Comfort Hotel Kure
Phone: (81) 823 32 4811
Fax: (81) 823 32 4812
Arts & Museums
Located roughly thirty minutes from central Hiroshima, the Kure Maritime Museum makes for an interesting and informative day trip. The world's largest battleship, the Yamato, was built here in the Kure Naval Dockyards, the most important naval port in the Far East. Modern and nuanced, the museum consists of three main sections. The first floor details Kure's history and evolution as one of Japan's most important arsenals, houses a collection of military hardware used in the war, including a Japanese Zero fighter, and also features an 86 foot-long model (1/10 scale) of the Yamato itself. The third floor focuses on education, including shipbuilding technology and future developments. An observation terrace is located on the fourth floor, providing a nice panorama of the shipyards. – Brent Katte
Hiroshima's Radiation Effects Research Foundation has been carrying out medical research on the victims of the A-bomb since shortly after the explosion. Over the years, the Foundation has accumulated considerable data--on the bomb survivors and on their offspring--and they are happy to share their knowledge with those who might be interested. While there are no scheduled open hours or self-guided tours, specialists and the general public are invited to contact the Foundation for a private, guided tour offered in English.
Set in the wilds of Hijiyama Park, the Museum of Contemporary Art blends landscaping and aesthetics into a pleasing whole, a metaphor of the natural environment around this premier cultural institution. Inside, the Museum is notable for periodic displays of contemporary art. Recent exhibits have included works by Andy Warhol and a display of "art as resistance" from the politically troubled islands of Indonesia. Outside, the Museum is sculpted into the mountainside. Around the Museum are sculpture-lined trails, and a scenic lookout over Hiroshima, complete with Henry Moore installation.
This museum is from a moral and historical standpoint, one that perhaps all visitors to Hiroshima should visit. It contains heartbreaking and informative exhibitions and items connected with that fateful August 6th day in 1945. In addition to historical records, contemporary exhibits here attest to the continued threat of nuclear arms. There is thankfully a wealth of information in English for the international visitor. The museum is located in Peace Memorial Park. Hours are seasonal.
This is not the sort of museum that most people would take a trip to Miyajima to visit. But if you are going to be visiting Itsukushima Shrine (and you probably will if you come to Miyajima), then you may nevertheless want to consider paying abit extra to peruse the various and curious religious and historical relics on hand. It will not be an unpleasant experience, and you will certainly learn something about the Japanese religious tradition.
Picture windows here provide unique and interesting perspectives on neighboring Shukkeien Garden, which the museum building has been designed to compliment. Highlights in the museum's holdings are Dream of Venus, one of the famous "melting watch" paintings by Salvador Dali, and paintings and sculptures by Hiroshima prefecture artists. Recent special events have included retrospectives on the tea ceremony artifacts of Oribe Hideyoshi and Soko Ueda, Art Nouveau in Britain, and representations of the Mona Lisa. Check the Museum calendar for details.
Located on the Promenade of Culture, here is a lesson in the trajectory of European art, housed in modern Japan. The first room displays work by Romantics and Impressionists, while subsequent rooms proceed through post-Impressionism to Fauvism and Cubism, culminating in the Fourth Gallery and the l'ecole de Paris. The second gallery of four rooms contains work by Japanese painters in oils, from the Meiji Restoration Era to the present.
The Science Museum promises lots of hands-on activities for budding Einsteins and Hawkings, plus a nice introduction to Hiroshima's traditional cultural attractions. Parents will also appreciate it as a creative place for the average child to burn off some steam. Highlights include Japan's largest planetarium, which "dynamically reproduces glittering constellations and an infinitely expanding universe." Back on earth, a small library/reading room gives exhausted parents chairs to collapse in--and perhaps even take a nap while the kids explore.
Your trip to Miyajima will likely be a day trip. There are numerous ways to spend your time on this pleasant island, and a visit to this museum is one recommend to those with an interest in Japanese history and folk traditions. Of course, knowledge of Japanese will make a visit more worthwhile, but the 3000 items on display, all relating to Miyajima's history and its former inhabitants, will ensure that your stroll through the halls is not without some stimulation.
The Inax showroom is comprised of one corner alone, but what a corner it is! Visitors to Hiroshima with a taste for modern art, sculpture and photography will not want to miss this gallery. On display are the works of local artists, from both Hiroshima and the central Honshu area. There is no real set theme; artists show just about anything they want. What you find upon your visit is anyone's guess, but it is very likely to be stimulating.