- 1 Kure City (呉市, Kure-shi?)
- 2 Transportation
- 3 Working
- 4 Sightseeing
- 5 Shopping
- 6 Eating
- 7 Drinking
- 8 Living
- 9 Map
- 10 External links
Kure City (呉市 Kure-shi?)
Kure City (呉市 Kure-shi?) is the third largest city in Hiroshima Prefecture with a population of 240,000 stretched over 350 square kilometers. Due to its close proximity to Hiroshima City, it could be considered more a satellite suburb instead of an independent metropolitan area. Nevertheless, the citizens of Kure take pride of their unique identity. Kure has been home to a large Naval Defense Force Base (the Japanese Navy) since 1889 and the Naval Academy located on the nearby island Etajima, so much of Kure’s culture is tied to this maritime history. The largest battleship of its time, the Yamato, was built in Kure’s dockyards, and shipbuilding continues to be a large industry in the city. Even the city’s signature dish nikujaga – a stew-like soup with potatoes, beef, and onions – traces its origin to special meals served among sailors while out to sea. Industry, shipbuilding, and a working-class outlook prevail.
While Kure has a lively nightlife, it’s generally centered around blue-collar recreations and pursuits – tons of small bars with patrons that are “regulars”. If you’re looking for a cosmopolitan club scene, Hiroshima’s not too far away. For its small size, Kure has some great food. Restaurants with both local and international cuisine can be found in every neighborhood. The city elders do their best injecting cosmopolitan culture where they can, through the Kure International Exchange Square and with events throughout the year. This and the close distance to Hiroshima can help shake any homesickness while introducing great experiences of hard-working Japan. Outlying areas of Kure, including several islands, have slowly been enveloped into the city center, but each still holds its own character.
Getting In & Around
To/from the airport
The nearest airport is Hiroshima International Airport with "limousine" buses to and from JR Kure Station.
JR Kure is located on the Kure Line, a coastal train line which links Mihara and Hiroshima City, rejoining the Sanyo Line in Kaita City. Trains to locations around the prefecture leave throughout the day. There are usually two trains to Hiroshima Station an hour with one rapid service and the other standard; each cost the same ¥500 fare (from Kure Station). Standard service runs from 5:30 am until about 12:00 midnight and rapid service runs until 5:00 pm. From Hiroshima to the east, most trains transfer at Hiro Station.
JR Kure station is a medium-sized station including a gift shop, Japanese book store, shopping, dentist, restaurants, fast-food, grocery and liquor store, and 100 yen store. Outside there is the bus center, taxis, police box, convenience store, and a second level walkway toward the coast, ferry terminal, and the shopping centers Rekure, and YouMe Town.
Kure is not serviced by the Shinkansen, however you can purchase shinkansen tickets at Kure Station and at a discount ticket office located inside the station.
Kure Station is also the departure point for the majority of buses going to and from the city. Buses regularly run into Hiroshima (two to three times an hour) and cost around ¥700. Although more expensive than taking the train, the bus will take you directly into the center of Hiroshima. Buses leave both Kure Station and the Hiroshima Bus Center (from Bay #6) and stop running earlier than the train – around 10:30 pm on weeknights and 10:00 pm on weekends. If you live closer to City Hall, there’s also a bus stop in front of Edion. Sometimes during the day, buses will begin from Aga Station, too. When checking the bus schedule, make sure Aga is listed.
If you live on an island, or like to travel, a car is highly beneficial, although not technically necessary. You can access Kure City from non-toll Routes 2, 185, and 375. There is also a convenient, but expensive toll road from Kure to Hiroshima City.
There are currently about 15 JETs living in and around Kure. In recent years the number has shrank as the Board of Education switches to other organizations, so the actual number of ALTs is over 20. Most positions in Kure City are centrally located, but a few are spread across areas such as Hiro (not to be confused with Hiroshima) or the incorporated islands.These more remote placements have been gradually replaced with ALTs from other organizations so the liklihood of such placements is relatively slim.
There are four high schools from which there are four prefecture ALTs based in the city also.
There are some small communities of Vietnamese, Chinese, Filipino, and Brazillian residents as well as Americans from the small Army base just outside the central area. Other ex-pats are family men who have settled down and run/teach English conversation schools. There are also Mormon missionaries living in Hiro who can be seen in their suits on their bikes.
