There are endless adventures on offer when visiting Yokohama – from energetic Chinatown to the romantic Yamashita Park with a harbor view. If you go further along the Miura Peninsula of coastal Kanagawa Prefecture, you’ll find unique destinations, towns and experiences that should be added to your itinerary.
Yokosuka Naval Port Cruise
Yokosuka, located about an hour by train from Tokyo on the Miura Peninsula, is known as the location of a major naval base for Japanese and U.S. ships . When Commodore Matthew Perry of the U.S Navy sailed into Tokyo Harbor in 1853, the Yokosuka Port played an important role in the development of a modern navy for Japan. After the reformation of Japan’s military, Yokosuka Port has become one of the most significant naval ports. Cruising Yokosuka Naval Port is a great way to see some highlights from the waterways. During the 45-minute guided tour (in Japanese), you can see U.S Navy and Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force ships, submarines, destroyers and aircraft carrier. The closest train station to Yokosuka Naval Port is Shioiri on the Keikyu Line.
Navy Curry in Yokosuka
In Yokosuka, navy curries and hamburgers are popular as local foods. During a long voyage, meals are the only pleasures for navy crews and the chefs use their expertises to prepare meals on board. One of crew’s favorite meals is curry and it has become popular for visitors too.
Sarushima (Monkey) Island
Sarushima is a natural island for hiking, fishing, swimming and barbecuing. It used to be a fort in the past to protect the mainland and you still see some historic sites. It was fun to find hidden pathways and tunnels. A legend from the 13th Century states that when Nichiren, a monk, was traveling by boat he lost his way due to a storm. A white monkey suddenly appeared and helped him to land on the island. This is where it gets the name of Sarushima (monkey) Island.
A ferry departs from Mikasa Pier to Sarushima Island (10 minutes) every hour. If you take the Naval Port Cruise, you can receive a 10% discount when you purchase your Sarushima ticked by showing you Naval Port Cruise ticket. Barbecue equipment is available at a shop near the pier. An advanced reservation is needed.
Battleship Mikasa Museum
If you have some interest in military history, visiting the Battleship Mikasa Museum would be one of the best choices. The museum is next to the harbor to Sarushima Island. It takes one hour to see all exhibitions and experience VRs for training. Just be sure to check when your ship departs to Sarushima Island.
Kannonzaki, located on the eastern side of the Miura Peninsula, provides designated barbecue and picnic areas. Because of its beautiful nature, many travelers visit Kannonzaki on a day trip from nearby towns like Yokohama or Tokyo. A great way to venture along the coast line and in to the small hills is by staying for a day or two. It’s a 35-minute bus ride from Yokosuka Station.It won’t take long before you realize this park has a strong army history and you will find the ruins of a military base a little further up the path and into the hills.
We visited Kannonzaki Park for its lighthouse and enjoyed the walking trail to the Kannonzaki Lighthouse through a lush green forest. It offers spectacular views of the coast.