Living in Yokosuka: Guide For Foreigners
Are you thinking about living in Yokosuka? That’s a great choice. This coastal town is best known as a naval hub for American and Japanese fleets. As such, it offers attractions representing various cultures that have left their mark there, but also Japanese heritage sites and gorgeous spreads of nature.
In this article, we will go through the main attractions of this lovely town, to help you better understand it and decide whether it is suited to be your next home.
Every Street Testifies to Yokosuka’s Rich Naval History
From monuments to parks and lighthouses, Yokosuka is packed with spots that testify to its multicultural heritage, a result of it being a US Navy base. The most important of such attractions is Perry Park, built to commemorate the Commodore Matthew C. Perry, who sailed to Japan with black ships and instructed it to open its borders to the world. You can learn details about his endeavor and events that followed in the onsite Perry Commemorative Museum.
Verny Park, on the other hand, commemorates Léonce Verny, who helped to advance Japan’s steel industry in the 19th century. Each year in May you can join the Spring Rose Festival that’s organized around 2,000 roses planted in the park’s center. Finally, Mikasa Park testifies to the Russo‐Japanese War and is dotted with memorials to the Japanese Navy.
The western-style Kannonzaki Lighthouse is also one of the recognizable landmarks of the area, which still serves ships crossing the Uraga Channel until this day.
Yokosuka’s naval heritage can also be recognized in its restaurants. Common on the menu is the US-inspired Navy Burger, and a favorite among Japanese sailors - Navy Curry.
Yokosuka Offers A Perfect Balance Of Urban Living And Untouched Nature
Although many of Yokosuka’s attractions are related to its naval history, the town doesn’t live in the past.
The center of Yokosuka’s shopping scene is Dobuita shopping street, packed with restaurants, bars, and specialty shops. Don’t miss getting Yokosuka’s fashion staple - the sukajan, an embroidered jacket inspired by baseball jackets American soldiers wore in the past.
If you are an art lover, you shouldn’t miss seeing the Yokosuka Museum of Art, which mainly showcases Japanese contemporary art, and also organizes six temporary themed exhibitions every year. The Museum is also known for its gorgeous views of the Tokyo Bay.
When you need a tranquil spot, visit one of the town’s shrines. Most beautiful are the Nishi-Kano Shrine & Higashi-Kano Shrine, each sitting on one side of the Uraga Harbor. There are boats regularly traveling from one shrine to another so that you can visit them in one go.
Finally, to enjoy a full day in nature, take a cruise to the nearby uninhabited island Sarushima. Dotted with ruins of old Naval buildings, this island’s true beauty lies in its untouched nature and beaches. It’s a great spot to go hiking, barbecuing, fishing, or even swimming in the summer.
Yokosuka is a vibrant town, partially celebrating its long naval history, and partially taking leaps towards the future. Its multicultural appeal makes it perfect for expats who would enjoy a town that balances traditional Japanese culture with western influence. This fusion of culture can be seen in its memorials, but also its dining and shopping scene.
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Sources: Wow Japan, Japan Travel, Live Japan
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