Places to Visit
Ten minutes away from Kure by train towards Hiroshima is Karugahama Beach. The beach is easily accessible from Karugahama Station – only three stops west of Kure Station – and has an “adventure” playground to go with the surf and sand. Note: It’s only officially open during July and August, but is still open to non-swimmers other months. Another beach resort is Kenmin-no-hama Beach. Located on the island of Kamagari, there is a hotel, salt museum, and an observatory nearby. It’s also only officially open from July to August, too, but people visit year-round. Kurahashi Island has a few beaches, including Katsuragahama Beach. Along with the beach, there’s camping, an onsen, a museum chronicling the historical Chinese envoys to Kure, and a shrine dating back 1,400 years. Both Kenmin-no-hama and Katsuragahama are accessible by bus, although for Kamagari Island you will need to change busses at Hiro Station.
Kure is surrounded by hills, the most prominent is named Haigamine and has a white observation deck at the summit. You can either walk or drive there, and the views are spectacular. The walk takes about 90 minutes to two hours to reach. Another great place to hike is Mount Norosan. On the eastern outskirts of Kure, it can be reached easily by train to Aki-Kawajiri Station. From there, the hike begins and takes a good two hours to reach. Norosan offers fantastic views and also has a shrine and a large camping spot at the top. Well worth the walk. Another trail worth an afternoon stroll is the road to Niko Gorge. From the baseball stadium, cross the river nearby and follow the gentle slope upwards, keeping the river on your right. This is one of the best places in Kure to view cherry blossoms in the spring.
Using the term park liberally, there are several parks in Kure, but they’re not the large green spaces you may be imagining. The first and main one is Kure Chuo Koen. Located close to the City Hall, it features a massive fountain and tiny grassy spots ideal for dog-walking, a drink in summer or a small game of frisbee. A second is Hiro Koen, a large family-friendly park located in the center of Hiro. There is a great playground and a nice green space for kids to run around. The third is Irifuneyama Koen – Citizens Sports Ground and is located on top of a hill at the southern end of Hondori, close to the railway bridge. It’s essentially a large flat dirt playing surface – this space may need to be reserved in advance because many school and local sports teams use the large spaces regularly throughout the year. The city makes the park lights available for late practices, but it costs ¥2,000 an hour. This can be reserved through the offices at the Kure City Gymnasium. A fourth park is Marine Park, found next to the Clayton Bay Hotel. A fifteen-minute walk from Kure Station, the park space features a similar flat dirt surface as can be found at Irifuneyama but doesn’t require the space to be reserved. Ideal for soccer, rugby or games of ultimate frisbee. Be warned though, the space will be invaded by local baseball teams from time to time. Kure Chuo Chugako is also available for ¥1,000 an hour. Reservations can be made at the sports department building found in Kure City Gymnasium for about ¥1,000 an hour.
Onsen = relaxing bath in the buff. Located on top of the Recre Building, behind Kure Station. It’s fairly expensive compared to other sentos and onsens (¥1,300), nevertheless it has a multitude of baths and offers outdoor baths that give you the chance to look out onto the open waters of the Seto Inland Sea. Massages are also available at an extra cost. On the same floor, there’s an amazing shabu shabu restaurant. The onsen is open 24 hours a day. Call ahead or stop by for reservations to the restaurant. (0823-24-1126)
Miyake Honten “Sempuku” Brewery
All around the city, there’s ads for the local sake Sempuku (千福). The brewery is in the northeast area of the city – off Hondori, just past Yasumiyama Shindo Tunnel. Tours are offered on weekdays and run about 30 minutes. A small gift shop is there, too. Try the sake ice cream or pick up some limited run specialty brews to enjoy later. Call ahead to schedule an appointment for a tour or stop by the store on weekdays. (0823-22-1029)
Ondo Seto Park
The legend says when Taira no Kiyomori ordered the straight between Kure and Kurahashi to be dug, he willed the sun from setting, thus completing the task in one day. To see where all the magic happened, go to the Ondo Seto Park. In the spring, it’s a great place to view cherry blossoms, and later the azaleas bloom around Ondo Bridge. It’s a great place to picnic while flower-viewing.
