The Kobe Maritime Museum building is well-known, with its big white framework roof.
And the Kawasaki Heavy Industries Group’s corporation museum is inside of this space of 2,000 square meters.
This museum is called “Kawasaki Good Times World.”
You can learn about Kawasaki’s history of more than 120 years, which began in Kobe, and also you can experience the strength of Japanese manufacturing and see the newest technology with displays of mainly land, sea, and air vehicles.
Kawasaki’s line-up of motorcycles is incredible!
Kawasaki motorcycles are the most famous products made by the Kawasaki Group, sold for consumers like us.
The “Z1,” which first went on the market in1972, had the largest displacement for any Japanese motorcycle at that time, and this made Kawasaki’s name widely known to the world.
Many of famous motorcycles are displayed in the gallery, such as the“GPZ900R” a.k.a. “Ninja,” which was a big success in North America, the “NinjaH2,” which is theKawasaki Group’s new flagship model, and so on.
*The displayed models might change over time.
You can sit on some of the motorcycles and take pictures!
You can experience the circuit racing on “RidEX,” which is very popular among the visitors.
Anybody whose height is over 140cm can try this riding simulator, even if you’ve never ridden a motorcycle before.
There is no need for any complicated operations, just lean your body right or left to try to catch the professional rider in front of you.
Lean your body as deep as you can, as the motorcycle can be tilted to only 9 degrees from horizontal!
The video and sound are very realistic, and you can enjoy this simulation of being on the circuit.
Actually, I found myself sweating after reaching the finish line.
You can touch an actual Shinkansen, and drive the model railway trains.
You will find an actual lead carriage of the 0 Series Shinkansen in “The Land Zone.”
Youcan go into the cabin and even sit in the driver’s seat of this Shinkansen.
The railroad diorama in which you can drive the model trains is also very popular.
This model train has a camera, so you can see the images from the train as it is running through the town.
There is a theater called “The Sea Zone,” and you can see a video which shows you the launching ceremony of a ship and the process of manufacturing air planes.
You can also enjoy the water bike game!
Many former workers of the Kawasaki Group work in the museum as volunteers to show you various things such as product trivia, how to play the games, and so on.
So, please feel free to talk to them!
You can even ride on a tandem helicopter…!
This actual helicopter is displayed in “The Air Zone.”
You can go inside the cabin of the helicopter and see the cockpit and the instrument panel.
You will be surprised at how big the rotor blades are: so big and the entire set of blades cannot fit into the building.
It is a rare experience to be able to see and touch actual vehicles which you cannot usually get close to.
You might feel an affinity for the products created by Kawasaki Group after exploring this museum.
Kids will be so curious and excited to see the techniques and the works by engineers who are always trying to make high quality products!
So, I recommend that you to visit Kawasaki Good Times World if you come to “Meriken Park.”
This will be a memorable experience.
Kawasaki Good Times World
Address／2-2, Hatoba-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe-shi, Hyogo (Kobe Maritime Museum)
Nearest Stations／Minato-motomachi Station on the Kobe City Subway Kaigan Line, Motomachi Station on JR and Hanshin Lines, Hanakuma Station on the Hankyu/Kobe Kousoku Lines
Parking lot／Please use the coin-operated parking around, such as municipal paid parking lot.
Open／10:00-17:00 (Last Admission: 16:30)
Closed／Mondays (Closed on Tuesday when the Monday is a national holiday) and December 29th to January 3rd
Photographs and text by Madoka Hori
Madoka Hori / Photo-writer Entrepreneurial translator/writer living in Hyogo. As a licensed English tour guide, she occasionally takes tourists to beautiful destinations such as Kobe, Himeji, Okayama, Kyoto, and Osaka and her clients have never got lost so far. On Setouchi Finder, as one of the original team members, she enjoys taking photos and sharing her favorite hidden gems. Private Photo Blog http://riderv328.tumblr.com Twitter https://twitter.com/Riderv328
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