Have you seen Yamato, one of the greatest battleships? You can see it at KURE MARITIME MUSEUM “YAMATO MUSEUM” in Kure city, Hiroshima prefecture. Although the battleship is a one-tenth scale miniature which is about 26 meters in length, you will feel how it was powerful and formidable!
YAMATO MUSEUM opened in April 2005. During first ten years over ten millions visited here. It takes about 40 minutes to get Kure station from JR Hiroshima station by train (JR Kure line), and it is 5 minutes’ walk to the museum from Kure station. Many who visit city of Hiroshima also visit Kure.
YAMATO MUSEUM has not only the model of the battleship but also others to enjoy as shown below.
All about the battleship Yamato
The battleship Yamato was designed and built in Kure by using the best of technology and science at that time. Here at YAMATO MUSEUM you can learn the complicated frame and the mechanics of Yamato. The miniature of the battleship was re-created as precisely as possible based on the design for Yamato, its photographs, diving exploration of Yamato in the sea and underwater video. You can also see the technology needed to build the battleship and a few years life story of Yamato. It was launched in 1940. It had been on duty until it sank off the coast of Kyushu in 1945 with over 3000 crewmen and soldiers. The history of Yamato cannot be told without mentioning young Japanese soldiers on board, who were a part of special attack corps and lost their lives in the battle. You can see many letters and postcards written by them in addition to their photographs. In addition, ZERO Fighter, Kaiten human torpedo and other weapons are displayed. They will teach you what technology Japan had at that time, and you will know how important it is to enjoy peace and to be without wars.
The history of Kure
The city of Kure was once known as the greatest naval port city in the east and the greatest naval arsenal in Japan. YAMATO MUSEUM shows the history of Kure from Meiji period, when Japanese navy base was established here, until today. Having the Japanese navy and the naval arsenal, Kure was flourished greatly and lots of workers and sailors as well as various technologies got together in Kure. In times of war Kure was one of the targets to be air-raided, and several aerial bombings caused extensive damage to the city. When an atomic bomb was dropped on city of Hiroshima, the explosion was seen by people in Kure. An investigation team was sent from Kure to check the damage by the bomb. They were the first ones to see what the atomic bomb is really like. After the war Kure was recovered and was developed as a waterfront industrial city based on the technology developed before the war and new technology. You can see the history of Kure through photographs and documents.
You can learn the technology of shipbuilding and steelmaking at YAMATO MUSEUM. There are some workshops and booths. They are to see the characteristics of and the differences between some materials to build various ships, to know how a heavy ship can float on water, to compare the method of building ships in the past with the method used today, and to do other experiments. You can also simulate navigating a ferry boat or a high speed vessel. In addition, you can watch some films about Yamato and about planetary explorations by JAXA. You will see great possibilities in science technology.
Museum shop YAMATO
You can get Yamato related items such as books, models and other goods.
On the terrace you can enjoy beautiful views of ships and tankers coming and going. You may be fortunate to watch a submarine sailing.
Outdoor Exhibition, Grass Area, Yamato Wharf
Some salvaged items from the battleship Mutsu are displayed between visitor’s parking lot and the entrance. On the seaward side of the museum you can see the research submarine Shinkai at Grass area and from Yamato Wharf you can enjoy great views of the docks where Yamato was built.
JMSDF Kure Museum “Tetsu-no-kujira-kan”
When you visit YAMATO MUSEUM, you should visit JMSDF Kure Museum “Tetsu-no-kujira-kan” (Iron whale museum) which opened in April 2007. It is located just a few minutes away from YAMATO MUSEUM. The huge submarine “Akishio SS-579” is displayed on the ground. It was used by Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) from 1985 and finished its duty in 2004. It is 76.2 m in length and 9.9 m in width. You can come inside to see its cockpit, bathroom, bedroom and other rooms. You will know what the life of members in JMSDF is like. In the museum the display is mainly about mine disposal operated by JMSDF. You can see mines, the equipment for the operation and the hard work to keep the safety at sea by JMSDF.
Enjoy your visiting YAMATO MUSEUM and “city of navy” Kure.
If you have any questions or comment, feel free to contact me.