The largest shrine in Kure is Kameyama Shrine, located up the hill along Yotsu Doro. Throughout the year, festivals are held commemorating Shinto holidays, including New Years and the Kameyama Shrine Festival in October.
On the island of Osakishimojima, the old town Yutakamachi still exhibits the slow, quiet, agrarian side of Japan. With buildings dating to the Meiji era, several small museums display cultural artifacts from the island. Also, the island is famous for the copious amounts of mikan (sweet, seedless oranges) grown. While there, try to find an okonomiyaki restaurant named Akechi (0846-66-2220) – the owner is an eccentric who is obsessed with Hibari Misora, a famous enka singer.
Once a theme park with a Ferris wheel, Kure Portpia has seen better days. That said, there’s still fun to be had. There are a few open spaces for soccer practice, along with playgrounds for the kids. Fishing is also very popular there. On most weekends, Portpia plays host to various functions: skateboarding, slot cars, volleyball, etc. In the summer, the restaurant offers a cozy beer garden.
Yamato Museum & JMSDF Submarine Museum - A museum dedicated to the ever-lasting memory of the Yamato Battleship – one of the largest war ships ever assembled at the time – which was constructed in Kure. English language translation is available. Across from the Yamato Museum and next to Youme Town, the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force Submarine Museum is free to visit. Along with a history lesson on mine-sweeping, you can tour a real submarine.
Irifuneyama Museum and Kure Art Gallery - Both the museum and gallery are located twenty minutes walk from Kure Station and are worth a visit. The Kure Art Gallery is home to the city’s prized Renoir and the Irifuneyama houses a shrine dedicated to the Yamamoto Battleship. Admission fees vary, and they are closed on Mondays.
Autumn Harvest Shrine Festivals – Each shrine holds a festival in early October to celebrate the year’s harvest. A procession of yabu (demons) clash with those carrying the harvest to the shrine. Food stalls and partying lasts all weekend.
Food Festival – In early November, Kure hosts a food festival in the park along Kuramoto Dori. Stuff yourself on local and international food all day!
Oyster Festival – Kure ranks as one of the top oyster-producing areas in Japan. In February, the city celebrates another great year at Chuo Koen. Have oysters and other local seafood any way you can image!
Flower Viewing – All around Japan, spring is celebrated by hanami, the ephemeral majesty of the cherry blossom. For those few weeks, everyone gathers outside for picnics… and lots of drinking. Oh, and to look at the pretty flowers. In Kure, the best places for hanami include Niko Gorge and Ondo Seto Park.
Port Festival – In late April, Kure celebrates its naval roots with public performances, food, yacht races, and more.
Fireworks Festival – Kure Bay lights up in early August with the Fireworks Festival. The best places to view them include the Clayton Bay Hotel, the Naval Defense Force Base, and anywhere along the bay.
Summer Festival – Later in August, Kure hosts an evening of entertainment at Chuo Koen to cool off during the hot days of summer.
There are three main shopping areas in Kure. The most modern is located between the JR Kure Station and Kure Port, centered around YouMe Town mall. A cross between a shopping mall and a mega-superstore, Youme Town offers a wide variety of household items, clothing, groceries, and media. It’s not always the cheapest, but it’s convenient for one-stop shopping. Since its opening in 2004, it has become the universal destination for consumers and loiterers alike. Next there is rengadori (brick road). Once the main shopping arcade of Kure, rengadori still contains some specialty shops and tons of bars and pachinko. The street runs through the middle of the city, and is easily recognizable by its red brick pedestrian-friendly road and retractable roof. Kureites affectionately call the area sha-ta-dori (shutter road). Third, and farthest from the city-center is the Hiro shotengai. More populous but also more domestic, Hiro shoutengai has many more shops, little grocers, and only a few pachinko parlors. The brick road begins at Hiro Kousaten and runs for about a kilometer until the shops turn into houses and apartments.
- Izumi (イズミ), 呉市市宝町５−１０、呉市中通３丁目４−１０, . The largest and probably most popular supermarket in Kure is Izumi, located inside Youme Town. Other Izumi stores are located on Renga Dori, in Kurahashi and in Yasuura.
- Crest (呉駅ビルクレスト), 呉市宝町1−16, Crest is also a larger, higher-end grocery located below Kure Station.
