The Kure Naval District was one of four–alongside Yokosuka, Sasebo, and Maizuru–primary administrative districts of the Imperial Japanese Navy that was established in the Meiji Era. Although the Imperial Japanese Navy has since been replaced by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, that history remains in Kure Port in the form of shipbuilding yards, museums, and oceangoing vessels still moored out in the harbor. Visitors can take a cruise around Kure Harbor or taste a slice of a sailor’s life at one of various restaurants selling Kure’s famous “navy curry.”
Moment of Joy
If you explore Kure Port on a National Holiday, you’ll get to see the ships in full dressing, with colorful international maritime signal flags brightening up these immense war machines. Book a harbor cruise for plenty of time to snap photos of this uncommon sight up close. You may also be lucky enough to catch members of the JMSDF hoisting flags for ceremonial purposes, and some ships even light up after sundown.