Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Jan 2023: Day 4 – Visit to Pearl Harbor
The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service , just before 8am on Sunday 7th December 1941. The United States was a neutral country at the time; the attack led to its formal entry into WWII the next day. It was a truly defining moment in the context of the outcome of WWII. Link to the wikipedia page for more info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attack_on_Pearl_Harbor.
The Pearl Harbor Visitors’ Centre provides a focus for people to show their respects to those that lost their lives and to explain what happened. It’s open from 7am and other than a limited number of bank holidays, it is open all-year round. I was certainly looking forward to my second visit to Pearl Harbor.
There were very few people around when I arrived, so I picked up my deluxe audio tour smartphone, earbuds, map and started my tour.
Once you are through the turnstiles, there are a number of small well-covered kiosks/shop-fronts. One of these is where you can pick up audio guides. There’s also one where you can book tickets and the like as well.
I’ve taken a photo of the map for reference. It was really useful, although as with all fold-out paper maps, it can be a bit of a pain having to fold it up, put it in your pocket, then take it out again and unfold it. Then repeat…
The early points of interest on the audio guide tour focus on the exhibitions, prior to visiting the Arizona Memorial. Note: it’s worth being aware that there are points of interest in the audio guide which specifically refer to the Arizona Memorial, but you need to book tickets for the Arizona Memorial separately.
The Boat to the Arizona Memorial
I had wondered about trying to get an early boat and there was actually a stand-by queue, so after spending about 10 mins on the audio tour, I hot-footed it to the front of the stand-by queue and managed to sneak into the first boatload of tourists heading to the Arizona Memorial.
Although we have been to Pearl Harbor before and experienced the Arizona Memorial, it just felt amazing coming back and taking it all in again.
The boat takes about 6 or 7 mins to reach the Arizona Memorial and there were no spare seats on board!
The boat load of tourists I was with, were very respectful. I remember we had some challenges with some passengers the last time we were here.
It’s an amazing place to come and visit. The oil slick creates some amazing colours and patterns on the surface of the sea makes a very dramatic image.
The Rest of the Deluxe Audio Tour
Once I was back at the Visitors’ Centre, I finished off the audio guided tour (courtesy of Jamie Lee Curtis) and I had a general wander around.
The maps that show you what Pearl Harbor was like back in the day were really powerful in telling the story of what happened that day.
The Bowfin submarine is an additional exhibit on the same site, but you have to pay over $20 to walk around the submarine. Vick and I did that last time and I didn’t see any need to do that aspect again. Stark contrast between needing to pay to access the Bowfin and the Arizona Memorial/rest of the Pearl Harbor visitors’ centre being effectively free.
The weather stayed dry whilst I was there, so I consider myself very lucky.
I ordered an Uber to take me back to Waikiki and on the drive back I reflected on the decision to visit Pearl Harbor again. It was a great way to spend some time and to show respect to those that lost their lives.
Follow the whole story here: Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Jan 2023