Kure is a large and prosperous city-run region on the Seto Inland Sea in Hiroshima Prefecture. Over 216,000 people live in Kure which makes it the third largest city in Hiroshima Prefecture. Kure is composed of many amalgamated towns and cities of which Kure City (呉市) is the largest and original city. The city is a little over twenty minutes southeast of Hiroshima on express trains and buses.
The area around Kure City is extremely mountainous and any flat land is utilized for buildings, farms or someone's parking spot. Kure is most famous for being the location where the Yamato, the largest battleship ever, was built. Today, Kure City is a major international supplier of large cargo ships.
Kure City is currently trying to become a hub city for the towns and islands the city now governs. The newly finished Yamato Museum and other city projects are designed to help round out the city's services. The city doesn't have much for non-residents besides the museum but it does have a few attractions around it.
Kure City's most famous product besides ships these days is the sake made by Sempuku (千福). This locally produced rice wine is sold throughout Japan. Sempuku's main factory is located off Hondori Street in the northern part of the city.
Kure Portapia Park
Traditional Yatai (屋台) food carts pop up every evening along the river on Kuramotodori near the library. Each cart specializes in a specific dish but most popular Japanese dishes (like ramen and okonomiyaki) and a few international flavors can found. The exact menu depends on who shows up to set up their tent and cart. Some carts even have televisions.
Hondori / Rengadori
Kure City is a little over twenty minutes southeast of Hiroshima on express local trains. Kure is on the Kure train line (呉線) which runs along the coast from Hiroshima to Mihara. The train is quite cheap at 480 yen but JR Hiroshima Station is a 20 minute walk from downtown Hiroshima unless you pay 150 yen for a street car. Trains run from around 5:30 am to midnight. Train schedules can be bought at any local convenience store.
Most local city buses in Kure originate and terminate at Kure Station. City buses are quite expensive compared to taking the train. There is a shuttle bus which leaves from Kure Station to the Higashi-Hiroshima Airport in Mihara. The Kure A Line (クレアレイン) series of buses operated by JR and Hiroden offers fast direct service via the toll highway from Kure to Hiroshima. Buying a bus card from a discount ticket office actually can make this bus a bit cheaper than taking the train and street car to and from downtown Hiroshima.
For those traveling by car, Kure has an excellent toll highway from Hiroshima to Kure. The normal coastal route is much slower except later at night. To the east, the Yasumi-Yama tunnel which opened in 2002 has greatly improved travel times to Aga and Hiro. Parking in Kure is notoriously bad but the new Youme Town shopping center has excellent rates.
Kure Port is south of JR Kure Station close to the Yamato Museum. A number of destinations in the Seto Inland Sea and on Honshu, Kyushu and Shikoku can be reached cheaply and quickly by ferry from Kure City. Express hydrofoil boats traveling on the Hiroshima-Matsuyama and Hiroshima-Imabara routes stop at the port in Kure.
There is a discount ticket office north of Sogo near the train station but the discount ticket offices in downtown Hiroshima are usually cheaper. Buying a bus card (+10% purchase value) if you live in the Hiroshima region is highly recommended.
Submitted by mbystedt on Mon, 04/04/2011 - 23:34