The nearest airport is Hiroshima Airport, which is less than an hour away by car along the Higashihiroshima-Kure Expressway.
Hiroden Bus runs nine buses a day between Kure and the airport, which take one hour from Kure station (45 minutes from Aki-Aga station) and cost ¥1340 (¥2300 return, valid for seven days).
Most passengers coming to Kure by rail come through Hiroshima, from where there are three Kure Line trains per hour during the day. Two of these are rapid services, taking 35 minutes, while the other is local, taking 45 minutes. Either type costs ¥500.
Taking the Kure Line from Mihara to the east takes 1 hour 45 minutes and costs ¥1140. Usually a change is required at Hiro. Going via Kaitaichi is up to 10 minutes faster, but costs an extra ¥350.
The Kure Line is valid with the Japan Rail Pass, but JR West offer regional passes as a cheaper alternative to Temporary Visitors with foreign passports:
- The Hiroshima-Yamaguchi Pass covers much of the JR network around Hiroshima (as far as Miyoshi and Onomichi), as well as all JR stations in Yamaguchi prefecture. It can also be used for the non-reserved seats of all San'yō Shinkansen trains (including Nozomi and Mizuho trains) between Mihara and Hakata, the JR Miyajima Ferry, and some local services run by Chūgoku JR Bus (including services from Kure and Hiro stations to Saijō). It lasts five days and costs ¥11,000 (¥12,000 if bought in Japan).
- The Okayama-Hiroshima-Yamaguchi Pass extends the valid area to Tsuyama and Takamatsu. It can be used on all Shinkansen trains between Okayama and Hakata. It lasts five days and costs ¥13,500 (¥14,500 if bought in Japan).
- The San'yō-San'in Pass extends the valid area still further to cover the Urban Network area of Kansai (as far as Tsuruga and Wakayama), much of the San'in region, and both reserved and non-reserved seats of the Shinkansen between Shin-Osaka and Hakata. It lasts 7 days and costs ¥19,000 (¥20,000 if bought in Japan).
- The Kansai-Hiroshima Pass covers the area between Kansai and Hiroshima (including areas of Kansai not included in the San'yō-San'in Pass, such as Shingū and Toyooka), but its western limit is at Iwakuni. It can be used for non-reserved seats of all Shinkansen trains between Shin-Osaka and Hiroshima. It lasts five days and costs ¥13,500 (¥14,500 if bought in Japan).
The Kurea Line (operated by Hiroden Bus and Chūgoku JR Bus) runs very frequently (over 40 buses a day) from central Hiroshima (primarily the Bus Center), taking 40 minutes and costing ¥720 (between Hiroshima Bus Center and Kure Station). It does not serve Hiroshima Station; for there, you will have to get off at Minami-kuyakusho-mae and change there for a tram.
Another option is San'yō Bus's Kamagari-Toyohama-Yutaka Line, which runs from both the Bus Center and Hiroshima Station South Exit to some islands which lie in the Seto Inland Sea east of central Kure. This takes 50 minutes and costs ¥720 to Kure Station, but runs only four times a day.
For Fukuyama and Mihara, consider taking the bus to Hiroshima Airport (mentioned above) and changing there.
Long-distance overnight buses are rare, partly because Kure is so close to Hiroshima. Chūgoku JR Bus runs the Kure-Dream-Osaka-gō as a seasonal service. It also runs (jointly with Odakyū City Bus) the New Breeze, which usually runs between Tokyo and Hiroshima but serves Kure in peak periods.
Kure Central pier is next to the Yamato Museum, and 10 minutes walk from Kure Station.
The ferry service run by Seto Naikai Kisen and Ishizaki Kisen is the best way to reach Kure from Matsuyama (and by extension much of Western Shikoku). You can choose between the Superjet (6 services a day, taking just under an hour and costing ¥5550) and the Cruise Ferry (9 services a day, taking just under two hours and costing ¥2670). In Matsuyama, you will have to take a bus or walk 10 minutes from Takahama station on the Iyotetsu Takahama Line to reach the ferry terminal.
It is also possible to take these ferries to Hiroshima Port; the Superjet takes 25 minutes and costs ¥2100, while the Cruise Ferry takes 45 minutes and costs ¥930. Remember that you will have to change to a tram at the port to reach central Hiroshima.
- Maritime museums
Kure has been one of the main bases for the Japanese Navy, and continues to host much of the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF). In recognition of this history, the city boasts two large naval museums, which are located across the road from one another and a short walk along a covered pathway from Kure's railway station.
- 1 JMSDF Kure Museum (海上自衛隊呉史料館（てつのくじら館）), 5-32 Takaramachi, Kure, Hiroshima prefecture (5 minutes walk from JR Kure Station). W-M 09:00-17:00. The museum introduces the history of JMSDF, and the historical relationship between the city of Kure and JMSDF through exhibition of historical materials concerning “development and current status of submarines” and “military history and operations of minesweepers”. The former JMSDF submarine Akishio is on display outside the museum. Admission free.
- 2 Kure Maritime Museum (Yamato Museum) (呉市海事歴史科学館（大和ミュージアム）), 5-20 Takaramachi, Kure, Hiroshima prefecture (5 minutes walk from JR Kure Station), ☏ , fax: . W-M 09:00-18:00. This museum is focused on the history of the World War II-era 'super battleship' Yamato, and includes a huge one-tenth scale model of the ship. It also has displays on the history of the Imperial Japanese Navy, most of which have English translations. A viewing gallery on the upper stories of the museum provides a good view of the warships docked at the nearby JMSDF base. Adults ¥500, high school students ¥300, elementary and junior high students ¥200.