- Nice Murakami (ナイスムラカミ), 呉市本通４丁目８−６, 823-32-5556, For those living closer to City Hall, there are several smaller markets off of Renga Dori, as well as Nice Murakami, on Hondori.
- Fresta (フレスタ), 呉広白石１丁目５−１, . In Hiro there are many large grocery stores (including one at Nafco), but the nicest may be the Fresta, near Hiro Station. Another Fresta is located in Kegoya, near Ondo.
- Sangaku, Fujisan, On Kurahashi Island, the largest store is Sangaku, located near the Ondo Bridge. There is also a grocery chain called Fujisan, located in several areas of town. It’s recognizable by its flower symbol and usually only written in kanji “藤三”.
- Edion (エディオン), 呉市西中央４丁目１−４８、広中町1−18エディオン広店, For any electronic needs, Edion is it. The Kure location is five blocks from Kure Station, and the Hiro store is just east of Hiro Station. For larger purchases like digital cameras and personal computers, there are better Edion stores and Yamada Denki in Hiroshima City.
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Home & Garden stores
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While Kure might not have the most exciting nightlife, it has more than it's fare share of excellent restaurants. Whether it's world-class sushi you're looking for, or you have to get a taste of back home, Kure has it. Hiroshima mainstays like okonomiyaki and kaki (oysters) can be found in abundance, as well as stranger Kure specialties like reimen (cold ramen). For a truly Asian experience, head down to Kuramoto Dori where every evening the streets are lined with yatais – tent restaurants with cozy seating for five to ten. Each serves something different ranging from traditional Japanese fare (okonomiyaki, ramen, etc.) to even more traditional Japanese fare (oden, soba, etc). They stay open late, too, usually closing up and wheeling away around sunrise.
- Sushi Sen (すし鮮呉店), 〒737-0029 呉市宝町 ２−６２, (0823-32-3155), Behind Kure Station is Sushi Sen, an excellent Kaiten-zushi place. Dishes range in price from extremely cheap (¥180) to moderately expensive (¥500).
- Kurukuru (くるくる寿司広店), 〒737-0125 呉市広本町３丁目１−５, (0823-73-2555), Step inside another time, think “old school”, and try Kurukuru. The interior hasn’t changed in 50 years, but the people are nice and sushi is good and cheap.
- Daifuku (カルビ屋大福呉店), 〒737-0029 呉市宝町 ２−６２, (0823-32-7298), . Across the parking lot from Sushi Sen, there’s Daifuku. It’s a family-style yakiniku restaurant with great portions and delicious meat. Because it’s popular among families and large parties, the wait time could be a little long.
- Buchi (ホルモン焼肉ぶち), 〒737-0046 呉市中通4-1-25, Kure(0823-23-2929 Hiro(0823-75-2929), . For a uniquely western Japanese experience, Buchi offers both yakiniku and horumon – chewy, marinated beef or pork intestines.
- Boo Ramen (らーめんぶぅ 呉中通り店), 呉市中通４丁目８−４, (0823-22-6856), Boo Ramen is open late on the Renga Dori, and it attracts a good number of people into Kure City proper.
- Ryuu (細うどんりゆう), 〒737-0051呉市中央1丁目−9−12, (0823-24-6692), A few minutes from Kure Station, Ryuu has the best ramen and udon in the city. Try the special Kure-only thin udon – Ryuu’s specialty.
- Ryumen (RYU麺), 呉市中通4-3-18, (0823-25-2622), Another good place is Ryumen , on Renga Dori. Located on the second floor, this ramen shop is open late (usually around 4:00 am) and has an amazing curry ramen.
- Maru, (0823-71-3563), A cheap option in Hiro is Maru , located a block north of Shinhiro Station.
- Kei’s Country House (American Southwest), 中通2-7-1 レンガマンション2F, Kure-shi, Hiroshima, Japan 737-0046, (0823-21-8651), . Now under new ownership, the Kure tradition of Kei's lives on. Kei is a man who spent a great deal of time in the American Southwest and cooks accordingly, particularly beef tacos with hand-made flour tortillas. For those of you who are not American, it is just really good food. They also serve a mean plate of wings, hamburger steaks, and salads.
