Yokosuka has long played a part in Japan's naval history. Commodore Matthew Perry's landing in the area in the 1850s initiated the country's modernization, and today it is the site of a major naval facility used by the United States and Japanese forces. During World War Two, it was spared the heavy bombing which was the fate of many other Japanese cities, as the US military had already chosen it as a post-war base location.
The population is about 420,000 in Yokosuka city. The city's famous foods are Kaigun (Navy) curry and radish. It's called Miura daikon. Yokosuka is also the home city of previous Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.
From Narita Airport, the fastest and most expensive way to reach Yokosuka is to take the Narita Express to Shinagawa, and then take the Keikyu Line to the centrally-located Yokosuka-Chuo station. (2 hours; ¥3930 [¥3310 JR fare + ¥620 Keikyu fare]). With the Japan Rail Pass this trip costs only ¥620 for the Keikyu line.
Regular JR commuter trains depart Narita Airport once per hour: some trains offer one-seat rides to JR Yokosuka station, or else change at wherever the train terminates to the next train bound for Yokosuka or Kurihama (About 2 3/4 hours, ¥2520). These trains offer a ¥950 Green Car seating upgrade; Green cars feature more comfortable seats and a drink and snack service.
A cheaper ride from Narita to Yokosuka is to take the Narita Sky Access train which runs into the subway. When you reach Sengakuji, change to a Keikyu Limited Express train for Yokosuka-Chuo (2 1/2 hours, ¥2020).
From Haneda Airport, take any Keikyu Line local (普通) or express (急行) train and change at Keikyu-Kamata station to a limited express (特急/快特) towards Yokohama. The trip to Yokosuka-Chuo takes 50-60 minutes and costs ¥790.
The fastest Keikyu trains (the Limited Express "green trains" - referring to the color of the sign on the train, not of the train itself) make the run to Yokosuka-Chuo (横須賀中央) in 43 minutes from Shinagawa station (¥620). Many trains from the Toei Asakusa subway line continue on to the Keikyu Line. The ride takes about one hour from Nihombashi (日本橋) station (¥900).
The slower JR Yokosuka Line, on the lower level of Tokyo Station, takes you to JR Yokosuka Station (75 minutes; ¥1050) which is about 2.5km northwest of the more centrally-located Yokosuka-Chuo Keikyu station. If you wish to use JR, be sure to take any train bound for Yokosuka or Kurihama (and note that the front 4 cars of the train are removed at Zushi when Yokosuka-bound, so ask if you are not sure where to sit).
Local buses connect Yokosuka-Chuo and JR Yokosuka stations on a frequent basis (¥170).
Buses run often and until about 23:30; they are very safe, clean & modern; many bus routes go either to and/or from train stations to connect the transportation network. They cost about ¥170-300 on average.
At train stations, there will be a master bus map in front of bus stops showing the different routes with bus numbers. This bus number will only stop at one of several bus stops in front of the station or near the station. Each stop has a large sign that lists all the buses & schedules for that stop.
Along the road, bus stops are usually spaced out several blocks apart & are denoted by a white round sign or 4-sided square sign, sometimes lit. Bus drivers are very conscientious to look and stop for passengers waiting. The bus stops will be announced along the route and show on an electronic display. Passengers push the "stop" button located at every seat to indicate their stop.
Get on at the door halfway down the bus & get off at the front door. It's easiest to pay with Pasmo/Suica contactless smart cards, but if using cash, take the small-white ticket from the dispenser as you enter, paying the amount displayed on the price screen which corresponds to the number on your ticket. Place the white ticket and change in the same slot on top of machine next to driver). Buses will make change for ¥1000 banknotes and ¥100 coins. Bus drivers will often help you make the change.
Taxis are plentiful and very clean. ¥710 for the first two kilometers (and additional ¥300 charge for telephone pick-up requests). There is also a higher charge for nighttime taxi rides. There are taxi stands at all train stations and other strategic area. Taxis with red LED lit sign on dash are available and can be flagged (though may not stop if near a taxi stand). Taxis with yellow placard on front grill have permit to enter base & many drivers at JR station will ask foreigners (if going to) "base-u?" to ensure a permitted cab is used. Sample costs for longer trips: to Kurihama or Uraga about ¥4,000.
