Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Kobe trip: Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution (Earthquake Museum)

Kobe Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution Earthquake Museum
There has been more rainy than sunny days so visiting a museum at this time is the best. Having experienced the 311 Tohoku earthquake back in 2011, I was interested to know more about the Great Hanshin Earthquake and how it affected Japan.

First, you collect a Welcome coupon booklet from any tourist office in Kobe. They are usually located at the major stations.

It will allow you to enter for 480yen instead of 600yen... and I forgot to use it!!!

The facility seems to be newly built and there were only a few visitors there. There was a screening at a theatre first with video and flashlights to immerse visitors into what happened on that faithful morning in 1995. The purpose is to let you know what happened and to experience what the people had gone through.

Kobe Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution Earthquake Museum diorama
There were detailed diorama to show what happened after the earthquake.

Kobe Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution Earthquake Museum diorama
Everything is detailed right down to the PET bottles and snacks!

Kobe Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution Earthquake Museum
There were a lot of information and interviews in video format. There were many labels in English too.

Kobe Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution Earthquake Museum diorama
More diorama!

kobe great hanshin earthquake diorama

kobe great hanshin earthquake diorama

kobe great hanshin earthquake diorama

kobe great hanshin earthquake diorama
At this point I was awed at both how accurate they depicted the scenes and the artistic skill behind it. The artist is a genius!

Kobe Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution Earthquake Museum
There were photo collages and exhibits arranged in chronological order.

Kobe Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution Earthquake Museum

japan plate tectonics earthquake map
In another hall were exhibits of earth plate tectonics and how Japan is divided between 4 of them.

Kobe Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution Earthquake Museum
There was even a stimulation classroom where you get to learn from small models.

Kobe Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution Earthquake Museum
Such as this where the staff will turn the lever to make the steel floor vibrate left and right to stimulate earthquake and show how different steel structures affects the stability of the buildings.

Kobe Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution Earthquake Museum
This is a stimulation for liquefaction that commonly occurs on reclaimed land. When earthquake occurs, soil molecules become evenly distributed like in a mixture and sink down when the earthquake stops, causing underground water that is usually undisturbed below to surface and sink the buildings. The solution is to build steel piles as foundation which sinks into the ground as deep as 2km!

The other building is about water disasters that happen globally as well as how to reduce the destruction. I personally find the message not very clear in this area and probably designed more towards kids with these animal decorations.

We unexpectedly spent a very fulfilling 3 hours there, it was a very educational trip and I learnt a lot about earthquakes now and how Japanese recovered so fast. I was very impressed.

Kobe Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution Earthquake Museum
The building light up at night was very beautiful too, but they are already closed!

Getting there: Buses don't run very often and you either have to wait right outside the museum or at the opposite side. Alternately you can walk 10min from either Iwaya or Kasuganomichi station.

Official Website: http://www.dri.ne.jp/english/index.html

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, we also had the same ??? feeling about the water disasters section, particularly the owl bit.

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