- Maya (Indian), 呉市中央4-3-7,呉市広古新開1-4-7, (0823-74-3079), . Real, spicy, delicious Indian cuisine, with a great chicken tikka masala and cheese naan. Great for groups of 6-8 to attend, Maya also caters for take-away and has fantastic lunch sets. The mango lassi is also recommended. The original location is across from City Hall on the 2nd floor of the building on the corner (0823-25-2229), but they have recently opened a location in Hiro.
- Bom (Brazilian), 呉市中央4-3-7, (0823-22-8933), Brazilian restaurant, intimate space but adequate for groups of 4-6. Authentic Brazilian dishes include good steak, pork and side dishes of rice, fries, and beans. Tasty, good-sized portions and inexpensive – highly recommended. Directly adjacent to Maya.
- Buonasera(Italian), 〒737-0046 呉市中通２−６, (0823-22-0365), The best Italian restaurant in Kure is run by a Japanese chef who has tried to bring real authentic Italian dishes to Kure. It’s a beautiful and intimate place, but reservations are required. Fresh ingredients, fantastic flavors and great wine makes this a truly pleasurable dining experience.
- Memphis Gang Cafe, 〒737-0046 広島県呉市中通２−６−１０, (0823-25-6199), . Memphis Gang specializes in a wide array of American style food. The owner is friendly and when he's not in the back cooking, he'll be chatting up new customers. Steaks, hamburgers, tacos, and everything in between is available, and sometimes there are live shows and parties.
- Casablanca “Yuri Hana” (Chinese), 〒737-0046 呉市中通4丁目−8−4, (0823-21-8506), On the north end of Renga Dori, this modest Chinese place is the closest Kure offers to real Chinese food – there’s a lot of Japanese-influenced places around, but this one’s actually run by Chinese folks. The ginger roast, fried rice, and Szechuan chicken are recommended.
- P'Z, 呉市本通5-10-5, （0823-32-3332）, Locally own and run, P'Z is the newest pizza delivery place in Kure. With prices competitive to Pizza Royal Hat, this mom and pop has all your favorites with a few innovative Japanese classics. Take-out is also available, and you receive a 20% discount when doing so.
- Pizza Royal Hat, 〒737-0051 広島県呉市中央６丁目１０−１, Kure(0823-21-8855)Hiro(0823-76-5488), . A popular pizza delivery chain is Royal Pizza Hat. Although some of the combos are funky, it is the closest thing to a steamy, hot pie being delivered to your home that you can find in Kure. Take-out is also available.
- California 101, 広島県呉市光町１−１１, (0823-21-6334), For those craving a more authentic slice should make the trip to California 101 Pizza. Located just off Route 31, it offers a few familiar combos along side the Japanese favorites. It’s great but expensive, and they don’t deliver. Take-out is OK, and they’re closed on Mondays.
- Pizza Nalipo, (0823-34-0062), Even more authentic, but challenging to find is Pizza Nalipo, located in Yakeyama. This small pizzeria is run by an Italian-trained chef who specializes in true Neapolitan brick-oven pizzas.
- CoCo's, 〒737-0051 呉中央２丁目５−２２, Kure(0823-32-2231) Hiro(0823-76-5611), Coco’s is located on Kuramoto Dori, and a lonely Coco’s is near Shinhiro Station. They serve standard western and Japanese food. It's cheap and offer unlimited trips to the drink bar.
- Jolly Pasta, 〒737-0051 呉中央２丁目５−２２, (0823-24-5761), Jolly Pasta is a reasonably priced Italian food restaurant with a wide variety of pasta dishes and cracker crust pizzas.
- Joyfull, 〒737-0051 呉市中央1−5−32, Kure(0823-32-1185) Hiro(0823-76-5018), . Joyful is probably the cheapest of your Family Restaurant options. Directly across from Kure station and open 24 hours, Joyful attracts a more colorful crowd later at night.
- Skylark Gusto, 〒737-0051 呉市中央7丁目3−18, (0823-32-7241), Gusto is located a few blocks north of Edion. Similarly to Coco’s, it has good and cheap diner food.
Kure has a number of fast food establishments and there are also numerous Honke Kamadoya bento stands in and around Kure that sell tasty bentos for cheap prices. Youme Town has a food court that includes Mister Donut, Starbucks, Baskin Robbins, Tullys, another MosBurger, and some Japanese fast food places with omurice, takoyaki, udon, etc.
