Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Kure Museum, a.k.a. Iron Whale Museum (海上自衛隊呉史料館、又の名をてつのくじら館)

The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Kure Museum (also known as the Iron Whale Museum) is the only museum in Japan that displays an actual full-size submarine above water. The museum has documents on the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s history, which still has its main base in Kure. The museum also has information on the functions of the underwater minesweeping taskforce, whose mission is to find and dispose of mines and other hazardous materials. There is also information on the history and technologies used in submarines and daily activities on board the vessels.

Free admission

At the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Kure Museum, you can see the interior of the submarine Akishio, which was actually used for multiple missions. The Akishio is 76 meters long and weighs about 2,200 tons, and it still retains its original layout. You can look inside the captain’s office, the secondary officer’s offices, as well as the rooms where the crew slept. The museum also has a café where you can enjoy curry and other dishes that were eaten every Friday so that the submarine crew would not forget their sense of time.


5-32 Takaracho, Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture, JAPAN
9:00 - 17:00 (Admission ends at 16:30)
Every Tuesday (in the case
where Tuesday is a public
holiday, closed the
day after)
Dec 29th - Jan 3rd