JGSDF Public Information Center is a Military Dream

Japan Self-Defense Forces Type 90 tank
Japan's newest MBT, theType 90.

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.

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.

Please remember it is not a military museum. So you won’t find anything about World War Two. Well, there are displays about bomb disposal from that period. Everything is about the JGSDF since its creation in 1954.

JGSDF Public Information Center AH-1S anti-tank Cobra Helicopter on display pad
Inside the main building is this AH-1S anti-tank Cobra helicopter.

What can you photograph at 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.
Type 87 Self-propelled Anti-aircraft Gun
A Type 87 self-propelled anti-aircraft gun.

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

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

They are outstanding and in excellent condition. There is even an underground command bunker, which is worth a quick look.

Inside is fun because there are some simulators! You can drive a tank, fly a helicopter and blow up some targets. They 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.

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.

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

Other photo spots near the JGSDF Public Information Center

I haven’t found anything yet.

Where is the JGSDF Public Information Center?

It’s a little far as it is in Saitama Prefecture, next to Tokyo.

Address: 4-6 Sakaecho, Asaka, Saitama

Here it is on a Google map: 

Closest train station:

Wakoshi, which is served by:

  • Tōbu Tōjō Line
  • Yūrakuchō Line
  • Fukutoshin Line

Opening hours

  • 9:45 am to 11:45 am and 1:15 pm to 4:45 pm
  • Closed Monday and Tuesday

Photo spots near the JGSDF Public Information Center

I haven’t found anything yet.


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. Its modern exhibits are excellent, and it is easy to photograph them.

If the Information Centre lacks anything, 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.

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. There is nothing wrong with that. But there is little else to see in the surrounding area.

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

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.

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

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