Friday, February 16, 2018

Hamamatsu Air Park

Last Saturday I visited the Air Park with my friends.  I didn't really know where it was we were going or what we would be doing, but that was okay. I'm always happy to spend time with my friends and to learn more about Japan.  It turned out to be a giant museum run by the Japan Air Self Defense Force (like the military) and it was all free! It was much better than I imagined.  

Outside there are some planes and a playground for children before entering the building.

Once inside, we followed the usual route through three floors of interesting displays.

We could see inside many of the planes.

The Blue Impulse is an aerobatic demonstration team and part of the Japanese Air Self Defense Force.  In addition to the display, we also saw a 15 minute movie in the dome theater about the Blue Impulse.

This equipment display was very interesting.  I'd like to see the sizes of the American equivalent of these items.  The Japanese version look very small.

We saw many types of planes and weapons.

I really liked the uniform displays. I wonder what the ratio is between men and women in the self-defense force.  There are many women featured in the displays.

We were able to get tickets for later in the day to try out the flight simulator.  After watching these people, I was sure I wanted to try it!

While waiting for our turn to try the simulator, we took a break in the cafe.  You can choose what you want from the sign and buy a ticket from the machine.  You give the ticket to the person at the counter.  My friends ordered the cake and drink set, but I chose the ice cream.  It's hard to tell in the photo, but the bottom of the ice cream dessert dish is filled with corn flakes!


Back to the simulator.  I was able to fly twice because only two of my three friends wanted to do it. The first time we did the intermediate course (green in the photo below), the second time the advanced course (pink).  It was very fun even though I crashed many times.  The staff give you a briefing and the controls are numbered so you know what order to use them.  The voice directions in the plane were in Japanese, so I wasn't sure when to use them.

Our non-flying friend took these photos of us.

There is also an area where you can try out uniforms, but we didn't.

We had a great time together at the Air Park!


Anonymous said...

Hi Pamela boy what a lot of fun and how good that you got to go on the simulator 3 times,i would've loved that,thankyou for sharing this place with us my friend it looks very interesting xx

kiwikid said...

Very interesting looking place, the flight simulator sounds like a great thing to do, hard not having English instructions though.

Queeniepatch said...

What a museum! I have been to a similar one in Sweden, but SO much smaller in scale and variety.

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Oh this is a great post. You wonder some good questions. The USA Hummers are made in my town. When I worked, our factory made parts for Boeing. My nephew is an engineer for Boeing. The military is of interest right now with our crazy president provoking unrest in your part of the world.
xx, Carol

Vireya said...

The flight simulator sounds like fun! As my father was in the air force I spent a lot of time around planes and air shows as I was growing up, but I've never had a go in a simulator.

FlashinScissors said...

Great post Pamela! Glad you enjoyed the simulator. My husband would enjoy that, but I don’t have a head for heights unfortunately!
Looked like an amazing day out!
Barbara xx

Leonore Winterer said...

That really does look cool - and for free too! I bet the Blue Impulse movie was very impressive.
I would think the airforce should be a branch of the military with relatively many women...a small frame is an advantage for once if you want to fit into a cockpit!