Travellers won't be able to see much of Yokosuka Naval Base, headquarters of the US Navy's Seventh Fleet, but sailors based there are a common sight around the city, and certainly add to its atmosphere. Japanese nationals are able to tour the base on "Friendship Day", the summer fireworks display and for Halloween trick-or-treating.
The Battleship Mikasa (戦艦三笠) was Admiral Togo's flagship in the Russo-Japanese war (1904-1905), and in the Battle of Tsushima it led to the annihilation of Russian forces. Entry costs ¥500; English signs are present, but finding English-speaking staff is hit or miss. The surrounding Mikasa park is free, and features a recurring fountain show.
The Perry Landing Park (ペリー上陸記念公園) marks the place where US Navy Commodore Matthew C. Perry landed from his squadron of "black ships", forcing the Tokugawa Shogunate to sign a treaty of peace and friendship with the United States, thus opening the country to the world after 250 years of isolation. The park is located in Kurihama (久里浜), a few stops away by either the Keikyu or JR train line.
Also in Kurihama is Kurihama Flower World or Kurihama Hana-no-Kuni (くりはま花の国). This park is renowned for its 1 million blooming poppies from Mid-May to Mid-June, and beautiful cosmos flowers from September-mid October. It also has a nice herb garden and children's play area with a large Godzilla slide. Area map from Kurihama station
Verny Park is along the waterfront between Shioiri station and Daie Mall with a nice view of both the Japanese and American Naval bases. The park is well-known for its rose beds. There is a central fountain and elegant atmosphere in the park. There are also monuments of Verny, a French engineer and Oguri Tadamasa, a Japanese governor who built Yokosuka Ironworks.
Yokosuka Research Park, 3-4 Hikari-no-Oka (shuttle bus from Keikyu's YRP Nobi station), . Not exactly a tourist attraction, this vast research complex is devoted to telecommunications in all shapes and sizes. You won't be able to see much if you show up unannounced, but symposia and meetings are held here regularly and usually include guided tours with companies showing off their latest and greatest.
Sarushima (Monkey) Island (ferry from Mikasa Park) - old fortress and nature preserve in Tokyo Bay. This is a private island and the only natural island in Tokyo Bay. Locals frequent if for hiking and it is a popular sun-bathing and barbecue in the summer. The hourly ferry only runs weekend through the "off-season". WARNING: The island closes every evening, so make sure you don't miss the last ferry off or you will be marooned there alone overnight. There is no night staff.
Downtown's "Blue Street" between the Navy base and Yokosuka-Chuo station - see sculptures honoring Yokosuka as one of the country's gateways to jazz music as well as local street musicians and dancers.
Anjinzuka Park is the scenic hilltop park where Williamm Adams (the inspiration for the Richard Chamberlain character in Shogun) and wife Oyuki are buried. It is called Miura anjin The park's 10,000 cherry trees make this the best blossom viewing in Yokosuka. Park also has a scenic overlooking north. Park is a pleasant 1 mile walk from Anjinzuka Station or Hemi Station on the Keikyu Line.
Dobuita Street is located at Shioiri station. There are a lot of foreigners and many varieties of shops.
Tukayama Park located on a scenic overlook. The cherry blossoms are very beautiful in April. Locals find it a nice place to walk dogs!
Visit the Earthquake Awareness and Preparation Center, located near Yokosuka City Hall off Highway 16. Visitors must sit through a Japanese language video presentation, but then can experience a strong earthquake in controlled surroundings, learn how to avoid injury, put out fires, and escape a smoky building. Visitors receive an English-language mock newspaper page outlining how their quick actions saved lives.
Attend a minor-league baseball game in the summer or fall. The Shonan Searex play at Yokosuka Stadium, the ticket cost is ¥1000. The stadium is a 10 minute walk from Oppama Station on the Keikyu line.
Saikaya Department Store - Traditional department store spanning two blocks, between Yokosuka-Chuo station and the Navy base.
