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Military enthusiasts love JGSDF Public Information Center

The JGSDF Public Information Center is an excellent place if you are a military enthusiast.  You can see the latest and not-so-latest Japanese tanks, helicopters and guns.   Don’t forget your camera if you go! If you are like me, you’ll love it.

Type 16 Maneuver Combat Vehicle at JGSDF Public Information Center indoor display
Type 16 Maneuver Combat Vehicle.

What is the purpose of the JGSDF Public Information Center?

It is to inform people about the activities of the Japanese Ground Self-Defence Forces.  You can learn what they do, how, and where they do it at the center.  That’s why it has so many military hardware exhibits.

Japan Self-Defense Force Type 10 tank
Type 10 tank.

Please remember it is not a military museum.  So you won’t find anything about World War Two unless it is about bomb disposal.  Everything is about the JGSDF since its creation in 1954.  

What is on display at the JGSDF Public Information Center?

In the main building is:

  • Bell AH-1 Cobra helicopter
  • Type 16 Maneuver Combat Vehicle
  • Type 91 man-portable surface-to-air missile
  • Light infantry weapons
  • Motorbike
  • gas masks
  • military rations
  • one-ton US bomb from World War II (the JGSDF still does bomb disposal)

For those who enjoy GI Joe, you can even don a uniform for the duration of your stay.

Japan Self-Defense Forces Type 74 tank
Type 74 tank.

Outside are the rest of the “big” displays. Some of Japan’s modern military equipment includes:

  • Type 10, 74 and 90 tanks
  • Type 89 armored combat vehicle
  • Type 87 self-propelled anti-aircraft gun
  • Type 94 beach-minelayer
  • Type 74 and 75 self-propelled guns
  • Middle-range Multi-purpose missile system
  • Bell Huey transport helicopter
  • drone

They are outstanding and in excellent condition. I doubt you could find anything wrong with them. They might well be in running order.

JGSDF Public Information Center AH-1S anti-tank Cobra Helicopter on display pad
AH-1S anti-tank Cobra Helicopter.

Inside is fun because there are some simulators! You can drive a tank or fly a helicopter and blow up some targets. The simulators are nothing fancy, but they give you a basic idea of what it is like to operate the real thing. They aren’t that realistic, though and games on an X-Box or Playstation at home are probably more fun for kids.

Japan Self-Defense Forces Type 90 tank

And what public relations center wouldn’t be complete without a movie theatre?  It is in 3D but entirely in Japanese.  There is also a gift shop with models, clothes and rations on sale. 

Japanese Type 75 self-propelled gun
Type 75 self-propelled gun.

Where is the JGSDF Public Information Center?

It is a long walk from Wakoshi station in Saitama prefecture, next to Tokyo.  The following train and subway lines go there:

  1. Tobu-Tojo
  2. Fukutoshin
  3. Yurakucho 

From the station, it is about an easy twenty-minute walk.  It is all flat, with no hills.  Here is a Google map:

Opening days

Closed on Mondays, Tuesdays and New Year period 

Display hours:

  • 10:00 to 11:30
  • 1:30 to 2:50
  • 3:20 to 4:40

You must also book your visit through the website (click here).  Unfortunately, that is only in Japanese.

Admission costs


JGSDF Public Information Center armoured vehicle display area

Other photo spots near the JGSDF Public Information Center

I haven’t found anything near it.  You’ll need to jump back on the train to find something interesting.

Other military-related articles:

Wrapping up

The JGSDF Public Information Center is the perfect place if you are into military stuff.  It is not a museum, and it’s not about World War 2, as Japan’s Self-Defence Forces were created in the 1950s.  The exhibits are excellent, and it is easy to photograph them.

Type 87 Self-propelled Anti-aircraft Gun

If anything is lacking about the Information Centre, it’s that it isn’t very big. In my opinion, the displays are all top-notch, but there is very little chance of spending the whole day there. 

Type 89 Armoured Fighting Vehicle turret
Type 89 Armoured Fighting Vehicle turret.

The other thing is that it is a twenty-minute walk from the station, which might be far for some people. And lastly, it is in Saitama prefecture, nothing wrong with that.  But there is little else to see in the surrounding area.

Bonus Tip

There is a smartphone app you can download at the center. It has a map, photos and information about all the exhibits. The available languages are Japanese and English.

Please leave questions and comments below.

2 thoughts on “Military enthusiasts love JGSDF Public Information Center”

  1. Pingback: Museum of War - IJN Battleship Mikasa - Tokyo in Pics

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