Saturday, April 22, 2017

Chugoku Sanyo, San-in 中国地方山陽、山陰 - Kure JR Station 呉駅

Kure JR Station (呉駅) is located on the Kure line, which runs alongside Seto Inland Sea. Kure was a navy base during the Meiji era and is well known for being the birthplace for Japanese battleship named Yamato shortly before WWII. Now, it is one of Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF)'s bases and houses manufacturing industries such as shipbuilding and steelworks.

View from Yamato Hatoba park.
Unplanned visit. Passed by Kure JR Station on Day 3 while on board Setouchi Marine Liner. In fact, visiting Kure came as a backup plan on Day 9 because Miyajima Ropeway to Mount Misen was closed on the day of our visit and we had to end our day trip in Miyajima earlier than planned. Arrived at Kure in the afternoon and spent the rest of the day at JMSDF Kure Museum and nearby Yamato Hatoba (大和波止場) park facing the Seto Inland Sea. There are other interesting sightseeing spots which we did not manage to cover, such as Yamato Museum and Areikarasugojima where JMSDF's submarines and ships are docked here. Navy curry rice is served as a local specialty dish in many restaurants here and there is even food stalls, otherwise known as yatai, set up along Kuramoto-dori (蔵本通り) after 6 pm almost everyday (closed on Tuesdays). Looks like there are more to discover in this city!

Apart from local trains, other trains serving this station include:
(1) Setouchi Marine Liner (瀬戸内マリンビュー), commutes between Mihara and Hiroshima via Kure line and operates only on weekends and public holidays.
(2) Akiji Liner (安芸路ライナー) is rapid service train which commutes between Hiroshima and Hiro via Kure line.


What's nearby?

(1) Shopping malls
- Recre (レクレ), a shopping mall connected seamlessly to the train station. Household brand such as Uniqlo and Daiso are located on the second floor, which you will pass by along the way to JMSDF Kure Museum and Yamato Museum. Yamato Onsen Monogatari (大和温泉物語) is a large scale, one stop hot spring facility with both indoor and outdoor pools, restaurants and entertainment facilities where you can spend a relaxing day here.
Yamato Onsen Monogatari:

- Youme Town (ゆめタウン), a familiar name that you will see in Chugoku, Shikoku and Kyushu area. Located about 5 minutes walk away from the train station (which you will also pass by along the way to JMSDF Kure Museum and Yamato Museum), this shopping mall has ground floor dedicated to supermarket, ABC Mart and Seria (100 yen shop) on the second floor, and MUJI on the third floor.
Youme Town Kure:

(2) JMSDF (Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force) Kure Museum 海上自衛隊呉資料館, about 5 minutes walk from train station.
An exact replica of submarine where visitors can enter to better understand JMDSF operations and their life on board the vessel. This is a one of its kind museum in Japan which I will strongly recommend to visit if you plan to explore Kure city.
- Operating hours: 0900 - 1700 hrs, closed on Tuesdays
- Free admission

Yamato Museum.
(3) Yamato Museum 大和ミュージアム, about 5 minutes walk from train station.
- Operating hours: 0900 - 1800 hrs, closed on Tuesdays
- Entrance fee: 500 yen


Commemorative stamp:

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