Daiei Shopper's Plaza - On the waterfront, between the Navy base and the Yokosuka JR station; 5 floors, including a cinema, supermarket, food court and restaurants.
Mikasa Mall - An open-air mall on "Blue Street" between the Navy base and Yokosuka-Chuo station.
Avenue 580 - On "Blue Street" between the Navy base and Yokosuka-Chuo station.
More's City - Immediately adjacent to Yokosuka-Chuo station. Two floors of restaurants with a great view of the harbor. The basement floor has a food hall and small supermarket. There are many clothing stores and small shops. There is also an amusement arcade.
Super Grate has many foods and daily necessaries. Saturday and Sunday are crowded, because there are sales. For example, eggs, vegetables and fish or meat.
Yokosuka claims to be the place of origin of the quintessentially Japanese dish curry rice, and it seems everywhere you turn there's a sign for "Navy curry" (海軍カレー kaigun karee). It's not idle boasting though as the dish is believed to have been introduced in the late 19th century by British sailors who regularly ate the easily-preserved meal.
A recently new feature in many restaurants is the "Yokosuka burger", based on an American Navy recipe.
Food "halls" (similar to a grocery store) are under the Saikaya department store, the More's City shopping plaza, and the Avenue 580 shopping arcade. Saikaya and More also feature floors of restaurants, as does the Daiei Shopper's Plaza on the waterfront near Shiori Station.
Bueno, More's 1F (under Starbucks). Designed by famous prize-winner at designer's week 2001 Tokyo. Very nice food and wine, English menu available. Relaxing atmosphere, English-speaking staff.
Bay Leaf, tel. 046-821-1922, . Indian restaurant with English speaking staff. Prices are very cheap. It is the legendary first Indian restaurant in Yokosuka.
Kapuri Tyouza, tel. 046-822-8558,. More's 9F, Italian restaurant. Serves pizza, salads and dessert. Also a great restaurant if reserving for a party.
Yokosuka's best-known bar district is known as The Honch, a half-block from the CFAY Naval Base Main Gate and a popular haunt of American sailors. The Honch encompasses parts of Honcho 1-chome, 2-chome and 3-chome and runs parallel to Route 16 from Chūō-o-dori ("Blue Street" in sailor slang, due to the blue composition asphalt) and all the way to Shiori-eki; basically covering the entire commercial district between Yokosuka Chūō and Shioiri stations.
The Honch is home to dozens of different bars, eateries and nightclubs. These establishments range from traditional Japanese-style bars to American-oriented hang-outs that cater primarily to American sailors. Additionally, there are several "buy-me-a-drink" bars located in the area, typically staffed by Filipina women. There are also a number of "Japanese only" bars in the area.
Mona's Bar Go Straight from the main gate of the US Naval base and Turn the light the alley after 7eleven light side You can see the sigh. Cozy atmosphere, Best Hookah(Shisha), Amazing Cocktail, Strong Chu-HI, Request Music Video, Photo Service, Great Kind Bartender. 100 over Cocktails and Shots Menu & 85 Hookah Flavor.
Rising Sun Bar Across the street from New Yokosuka Hotel. Several beers on tap, including Guinness, large selection of alcohol and many choices for Bourbon drinkers. 2 floors, very reasonably priced Karaoke Shot bar. Always lots of pretty ladies in here. Seems to be the place to be, and the local women hang out here. The second floor of the bar is VFW post 1054's Outpost. Cheap drinks and American bartenders for a more English-friendly feel.
The Morrigans. A popular and relatively genuine Irish bar. Frequented mainly by US Navy, but also local Japanese. Drinks are reasonably priced. There is a food menu and English is spoken. It is located across from the main gate of the US Navy base on Route 16.
Budweiser Karaoke Pub & Restaurant . A much-frequented kareoke bar for sailors and civilians. The bar is known by music lovers to have the most English songs available.- They have videos, darts, slot-machines, and Western, Italian, Chinese, Japanese and Philippine food and a large variety of salads. The bar is half a block from the New Yokosuka Hotel. Formerly a USS Vandegrift (FFG-48) hangout until it left Yokosuka for San Diego.
