Kure City is a popular tourist spot as a JMSDF town
Among the 5 major Japanese Marine Self-Defense Force bases, Kure has a main base that can rival the one in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture in terms of scale and the number of military vessels. The city is also famous for its munitions factory which constructed the battleship Yamato and was renowned for having the world’s best naval engineering at the time. At the Tetsu no Kujira Center, which is just across from the Yamato Museum that focuses on the history of the famed battleship, history that focuses mainly on the JMSDF submarines and minesweepers is introduced.
The popular submarine corner
A 5-minute walk from JR Kure Station and just away from a shopping center, there is a large submarine 76m in length, weighing 2000t. In service from 1985 to 2004, the sub is popular for being able to tour inside the vessel. You can visually realize the hardships of life on board a sub which has narrow corridors, beds in which tossing about would be hard without bumping into something, and no windows for the sun to shine through. There are 2 periscopes for day and night which you can actually view.
The minesweeper corner which retains the graphic scars of war
Minesweeping vessels took care of approximately 10,000 naval mines which were strewn around Japan during the 2nd World War. On the 2nd floor of the museum, actual mines are on display, and the history of minesweeping is introduced so that visitors will be surprised at the many types of mines. This is a valuable historical museum where you can find out about current JMSDF activities to clear life-threatening mines one by one. The high level of minesweeping technology has been highly praised overseas, and the JMSDF has had success in clearing out the many mines that have been found in the Persian Gulf during the Iraq War.