Some believe the HMS Victory, the USS constitution and the Mikasa are the three most important and well known memorial ships. The Mikasa is docked in Yokosuka Japan and easy drive or train ride from the Center of Tokyo.
For a Westerner, the Mikasa carries the history of a time not often studied. Built in 1903, the ship was the Japanese flag ship during the Japanese-Russo War in 1904-1905. The dispute was over Russian expansion into areas of traditional Japanese influence (Manchuria and Korea). The end of the war was mediated by the United States and Japan was the undisputed victor.
While the Mikasa was set aside as a memorial as early as 1926, the restoration was not complete until the early 60’s due to complications caused by the conditions of Japan’s surrender in WWII.
The Mikasa is a symbol of national pride and it meticulously cared for. Below deck you can see the restored Admiral’s area, there are some interactive virtual games and informative plaques regarding the history of Japan at the turn of the century, the war and the Mikasa.
Cost is 600 yen. Over half of the displays and information are in English. The ship is an easy 15 minute walk from Yokosuka Chu Station. Plan on 60-90 minutes at the ship.
Navy vessels aren’t really my thing but I do appreciate a different perspective on history. If limited it on time, I wouldn’t recommend a visit. But if you have time, are looking for something different, or are in Yokosuka, then I definitely recommend a visit.