The Chu-Hi Stand Past Shiori Station and under the pedestrian railroad tunnel next to the AM/PM convenience store. The Chu-hi stand has no seats and customers must stand up while drinking at homeade wooden tables. The Chu-hi's are made here by mixing off-the shelf canned flavored chu-hi's with Shōchū. Has a very interesting blend of American and Japanese money on the walls with various drawings or sayings
Club Best Side A two-story club specializing in hip-hop, the club also boasts a pool table and darts. Fans of reggae music should go on Saturdays, when the bar hosts Reggae Night. As an interesting side note, one of the bartenders is a popular local magician; he also performs for customers. Located near Blue Street, near the money exchange, across from 7 Star snack bar.
Dynamic Karaoke Bar . A new kareoke bar behind Seiyu Department store. The bar also books private parties. They have Latin nights and Hip Hop nights. The bar often plays hit music.
Jammins . Popular rock bar located on the Honch. Bar adheres to a strictly all rock policy. There are frequent live band performances from all over Yokosuka and sailors from the US Naval Base.
Buranko(ブランコ) tel.046-823-3700. A coffee shop near the Anjizuka Station. There was Buranko in the old days, but there is no now. It is small shop. There is good atmosphere.
Buffalo's Located about halfway down Dobuita Street and well-known for it's operating hours, often opening before noon.
Geodana's A hip-hop club near the end of Dobuita Street. There are also several stores that sell "urban" clothing under the same name
Pumpkin Live House Easily recognizable by the many band stickers and fliers adorning the bar's outside hall, the Pumpkin is a 'proper' live music venue specializing in punk rock. Contrary to popular belief, the bar welcomes Japanese and foreigners alike, and the staff speaks perfect English. The bar has a schedule for upcoming gigs for the month posted on the outside of the bar. Admission prices vary from gig to gig, but the usual range is anywhere from 1,000 to 2,500 yen. Of course, when not hosting any events, admission is free. Located directly left of Geodona's.
George's A country and western bar located on Dobuita Street across from Rock City . George also owns several other bars in the Honch, including Rock City. Has a beer pong table and also a pool table, a lot of "country" or people who grew up in small towns enjoy the atmosphere here
Station Navy Bar Amazing mix of Filipino and American style pub, great music, great atmosphere, a lot of room and great bartenders who speak flawless English. One of the top new bars in Yokosuka Honch area.
Dublin Docks. Located near the Honcho mall on scenic Dobuita Street. While the atmosphere is as authentically Irish as green beer, the homemade food stuffs and kind staff contribute to its notoriously good reputation.edit
The Central (also known as Centrazzo), older business hotel behind Keikyu Yokosuka Chuo station. Known for its small rooms. Tel 046-827-1111
Hotel Goddess Located near the CFAY Yokosuka Naval Base from main gate. It has a large replica of the Statue of Liberty on its roof, and the Irish bar "The Morrigans" on the ground floor. It is a love hotel, which is a colloquial term in the country for a "by the hour" system of payment, rather than the more commonly used practice of daily rates.
The Harbour Inn Near Keikyu Shiori station; pleasant older rooms, good rates. Tel 046-822-0001
Mercure Hotel Yokosuka, . The nicest hotel in this part of Yokosuka. Formerly part of the Prince and Trinity chains. This hotel is directly across from the Daiei mall. The staff is exceptionally courteous and speak English. Rooms are larger here than most other hotels in the area. Tel 046-821-1111
Hotel New Yokosuka, . A large, newer hotel a couple blocks from the CFAY Yokosuka Naval Base main gate. Caters to foreigners (and sometimes referred to as "Little America"). All front desk staff speak English. Handsome bar and lobby. Tel 046-820-1111
Hotel Rich. Owned & operated by the Yokosuka Hotel across the street, this is formerly a "love hotel" so each room is different; one room has karaoke machine. Tel 046-525-1111.
Sagami Inn A mile from Yokosuka Chuo station; older, small hotel. Manager speaks English Tel 046-825-1222
Hotel Yokosuka, , . An older, but well-kept hotel at the end of Yonegahama Street. Tel 046-525-1111