- Lotteria, Lotteria is in Kure Station.
- KFC, KFC is located near Kure Station.
- MosBurger, MosBurger restaurants are on Kuramoto Dori (near the library) and in Hiro (on Route 375).
- McDonalds, McDonalds is located on Renga Dori
- Wara Wara (笑笑), 広島県呉市中通2-5-7 201 I・Dビル2階, (0823-22-1988), For a meal that you are going to pay for the atmosphere instead of the food, go to Wara Wara. It is located on one of the corners of Renga Dori.
- Hakkenden (八犬伝), 呉市中央６丁目１−１７, (0823-24-6232), One chain izakaya is Hakkenden. Be aware that on Friday and Saturday nights, typically most izakayas are serving a packed house.
- Café 8 (エイトカフェ), 〒737-0051呉市中央３丁目１１−２４, 823-25-3933, If you’re into skateboarding, bicycles, or pseudo-metal/punk California culture, there’s Café 8. The owner, Takashi, has a limited but diverse selection of imported beer, and for the price of a few drinks he’ll help you with hip Japanese while working on his English. Cafe 8's walls are decorated with a massive, psychedelic mural. His interpretation of fish tacos is wonderful. They’re not on the menu, but he’ll make them by request.
- Times Shot Bar (ショットバー タイムズ), 呉市中通4丁目12-3, 0823-21-4832, . For an upscale atmosphere to match the upscale drinks served, there’s Times. Located next to Golden Burns, the owner keeps unpredictable hours, although it’s usually open after 8:00 pm each night. You’ll find an amazing assortment of whiskey, liquor, and imported beers. Unfortunately with such an upscale selection, the prices match. Nevertheless, it’s a wonderful place to end an evening out while on a hot date.
- Jah Bar Live (ジャーリブ), 呉市中通4-2-10 ２Ｆ, 0823-36-7555, Owned and run by the Okinawa/Bob Marley-loving guy named Shun, Jah Live has a wide range of rum, whisky, cocktails and beers on tap. Food is also served and the portions are generous. He also pours a heavy drink. Occasionally, he has weekend events, too.
- Razz Bar (ナイトカフェラズ), 呉市中通4-3-19, 0823-25-7810, Located opposite Memories, Razz is more of a “chill out” kind of bar. Comfy sofas in a dimly lit and mellow atmosphere, Razz is the place to go for a cocktail, shochu and an intimate chat. The master Ryu is a nice guy and has an excellent command of English. Recommended.
- Luce Trattoria Bar (トラットリア バールルーチェ), 呉市広古新開9-9-9, 0823-36-2137, Relatively new and in a newly developed area of Hiro, this is a trendy bar that offers respite from the other suburban traps. Similar to Café 8, it offers a full bar and a hip, cozy atmosphere. Catering to a young crowd, they offer pasta specials and cake sets.
- Café Roxy (カフェロキシー), 呉市広本町1-13-4宮川ビル2F, 0823-36-6144, Up the stairs in a building near Hiro Kousaten, on the Shoutengai, there’s Café Roxy. The owner’s goal is to make a “street”, retro-New York vibe, with a great collection of hip-hop vinyl. They also support the local Kure music scene, so DJs will sometimes stop by.
Tiny bars and snack clubs usually sport the karaoke, but it’s not really foreigner-friendly crowd. Instead, large establishments catering exclusively to karaoke are the places to go. There, you rent a room and pay per person per hour. They usually will have a large English selection and offer over-priced drinks or food service.
- Billy The Kid (ビリー・ザ・キッド呉店), 〒737-0046呉市中通り４丁目１１－１７, 823-32-5555,
- MisKara (ミスカラ呉店), 呉市本通3-3-5, 0823-69-5566, .
- Memories (メモリズバー), 〒737-0046呉市中通４丁目２−７, 823-24-9295, Memories is a well-known snack bar throughout the foreign community. It has a well stocked bar and huge beer mugs for a reasonable price. The main novelty of this bar is free karaoke (even in English!), which is in contrast to its competitors. It can get a little cramped with big groups. Purchasing a drink is required – no loitering!
