Yokosuka is one of four Japan Heritage Naval Port cities. Even though I have visited several times, my recent two-day tour really opened my eyes.
Just 19 minutes south of Kamakura via the Yokosuka line is a historical haven.
One fine example is the Mikasa Battleship, listed as one of the world's three Great Memorial Ships. Built in England and commissioned in 1902 the Mikasa was used defensively to defeat the Russian Baltic fleet during the Japanese-Russo War. With the bow facing towards the Imperial Palace in honor of the Emperor, this well presented museum is filled with excellent presentations about the ship's history. There are videos, touch screens, and VR spots throughout the ship. Captain Kouta-san, a retired JMSDF officer gave us a history lesson that will not soon be forgotten. If he is the English-speaking guide, make sure to take the full 60-minute tour, you will not be disappointed.
Another fascinating Yokosuka attraction is Sarushima (Monkey) Island. Take the 20-minute boat ride and enjoy hiking around the historical ruins of this military fort. Read each of the markers, as the current English brochure does not adequately explain the interesting past of this uninhabited island. The hidden pathways and tunnels were to keep enemy ships from seeing the island's military activity. Make sure you read the full story of how it became known as Monkey Island back in 1253.
If you have an interest in seeing U.S Navy and Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force ships, take the Yokosuka Naval Port Cruise. Make sure to pick up the English brochure as the cruise guide presentation is in Japanese only, but is still worth the ride.
Back on land, walk over to the Verny Museum which commemorates Frenchman François Léonce Verny's contribution to the industrialization of Japan, including making Yokosuka Japan's first major shipyard. The adjacent park is filled with beautiful roses and monuments from Verny’s time in Japan.
Just a few blocks from the Main Gate of the Naval Base is Dobuita Street, filled with restaurants, bars, and all kinds of shops.
If you like flowers, then take a bus to the Yokosuka Iris Garden, a place I visit every June to see the thousands of Iris and a great display of Hydrangea. Also in the suburbs is Kinugasa Yama Park with over 2000 cherry trees (listed as one of the top 100 Cherry Tree viewing sites in Japan), Kinugasa castle ruins, hiking courses to Mt. Ogusuyama, Kurihama Hana-no-Kuni Flower World (famous for its Poppy garden), and Soleil Hill Park with magnificent views of Miura Peninsula, plus a large children’s park with animals, birds and various rides.
As you can see, there is much more to Yokosuka, so come on down for a day or two.
There are two lines you can take to Yokosuka The Keiyu line to Yokosuka-chuo Station and the Yokosuka Line to Yokosuka Station. There is information at both stations. However, I recommend you go to the tourist information center just three minutes walk from Yokosuka-chuo station.
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Born in the U.S.A. - Worked 30 years in executive management high tech Industry, owned a management consulting firm and a wildlife art publishing company. In 2012 completed the Ultimate Travel Writer’s course and published my first article Tower Hopping in Japan with Travel Post Monthly. Since then I have published travel related articles and books in the U.S., Japan, and Costa Rica. As of 2018 I have traveled all 8 regions in Japan. My objective in writing articles is to expose prospective tourists to areas of Japan outside the Tokyo - Kyoto corridor. I enjoy writing about the outdoors, festivals, crafts, museums, local food, history, and the wonderful people I have met along the way. Residing in Yokohama for over five years, I have explored the entire city by foot and have written about my experiences. There is so much to see in Japan.