Take the opportunity to spend a day in Yokosuka - a coastal city packed with military history, monkey islands and art museums. Whether you’re a fan of ancient war ships, uninhabited islands or quirky shopping streets, this often overlooked city has something for everyone.
Morning: Tour Yokosuka’s Military World, Past and Present
The city of Yokosuka is a well-known spot in Japan and America’s entwined military history. From inspecting ships in the 18th century to the large US naval base that’s located there today, it’s been a key point on the Tokyo Bay for many hundreds of years. There are, unsurprisingly, plenty of places to learn about military history, including some great hands-on tours.
Explore the Mikasa Memorial War Ship
One of the largest of its kind, the Mikasa Memorial ship is a great tour even for those who aren’t already fascinated by the military past of Yokosuka. The size of the ship is deeply impressive, and there is plenty of information available about its role in defending Japan from Russian ships in 1905. As it has been carefully restored and preserved, it is a thought-provoking insight into the battles of the past.
- Name: Mikasa Historic Memorial War Ship (記念艦三笠)
- Address: 82-19 Inaokacho, Yokosuka, Kanagawa
- Location: The ship is located in Mikasa Park, a pierside spot with fountains and grass.
- Access: The boat is best accessed via the Mikasa Loop Bus from Yokosuka Chuo Station. Alternatively, it is a 15-minute walk from the station.
- Opening Hours: 09:00 - 17:30 (Apr - Sept), 09:00 - 17:00 (Mar & Oct), 09:00 - 16:00 (Nov - Feb)
- Entry Fee: 600 yen (adults), 500 yen (seniors), 300 yen (16-18), free for children.
Take to the water with a Naval cruise
To see the more modern side of Yokosuka’s military presence, you can leave the land behind and enjoy a naval port tour. The city is the home of both the US Navy and the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF). The tour lasts around 45 minutes and offers views of different vessels including submarines and US Naval Aegis Destroyers, depending on who is in port at the time. Trained navigators explain the different vessels and their history, as well as the general history of the area. Tickets can be purchased online in advance or from the Shiori port ticket office, where 100 tickets are available per cruise.
- Name: Yokosuka Port Military Tour (YOKOSUKA軍港めぐり)
- Address: 2-1-12 Honcho, Yokosuka, Kanagawa
- Location: The port is a five minute walk from Shiori Station to the east of Verny Park.
- Access: Catch the Keikyu Line to Shiori Station and walk for approximately 5 minutes.
- Opening Hours: Cruises run at 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00 and 15:00 daily with some 10:00 services available on certain days during peak times or special events.
- Entry Fee: 1600 yen for adults, 800 yen for children aged 7-12, free for children under the age of six if accompanied by an adult, if there are additional children under the age of six per adult, they will be charged 800 yen per child.
Lunch: Feast on the Famous Navy Burger on Dobuita Street
Once you’ve stepped back on shore, head to the popular Dobuita Street. This shopping street is packed with American and Japanese fusion food and fashion and is a great spot for Souvenirs. A number of restaurants here offer the famous Navy Burger, which is an extra-large burger served with a variety of delicious toppings. Each spot has their own special recipe, with Tsunami Curry and Grill being one of the most popular. The largest burgers can serve up to four people, so be sure to arrive hungry!
- Name: Dobuita Street どぶ板通り
- Address: 2 Honcho, Yokosuka, Kanagawa
- Location: The street stretches from the US Navy Base to Keikyu Shiodome Station and is between Yokosuka and Yokosuka-Chuo Stations.
- Access: The street is a short walk from either Yokosuka or Yokosuka Chuo Stations.
- Name: Tsunami Curry and Grill (ツナミ カレーアンドグリル)
- Address: 2-2-8 Honcho, Yokosuka, Kanagawa
- Location: The restaurant is located on Dobuita Street.
- Access: The restaurant is a 5-minute walk from Shiori Station on the Keikyu Main Line.
- Opening Hours: 11:00 - 21:00 (Weekdays) 11:00 - 20:00 (weekends and holidays)
Afternoon: Choose From Islands and Art Museums
Once you’ve been re-energised, you can decide on your afternoon plans, with both our suggested locations offering some fresh air and beautiful scenery.
Just 2km off the Yokosuka coast, Sarushima is an uninhabited island you can explore to your heart’s content. With monkeys as the only residents, it has a wild and untamed feel, with the abandoned artillery stores adding a haunted touch. The island was once used as a military artillery base, but is now used for summer music festivals and day-trips for the adventurous.
Yokosuka Museum of Art
Perched a little below the city, the Yokosuka Art Museum is a great afternoon escape. It’s located in Kannonzaki Park, which has a beautiful lighthouse and stunning sunset views. If it’s raining, the museum offers a mix of art and sculpture, with over 5,000 pieces in permanent and special exhibitions. Wander through the halls, enjoy a coffee and snack at the museum cafe and take in the sunset from the surrounding park.
- Name: Yokosuka Museum of Art (横須賀美術館)
- Address: 4-1 Kamoi, Yokosuka, Kanagawa
- Location: The park is east of Yokosuka’s center, in Kannonzaki Park.
- Access: The museum is best reached by bus from Yokosuka Station or Maborikaigan Station.
- Opening Hours: 10:00 - 18:00, (Acquamare cafe: 10:00 - 20:00)
- Entry Fee: 380 yen (Adults) 280 yen (High-school and University Students) Free (Junior High and below)
Dinner: Try the Local Speciality: Naval Curry
Once back in town, it’s time to try the dish that Yokosuka is famous for: naval curry. While curry and rice is now a Japanese staple, few know that it originated from naval stew served aboard British Ships. Now modified to Japanese tastes over the years, it is a comforting dish that has a unique balance of spices. Many restaurants in Yokosuka serve their own recipe, with one of the most popular being Naval Curry Honpo. Located close to Chuo station, it’s perfect for a final meal before heading back home.
- Name: Yokosuka Navy Curry Honpo (横須賀海軍カレー本舗)
- Address: 1-11-8 Wakamatsucho, Yokosuka, Kanagawa
- Location: The restaurant is located along the main street from Yokosuka Chuo Station, just beyond the Prime Shopping Center.
- Access: The restaurant is a short walk from Yokosuka Chuo Station.
- Opening Hours: 11:00 - 16:00 (Weekdays) 11:00 - 20:00 (weekends and holidays)