Shioiri

 

Shioiri Station is a railway station located in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, in the southwest of Tokyo. It is served by the Keihin Electric Express Railway's Keikyu Main Line.

 

The area around Shioiri Station is a lively area called Bay Square Yokosuka . Here, besides the Industrial Exchange Plaza, Yokosuka City for the promotion of industry, an opera-house style facility with a seating capacity of 2,000, and a hotel, there are also several trendy shops and restaurants.

 

About 5 minutes walk from the station is the popular Mikasa Park.

  

Mikasa Park

 

Mikasa Park is considered to be one of Japan's best parks. The main attractions at this large park facing Tokyo Bay are the Battleship Mikasa, the statue of Admiral Togo, and the musical fountains.

 

Battleship Mikasa is the battleship that served in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05. Mikasa was built in England and was one of the most advanced battleships of the time. It was the flagship of the Japanese fleet, led by Admiral Togo Heihachiro, which defeated the Russian fleet during the Battle of Tsushima in 1905. After the war ended, Mikasa was permanently berthed at Yokosuka on the Tokyo Bay . During World War II, the ship was bombed several times, due to which it was badly broken. After the war, Admiral Nimitz had the ship repaired and now it serves as a museum. The lower decks and the engine rooms are closed to the public, while the upper decks serve as exhibit rooms of the museum. Mikasa Ship Museum, as it is called, relates the history of the battle it fought through pictures, videos, documents and remaining relics from the war. Entry to the museum is 500 yen.

The Statue of Admiral stands in front of the ship in the park. Born in 1847, Togo Heihachiro first participated in wars against the Tokugawa shogunate. Then between 1870 and 1878, he studied at the naval academy in England. During the Sino-Japanese War in 1895, Togo commanded the battleship Hayanami. In 1903, he was appointed the Supreme Commander of the Japanese fleet, but became famous only after he defeated the Russians in the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905).

 

The whole of Mikasa Park is beautifully landscaped with a large circular pond in the middle. Around the pond and throughout the park are several fountains. These beautiful fountains have colored lights and music plays at night as the lights are lit.

These look even more beautiful as they are reflected in the pond.

 

Sarushima (Monkey) Island

 

Sarushima, or Monkey Island, is located off the coast of Yokosuka and can be seen from Mikasa Park. This only natural island in Tokyo Bay was once a military fortress and was off limits to the general public till the end of World War II. Today it is a holiday resort with a beach; and bird watching, fishing and BBQ facilities.

 

Boats leave every hour for Sarushima Island from Mikasa Park. A round trip boat ride is 1200 yen for adults and 600 for children.
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