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Akishio in Kure

Traffic

Yushio-class

All about that bass

Anchor's away

Prop

Mines

Minesweeping

Sacrifice

Knock on wood

Yes sir!!

Screen door on a submarine

Sub head

Cabins

Bunkbeds

Galley

Elbow room

Yellow on yellow

Aftward

Private cabins

Pipe down

Bridge

Drive and dials

Switches and knobs

Drive and dive

Eyes and mostly ears

Periscope up

Set condition red

Looking out to sea

Battleship Yamato

Huge

Stern

Bow

Guns

Zero

The harbor and more

The Akishio submarine sits high above the water, and is part of the larger JMSDF Kure Museum.

For the full story, check out "The Whale of Iron: Inside the JMSDF Akishio submarine and the Kure Maritime Museum."

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Unlike most museum submarines, this one is right next to the road.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The Akishiois Yūshio-class, all 10 of which were built in the late '70s/early '80s, and all are now out of active service.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Now that is a big sub woofer. Get it -- subwoofer? #audiopuns

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Just kidding -- it's a plug where the anchor usually sits.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

When I mentioned the following fact in another article, it proved surprisingly controversial to some commenters, but I'll repeat it here because it's true: Modern subs don't usually use propellers like this (too loud). Many modern subs use pump-jets instead.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

A few of the different mine types.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Some of the equipment used to clear those mines. That is not a real shark.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

These "oropesa" are towed behind minesweeping ships. This one clearly had a close encounter.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

So this is pretty fascinating, and rather logical in hindsight. Most minesweeping ships are made largely of wood. This makes them less likely to attract magnetic mines (obviously) and apparently wood is less vulnerable to explosions. Axes are another story.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Most of the subs I've been in have the torpedo room in the bow. The Akishio stacks it below the bridge!

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The challenge in converting subs to museums is where to enter. Health and safety agencies aren't big fans of ladders in public spaces, so most subs cut into the side or build ramps and stairs into the top.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Being a fairly modern sub (most public sub tours are WWII-era) the Akishio feels relatively spacious. "Relatively" being the key word.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The main hallway with cabins and berths. The ladder leads up to an exit hatch.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The Akishio had a complement of 75 men.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Not bad, but it can't beat the espresso machine on the Redoutable.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

For a submarine, this is a pretty big open space.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Not the color I would choose to stare at for months on end.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

A look back the other way, with a better look at the emergency breathing gear and the big-screen TV.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Like on most ships, the higher-ranking officers get their own cabins and comfy chairs.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Pipes and conduit lace the walls of every sub. The idea to is allow easier access for maintenance.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

This was a lucky two-second moment when there was no one on the bridge. Two periscopes and all the dials, knobs, and screens you could want. I didn't get a good photo of it, but to the right was a chart table.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The single electric motor created 7,200 PS (about 7,100 horsepower) and could push the Akishio through the water at about 20 knots.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

I hope there was a cheat sheet. The plastic-covered buttons on the lower left allowed the docent to "rig for red" and set off various alarms for the amusment of visitors.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

One driver controlled the direction, the other the depth.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Some of the various gear the sub needed to navigate and see who or what was in the area.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Through the periscope, that's the JS Samidare in the harbor.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

So they do actually "rig for red."

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Unfortunately, that's it for the Akishio. No engine room or other parts of the ship. Check out my tours of the HMS Alliance, Oberon-class Ovens,or the nuclear missile sub Redoutable for more.

Our tour in Kure isn't finished however...

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The adjacent Kure Maritime Museum is nicknamed the "Yamato Museum" for good reason: a 1/10th-scale model of the largest battleship ever built.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Even as a model, this thing is huge at 26.3m/86.3 feet long.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Twelve boilers, four turbines, four 6m/19.7-foot propellers for a maximum speed of 27 knots.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

It does not, as I understand it, fly in space.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The nine 46cm/18.1-inch guns were the largest ever put on a ship.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

This Type 62 Zero crashed in a lake after engine trouble, and was raised and restored in the late '70s.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Kure harbor. Note the odd shape to the dock. It's a 1:1 scale representation of the bow of the Yamato.

After this it was back across the skyways for the train back to Hiroshima.

For the full story, check out "The Whale of Iron: Inside the JMSDF Akishio submarine and the Kure Maritime Museum."

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
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