I've never seen Yokosuka THIS lively before...
There were thousands of people lining up to get into the US Navy Base the past Sunday. Yup, the Navy guys open the base for the public twice a year. It was supposed to be a Hanami event (Sakura viewing) too, but the weather in Yokosuka has been to cold for any flowers to bloom.
On my way to Mikasa Park, cloudy weather in the afternoon.
I got up late that day – 12pm.. all because I didn’t sleep till 7am. Anyway, I got out my door before 1pm and began my 10 minutes walk to the Mikasa Park, where the Navy Base was situated.
After 8 mins walk from my dorm, I was shocked to see people lining up just to WALK toward the entrance of the Mikasa Park.
Oh my, I had never seen such a long line up in my life… it’s several blocks away from the park and people were in a single file to enter the park. I had an urge to turn back and go home, or head to Yokohama for a shopping spree or something. “But the Navy opens up twice a year, it means if I miss this, I won’t see it again…” I decided to go in, check it out and leave if it’s no fun.
Been lining up after this small family.. look at how cute his little bag was... BTW, this was only the entrance of the park, the Navy base was 5 mins walk away (with no line up).
The Mikasa battleship (it's now a museum, with 500 yen entrance fee).
The Mikasa Battleship was the first thing I saw after entering the Park… and I was stupid enough to pay 500 yen to go inside, on the (probably) busiest day of the year. Partly because I thought it belonged to the US Navy……… which obviously made no sense now (looking back)… it had a fricken’ Japan flag on it!
The sky began to clear up... on the deck of Mikasa battleship.
When I first got into the park, there weren't a huge line up..
But once I got onto the battleship museum.... swarms of people formed.... At the time I still didn't know what the line was for though.
I later realized it's for going into the Base!!!
However, I still took my time inside the museum, as I paid 500 yen for it. I watched a movie there, about the war with Russia… The Japanese commander of the Mikasa Battleship was a lucky dude, surviving so many battles and lived until the age of 86.
The view from inside the base....
I joined the massive lineup soon after… and got into the base after 3o mins. The reason why it took so long was because every person’s personal belongings were checked before entering.
A tent for selling food, such as jumbo dogs, turkey legs, etc.
However, successfully entering the base didn’t make things any better. Because lineups were still everywhere! For food, for washroom…I hadn’t eaten since waking up, and was hungry. But I decided to wait a little bit longer, hoping the lines would become shorter eventually.
Jumbo hot dogs!
Gigantic turkey legs!! I was drooling.
Kids and their parents lining up to some sort of "build-a-bear" workshop.
People lining up to pee, or taking a dump after enjoying some American food.
The base was like a mini American town, with residences, high school, McDonald’s, Food Court, Fire Department, Bowling Place, Theatre…
Some friendly soldiers chatting up a kid. Many areas were blocked.It was more like a carnival than an Open House.. I initially thought there would be some sort of tour on Navy ships.
Another long line up in front of MacDonald's... So sad. And the bare branches of the Sakura trees made me even sadder.
Cute lil girl pretending to take a shot of her father, who was shooting a photo of her.
Navy officers in uniform became major photogenic attractions..
As well as this poor dog, having to play catch for so many times..
The public enjoying bowling at the Base.
Another attraction: American foodcourt... populated with familiar names like Subway, A&W, Manchu Wok, Cinnabon, etc. Again, no chance to fill my empty stomach due to ridiculous lineups.
Movie theatre. People, again, were lining up to watch a movie or two.
A girl wanted to hug this friendly cow mascot, and her dad dragged her away.
Male Choir with mostly seniors. They sang really well, and I sat there for 20 mins to enjoy their performance... Because I was tired and there's nothing better to do.
Yet another lineup to buy American *expensive* junk food.
I later bought something (non-food) and was surprised the changes were in US dollar.
Um.. the Navy guys showcasing their firetruck?
Gee, almost thought its another line up... just officers standing there to block off a road.
Since I had nothing better to do.. and I saw many people carrying boxes of large pizzas… My craving for food (pizza specifically) finally became stronger than my fear for line ups.
A cute girl and her older sis. Their mom was in front of me, lining up for pizzas.
Wrestling.. not really, her good sister was struggling to put on the jacket for her.
After 40 mins of lining up, it was close to 4:15pm. And suddenly the pizza lady came and told us they were sold out! $#!$ WTF, should’ve notified us sooner.. that way I would’ve lined up for a jumbo dog instead. But of course, it’s Japan, so nobody complained…
Looking at the Navy shipped parked afar, I regretted coming here.. should've gone to Yokohama to have All you can eat Pizza instead of wasting my time lining up for nothing.
One door closes, another opens. Just when I felt hopeless, pissed, angry, hungry... I saw Japanese food stalls right outside the Mikasa Park!! To be honest, I prefer these than pizza/hot dogs!!
I ordered Chicken Skin Gyoza (stuffed dumping wrapped with chicken skin). It's super greasy and fattening, but who cares?
Time for some Hiroshima Yaki...
Basically, pan fried ramen in yaki sauce with corn, lettuce, bacon and egg.
- A pair of lovebirds feeding Hiroshima Yaki into each other's mouth lol
The Base was pretty bland, it’s just like any other small American town… except you could see officers in uniforms. But the Japanese people were indeed very intrigued by the place, the food… pretty much everything there.