Translated by Jasmine Nishino
Sarushima - The Perfect Getaway On A Deserted Island In Tokyo Bay
Written by Jumpei Kawashima
Find out more about Sarushima, an inhabited island in Tokyo Bay with historic war sites and beautiful beaches where visitors can enjoy barbecue and other activities.
Sarushima in Yokosuka city, Kanagawa prefecture, is the only remaining natural inhabited island in the Tokyo bay. The island itself has a long history for being used as a main military fort to protect the Tokyo bay. Many brick buildings and remains of batteries still remain today.
Now, it is a great place to spend a fun day out on the sandy beaches and enjoy a barbecue.
This time, we would like to introduce some fun spots to explore in Sarushima, along with fun activities.
Spots To Explore On Sarushima Island
In an area slightly away from the beaches, there is an entrance to the excavation course that takes you around the island. Here, we will introduce you to a few of the highlights of Sarushima island.
A Stronghold Along The Cliffs
Once you go up the hill, you will find a path cut between the large rocks. You will be able to notice the history from the stone walls covered in moss.
On the island, there are forts made of bricks still remaining. All of the forts are constructed deep in the walls, so it is hard to tell what the island is like from the outside.
The forts of Sarushima island are made using the French brick style of architecture, which is a rare method of construction in Japan and only four buildings in the nation use this style. It is also a popular tourist spot among the Japanese and is known as the place that looks like a scene from the famous Ghibli movie, "Laputa: Castle in the Sky".
Go Through The Tunnel
The tunnel made using this construction method is 4 meters wide, 4 meters high and 90 meters long. It is said to be the main access to the twelve rooms that kept ammunition and lead to the batteries.
Inside the tunnel is rather dark and after many couples held hands while going through it, it came to be referred to as the "tunnel of love".
This is a former ammunition chamber.
There are a total of three tunnels, so try going through all of them.
From The Battery Remains To The Coastal Cliffs
At Sarushima island, you will be able to see the former battery remains that were set during the time of war. It is an area with a clear view, so it was an ideal place to target enemies in the sea.
Near the battery, there are stairs leading to the shore. At the end of the stairs, you will find a cave called the "Nichiren cave". It was once used as a living space long ago.
The view of the sea from the cliffs is amazing! It is definitely a spot where you would like to take a short break and feel the refreshing breezes from the sea.
Look At The Sea Of Yokosuka Next To The Observatory!
The observatory area is an open, grassy area. Unfortunately, you cannot enter the observatory, but you can see the sea and the city of Yokosuka from the banister. It is a great spot to capture a panoramic view of the city.
After descending from the observatory area, you will be able to return to the beach. You will need approximately an hour to sightsee around the entire island of Sarushima. There are unstable areas with stairs, so it is recommended that you go wearing clothes and shoes that are easy to move around in.
Take A Break And Barbecue At The Beach
Sarushima island has beautiful sandy beaches with a great view of the massive sea and Yokosuka along the opposing horizon on a sunny day.
On the side of the beach, you will find a shop called "Ocean's Kitchen" that sells food and drinks along with barbecue sets and parasol rentals. Please note that Sarushima island does not sell ingredients for barbecue (meat, vegetables, etc.), so please purchase them in Yokosuka before arriving at the island.
During July and August, the swimming area opens and you can enjoy fun water activities. It is a great place to enjoy the hot Japanese summer.
Only A 10 Minute Boat Ride! How To Get To Sarushima Island
The only way to get to Sarushima Island is by boat from Mikasa park. You can only purchase tickets on the day of your departure, so sales begin from the morning. The boat fare and the entry fee to the island total to 1500 yen for adults and 600 yen for children. The boat departs approximately once an hour.
The boat ride is about ten minutes. It is short, but you will be able to enjoy the grand view of the sea. When you approach the island, you will see the beach with many people having fun.
The last boat departs at 17:00 (16:00 from December - February). During peak season, there are times when not everybody can board. Additional boats may be added, but it is recommended that you give yourself enough time and line up early before the departure time.
With many activities and fun expeditions to historical spots, there are plenty of exciting things to do on Sarushima Island in Yokosuka. We recommend you to stop by the next time you visit.
Sarushima Island Map