- Hiroshima Bank Kure Branch (広島銀行呉支店), 〒737-0045呉市本通3−5−4, 0823-21-5141, . Hiroshima Bank “Hirogin” has several large branches in Kure. The larger ones are located in front of Kure Station, on Hondori, inside City Hall, at Hiro Kousaten, and three blocks north of the Kure Board of Education. ATMs are everywhere, too – look for the blue, red, and yellow logo. The banks are open until 4:00 pm, although use of their ATMs continues until 7:00 pm. The JP Post Office offers ATMs for withdrawals from several accounts, including international ones. Most convenience stores will have ATMs open 24 hours a day. Unlike the Post Office, all other ATMs are only in Japanese.
- Kure Post Office (呉郵便局), 737-8799広島県呉市西中央〒2−1−1, 0823-21-8805, . If you wish to open a postal account, Kure’s main post office is located three blocks directly in front of Kure Station. There is also a small post office located near the Kure Taikukan and Tsubaki Kaikan/Board of Education. Hiro’s main branch is near Shinhiro Station. The desks are open until 6:00 pm (smaller branches until 4:00 pm), but the ATMs are available much later. You can also send money back to your home country or bank account by means of wire transfer (furikomi) which there will be a small fee charged. If you receive a package slip, simply take it to the closest main branch with your alien registration card to claim it, or call and schedule a re-delivery.
Kure has two large hospitals: the National Kure Hospital and Kure Kyosai Hospital. Each has a few English-speaking doctors, but they may possibly charge you extra money if you do not have a letter of approval from another doctor. These are usually for emergencies only, and clinics with various specialties are recommended.
- National Kure Hospital (国立病院機構 呉医療センター), 青山町3丁目1番, (0823-22-3111), .
- Kure Kyosai Hospital (呉共済病院), 西中央2丁目3番, (0823-22-2111), .
- Chugoku Rousai Hospital (中国労災病院), 広多賀谷1丁目5番, (0823-72-7171), The large hospital in Hiro is behind Shinhiro Station.
- Masaoka Clinic (正岡クリニック), 呉市本通り1丁目5番14号, (0823-21-1801), An alternative to the hospitals is the Masaoka Clinic which has an English-speaking doctor on staff and is located near the railway bridge on Hondori. It is closed on Sundays and Thursday afternoons.
- Tanaka Ladies Clinic (田中産婦人科クリニック), 呉市中央1丁目5番28号, (0823-22-1321), The Tanaka Ladies Clinic does not have any English speakers on staff; however they do prescribe oral contraceptives.
- Mochizuki Skin Clinic (もちづき皮ふ科アレルギー科), 呉市中央1丁目5番15号, (0823-32-2266), . Mochizuki is a dermatologist located just south of Coco's.
- Kimura Ganka (木村眼科・内科病院), 呉市中通2丁目3番28号, (0823-22-5544), Kimura Ganka is a local optician, but they don’t speak English.
- Kure Eki Mae Dental (呉駅前歯科・矯正歯科), 呉市四中央1丁目6番2号, (0823-26-7766), Located across from Kure Station, Kure Eki Mae Dental is a good dentist office with some English-speaking staff.
- Kure Orthopedics Sports Clinic (呉整形外科クリニック), 呉市宝町２－５０, (0823-32-6611), . For sports-related injuries and a rehabilitation clinic, Kure Orthopedics Sports Clinic is on the fourth floor of Recre. There is no English-speaking staff, but they are patient and understanding with some cooperation.
- Kure City Library (呉市立中央図書館), 〒737-0051 呉市中央３丁目１０−３, (823-21-3014), . The Kure City Library is located on Kuramoto Dori – the same road as Coco's and MosBurger. It obviously caters more to the Japanese reader, but there is a fairly large selection of English books. A library account can be started with proof of residence and a Japanese ID card. Please check for further details. There are also smaller libraries located at each local community center, but none carry English material.
- Base Hair (ベースヘア), 呉市東中央１丁目３－１８, 0823-26-5557, While they only speak Japanese, Base has an incredibly friendly staff.
- Air (エアー), 呉市三条３‐５‐９, [0823-22-9000]. Air offers a friendly atmosphere with a laid-back staff, and a few are working on their English.
