Hotarukan Tomiyashokudo

Hotarukan Tomiyashokudo, Minamikyushu: Hours, Address, Hotarukan Tomiyashokudo Reviews: 4/5

Hotarukan Tomiyashokudo
4
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
What people are saying
Andrew M
By Andrew M
Small but well laid out museum
Aug 2017
We were looking forward to visiting this museum, as we had seen a few statues of Tome Tonihama around Chiran, and were familiar with her story prior to visiting. Tome owned a restaurant in Chiran, which was approved by the army for officers use. Chiran was the main area that the Kamikaze flew from during world war 2. Of the 1,036 kamikaze attacks, almost half (439 pilots) came from Chiran. Many of these pilots were classified as "young boy" pilots, who had little experience or training in aviation. The pilots were allowed to have meals at the restaurant which Tome ran. She treated them as a mother would, and earned the nickname "mother of kamikaze" or "auntie kamikaze". As she was the last "motherly" contact that the boys had, before flying to their death, she was presented with many personal items by the pilots. Some of these items are on display at the museum. Hotaru means firefly in Japan, and the name of the museum is based on a pilot stating to Tome that he would come back after death and visit her as a firefly. A famous Japanese movie was made based on this "firefly" story. We took a bus from # 16 bus stop at the Kagoshima Chuo station to get to Chiran. The journey was approx. 1 hour. We decided to walk through town from the bus stop at the western end of town. The other main bus stop in town is at the samurai garden.Whilst walking through town, we saw a small statue of Tome and her husband. We walked to the statues and took a few photos, and were quite surprised when Tome's grandson walked up to us and introduced himself. We continued walking towards the main bridge in town. The Museum is on the same side of the road as the samurai garden, just before the main bridge.There are signboards outside (all in Japanese). The Museum is housed in an ancient looking wooden 2 story building. The entrance fee was 400 yen. There is a sign that no photos are allowed, but the cashier did not seem to mind that we took a few. Downstairs has exhibits of personal items that were given to Tome by the pilots. It also includes the pilots ages. All displays are in Japanese, so to get the most out of this museum, you will probably need a local to translate. We found upstairs to be most interesting, as there was a small video room where a film of Tome in her later years was shown. A display of the chair and cane that she used is seen near to the top of the staircase. Quite a few photos are on show here.On display also is the 6th order of merit presented to Tome by Japan's Emperor for her war service. This order was presented in 1977. Tome died at the age of 89 in 1992. When visiting the Chiran Peace Museum, there are quite a few photos of Tome, and a statue outside the museum. There is a small park , on the road to the left of the museum, with a great view of the river running through town. A memorial stone to Tome is in this park. The building behind the museum had quite a good display of authentic Japanese items, and we took quite a few photos. By walking across the bridge, through the park , you will be at the western entrance to the samurai gardens. If you follow the narrow path in front of the museum, there is a beautiful wooden buddhist temple. If you are interested in the story of the Kamikaze, this museum will be very interesting, although it only requires half an hour for a visit.

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4.0
59 reviews
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Andrew M
7,144 contributions
Small but well laid out museum
Aug 2017 • Family
We were looking forward to visiting this museum, as we had seen a few statues of Tome Tonihama around Chiran, and were familiar with her story prior to visiting. Tome owned a restaurant in Chiran, which was approved by the army for officers use. Chiran was the main area that the Kamikaze flew from during world war 2. Of the 1,036 kamikaze attacks, almost half (439 pilots) came from Chiran. Many of these pilots were classified as "young boy" pilots, who had little experience or training in aviation.

The pilots were allowed to have meals at the restaurant which Tome ran. She treated them as a mother would, and earned the nickname "mother of kamikaze" or "auntie kamikaze". As she was the last "motherly" contact that the boys had, before flying to their death, she was presented with many personal items by the pilots. Some of these items are on display at the museum. Hotaru means firefly in Japan, and the name of the museum is based on a pilot stating to Tome that he would come back after death and visit her as a firefly. A famous Japanese movie was made based on this "firefly" story.

We took a bus from # 16 bus stop at the Kagoshima Chuo station to get to Chiran. The journey was approx. 1 hour. We decided to walk through town from the bus stop at the western end of town. The other main bus stop in town is at the samurai garden.Whilst walking through town, we saw a small statue of Tome and her husband. We walked to the statues and took a few photos, and were quite surprised when Tome's grandson walked up to us and introduced himself.

We continued walking towards the main bridge in town. The Museum is on the same side of the road as the samurai garden, just before the main bridge.There are signboards outside (all in Japanese). The Museum is housed in an ancient looking wooden 2 story building. The entrance fee was 400 yen. There is a sign that no photos are allowed, but the cashier did not seem to mind that we took a few. Downstairs has exhibits of personal items that were given to Tome by the pilots. It also includes the pilots ages. All displays are in Japanese, so to get the most out of this museum, you will probably need a local to translate.

We found upstairs to be most interesting, as there was a small video room where a film of Tome in her later years was shown. A display of the chair and cane that she used is seen near to the top of the staircase. Quite a few photos are on show here.On display also is the 6th order of merit presented to Tome by Japan's Emperor for her war service. This order was presented in 1977. Tome died at the age of 89 in 1992. When visiting the Chiran Peace Museum, there are quite a few photos of Tome, and a statue outside the museum.

There is a small park , on the road to the left of the museum, with a great view of the river running through town. A memorial stone to Tome is in this park. The building behind the museum had quite a good display of authentic Japanese items, and we took quite a few photos. By walking across the bridge, through the park , you will be at the western entrance to the samurai gardens. If you follow the narrow path in front of the museum, there is a beautiful wooden buddhist temple. If you are interested in the story of the Kamikaze, this museum will be very interesting, although it only requires half an hour for a visit.
Written 3 October 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kimitaka S
Taichung, Taiwan10,882 contributions
House of movie "Hotaru"
Feb 2016 • Solo
Famous Ken Takakura's movie "Hotaru", Hotarukan is a small museum, which displays the objects concerning Kamikaze pilots. It is a good complement to Chiran Peace Museum.
Written 4 July 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

hfot2 🌸🍁🌸
Vermont6,470 contributions
The story of the returning firefly/kamikaze pilot originated here
Nov 2014 • Couples
We peeked in the bay window and photographed the exterior of this well restored wooden former restaurant, now memorial to the kamikaze pilots.

In the bay window are a few of the many memorabilia from the pilots who used to frequent here. According to the history of the place, the pilots often ate their last meal here before their final mission.

The movie, Firefly (Hotaru), has a character based on the actual owner of the restaurant, who treated her customers as if they were her sons.

Had we had more time in Chiran we would have stopped here to visit, but we did not.
Written 17 May 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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