Enoshima in Kanagawa Prefecture has been a staple spot for tourists visiting Japan for quite some time now. This article, however, will feature a different area located relatively close by: Yokosuka. Yokosuka is still relatively unknown, but it’s a must-visit for those who like to explore!
- What kind of place is Yokosuka?
- Sarushima – The Only Uninhabited Island in Tokyo Bay
- Exploring Dobuita Shopping Street
- The Mystical Energy of Nishi-Kano Shrine & Higashi-Kano Shrine
- The Azure Sea Under Kannonzaki Park (Kannonzaki Lighthouse)
What kind of place is Yokosuka?
Yokosuka has been a prosperous port for the Japanese Navy for a long time, and now it serves as the base for the US Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. With ships constantly coming and going from the port, this is a very exciting area where the streets are buzzing with sailors. Yokosuka is located around 1 hour away by train from Enoshima via the Enoshima Electric Railway and JR Yokosuka lines. Don't miss the opportunity to stretch your visit to Yokosuka when you visit Enoshima!
Sarushima – The Only Uninhabited Island in Tokyo Bay
Despite being the only uninhabited island on Tokyo Bay, Sarushima is actually the largest natural island in the bay as well. It offers a wide array of options to enjoy a nice day, whether you feel like swimming, fishing, or having a BBQ. The island – a stronghold for the Japanese navy back in the days – has a rich green environment and holds the ruins of many old naval facilities, including a former artillery battery, making this a great place to explore. Sarushima is a 10-minute ferry ride from Mikasa Pier, located 15 minutes by foot from Yokosuka-chuo Station (Keikyu Railway). Adjacent to the pier you’ll find Mikasa Park, the resting place for the warship Mikasa, the flagship for the Japanese Navy during the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905). Don’t miss the chance to take a walk around this historical area!
Ferry fare to Sarushima (round-trip): 1,300 JPY for adults, 650 JPY for elementary school students, free of charge for children under school age (1 per adult)
Sarushima Park entrance fee: 200 JPY for 15 years old and older (excluding junior high students), 100 JPY for elementary and junior high students
Exploring Dobuita Shopping Street
Dobuita Shopping Street – as it’s commonly known – refers to the area stretching from Shiori Station (Keikyu Main Line) all the way to the US Navy Base. The presence of jazz bars, military shops, and signs written in English everywhere you look makes you wonder whether you left Japan and arrived in the United States.
This area has a souvenir you should definitely try and get when you come here: "sukajan," a full back embroidered baseball jacket that is the trademark of Yokosuka's fashion. Its origins are said to trace back to when American soldiers stationed at Yokosuka Base started having their jackets embroidered with Japanese designs and their battalion’s emblem. The jackets’ minute details and cool designs continue to amaze people to this day!
The Mystical Energy of Nishi-Kano Shrine & Higashi-Kano Shrine
Two shrines with the same name face each other across Uraga Harbor: Higashi-Kano Shrine on the east side and Nishi-Kano Shrine on the west side. You can visit these romantic "power spots” (places believed to have mystical energy) by crossing the harbor aboard a boat connecting the shrines, in a service called Uraga no Watashi (Uraga’s Crossing). The connection between the shrines also stretches to their paired “omamori” (lucky charms). To get one first you'll need to go to Nishi-Kano Shrine to collect an ornamental stone made of crystal or agate called “magatama” (500 JPY). Then you head to Higashi-Kano Shrine to collect the omamori case (500 JPY) and insert the stone inside. It’s said that if you keep this charm with you, you'll find your other half and have good fortune in love matters.
Boat fare: 200 JPY for adults, 100 JPY for elementary and junior high students
The Azure Sea Under Kannonzaki Park (Kannonzaki Lighthouse)
Kannozaki Park is a prefectural park that covers almost the entirety of Tokyo Bay’s Kannon Cape. You can enjoy this park in many different ways, be it watching the ships crossing the beautiful azure sea or hiking in the laurel forest. However, there's one thing that you should definitely not miss: the Kannonzaki Lighthouse, one of the symbols of this area. The first Western-style lighthouse ever built in Japan was erected here in 1868, and now, in its 3rd generation, it continues to offer safe passage to all ships crossing the Uraga Channel.
Lighthouse entrance fee: 200 JPY for adults, free of charge for elementary school students accompanied by parents
Getting in Touch with Nature at the Yokosuka Museum of Art
Yokosuka Museum of Art is located on the premises of Kannonzaki Park. Home to a permanent collection of Japanese contemporary paintings by artists with connections to Yokosuka and the Miura Peninsula, the museum holds special exhibitions with different themes six times a year. The museum is also famous for its astonishing views. The magnificent outlook of Tokyo Bay surrounded by lush greenery is one of the most beautiful views you’ll find on the Miura Peninsula.
Permanent collection: 310 JPY for the general public, 210 JPY for high school and college students and seniors (age 65 and older), free of charge for junior high students and younger
Special exhibitions: Entrance fee variates according to the exhibition, but it’s free of charge for junior high students and younger
This was only a small fraction of what Yokosuka has to offer. There’s still much more to discover, including different foods and restaurants! Come and explore Yokosuka the next time you have a chance!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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