Zero Park, Shirahama, Japan - December 2000
I visited the Zero Park at Shirahama, Japan, which is about 3 hours south of Osaka by car.
The Park is owned by the Hotel Gyoen, but the hotel has recently gone out of business,
leaving the Zero Park on its own. So far, so good, but the future is uncertain.
This Park not only has a Zero in decent condition, but also has a tank, a 2-man submarine,
naval guns, and a large collection of Army small arms. It is one of the best collections
that I have ever seen of Japanese military hardware.
The Zero on display has seen better days; the corrosion is evident on the landing gear and
the gun barrels and the canopy glass is crazed from pollution. The color scheme seems a bit
unusual as well. However, the paint job is rather new and the aircraft is polished up; someone
has been cleaning it. The canopy over the Zero makes photography quite difficult on a bright
day. Go on an overcast day, if you can.
2-Man Submarine and Long Lance Torpedo
There were 2 submarines. The 1st had its hull on; the 2nd had its hull removed so you can see the interior.
Also, a Long Lance torpedo was displayed in front of the submarine. The sub could carry 2 of these torpedoes
on the outside of the hull.
There was a display of battleship shells. The shell on the far left is from the Yamato. Also, the 6th shell
from the left is from the Musashi that also had 18" guns.
There was a small Japanese tank that was quite interesting.
There were 2 flight suits in a small building. 2 Rockets were on a makeshift launcher behind the Zero.
There was a P1Y engine missing some parts and a bent propeller. And, lastly, a poster showing the displays
in the Zero Park.
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