- Niko Gym (呉市体育施設スポーツ会館), 〒737-0818 Kure, Nikocho, １−８, 0823-25-5722, []. Near the Kure Baseball Stadium is Kure Sports Kaikan, Niko Gym, which offers yearly memberships for approximately ¥23,000 or ¥7,300 for 90-days. The facilities are not too modern, but it’s cheap. Oak Arena’s Training Room (0823-74-0909) is relatively modern, and offers similar rates - ¥6,900 for three months. A gym on the top floor of the Tsubaki Kaikan (the Board of Education building) can be reserved for basketball, badminton, or other activities. Along with traditional gym formats, Kure offers a wide array of Martial Arts dojos and dance classes. Inquire at the front desk for further details.
- Kure City Gymnasium is located next to Chuo Koen and City Hall. It’s regularly used for school functions and weekend events, but it’s not usually open to the public. Oak Arena in Hiro is similar – a big gym, used for events – but it does also offer a training room.
- Niko Baseball Stadium - The baseball stadium regularly host games during the summer. The Hiroshima Carp also play at the stadium about once a season.
- Running Track - The running track is located near the baseball stadium. It’s free to use. 3 laps around is one kilometer.
- Pools - Niko Pool is located across from the baseball stadium. It’s only open in the summer – July to August. Open from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm, a day pass costs ¥200 per person. The Hiro Heated Pool is located near Shinhiro Station. Open year-round, it costs ¥500 per person.
- Tennis Courts - Tennis courts are located across from Niko Stadium and next to Shiratake Junior High School in Hiro. The Niko Courts (0823-22-1264) are open from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm, but call or stop by the office at Niko Gym to schedule a time to play. The Hiro Loan Courts (0823-72-1102) is a part of a private club, but they offer tennis lessons and reservations can be made if you join.
- Bowling - Located a block from the ferry port and next to Youme Town, Marine Bowl (0823-23-373) is on the third floor of the building with the giant bowling pin outside. 10 Point Bowling (0823-72-4511) is located in Hiro, off of Route 185 behind the family restaurant Gyujiro. Games usually cost around ¥500 per person, per game and an additional ¥300 for shoe rental.
- Touch Rugby - There is a Touch-Rugby team in Kure known as the Kure Ship-heads. It is a mix of Japanese and foreign people who live in the Kure area. Member's fees are ¥1000 per month. Tournaments, gear, and transportation are partially subsidized by team funds.
- Golf - If you take the bus to Yakeyama, there is a driving range and putting green, the Niko Gorge Golf Center. (0823-33-0088)
Kure International Exchange Square
- International Center (呉市役所 ビュー・ポートくれ国際交流広場), 呉市中通１丁目１−２, (0823-20-0623), The International Exchange Square is there to help with your transition to Japan. They offer foreign language classes and maintain a small library of videos, foreign books and magazines. They can help navigate through the bureaucracy to set up utilities, help connect you to various interests around the city, and generally be there for tender caring support. If you’re feeling adventurous, try volunteering for weekend one-on-one Japanese/English conversations with locals. It’s a fast way to learn about Japan, not to mention some Japanese. Throughout the year, they also host several cultural events. It’s easily found by its big green roof, and hours are 10:00 am to 8:00 pm excluding Mondays. Highly recommended for the first-year ALT.
Places of Worship
- Catholic Church (カトリック教会), 呉市和庄1丁目１－１５, (0823-21-5464), The Catholic Parish is located a few blocks behind F-Depot, in the Washo neighborhood. It has an English service at 12:00 noon on Sundays.
- Kure Revival Center (呉リバイバルセンター教会), 呉市中央5丁目1-26, (0823-21-8904), The Kure Revival Center Church is next to the 7-11 opposite the Kure Chuo Park.
There are several travel agencies in Kure. JTB is the largest and deals with both international and domestic travel. With several locations around the city, the two largest are opposite the post office and inside Youme Town. Most have English speakers on staff. Near Kure Station are two other agencies that typically deal with domestic travel. They do not have any English speaking abilities; however they do offer great domestic travel packages.
- JTB (JTB中国四国呉支店), 〒737-0051 呉市中央2-1-29 JTB中国新聞社共同ビル1F, (呉郵便局の向かい側), (0823-21-9311), . 10:00-18:00.