
Get off at “Shikikuhi-mae”, walk for 1 min
Website Tripadvisor


The Perfect Companion For Your Trip! Kure Cuisine

Navy Curry

The JMSDF is famous for their curry, which was initially served on Fridays to help maintain awareness of the days of the week. Apparently, the JSDF still serves curry for lunch on Fridays.

While the entire JMSDF has curry, the taste varies from ship to ship, and they have their own ways of preparing it. Kure Navy Curry is well known, and you can eat it at a variety of restaurants throughout Kure.

For example, “Seaside Cafe BEACON”, next to the Yamato Museum, serves the curry from the destroyer “Samidare”. Why not go around to different restaurants and try all the different curries?

Melonpan in Kure

A melonpan is a type of sweet bread bun from Japan. They are usually covered in a thin layer of crisp cookie dough, but the melonpan made by Melonpan Company in Kure is rugby ball shape and filled with thick cream. You can buy it at their main shop and at local supermarkets as well.

Melonpan Main Shop
Address  7-14-1 Hondori, Kure-shi, Hiroshima (map)
Open  8:00am- *Limited Quantity
Closed  Sun, New Year’s Holidays (Dec 31.-Jan 5.), May 5, and  Obon Week
Website  Tripadvisor

Fried Cake

Inside the crispy donut pastry is a faintly sweet bean paste. It might seem oily, but fried to perfection in canola oil, so doesn’t feel heavy at all.

Fukuzumi Fried Cake
Address Kato BLD. 1F 4-12-20 Nakadori, Kure-shi, Hiroshima (map)
Open 10:00am – 7:00pm *Limited Quantity
Closed Tuesday * If it’s a national holiday, compensating holiday
Website Tripadvisor

Enjoy the Beautiful Scenery&Atomosphere

The city of Kure, a thriving military port in the Meiji era, still retains the atmosphere of the period. There are a lot of buildings constructed from red bricks. Come eat delicious food, and enjoy exploring the historic city.

(Photo by Hiroshima Prefecture/Kure City)