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Explore Sarushima: The Only Natural Island in Tokyo Bay

Sarushima (猿島) literally means “Monkey-Island” in Japanese. However, no matter how hard you try to look for them, you won’t find any monkeys here (and not even humans if you miss the last speed ferry back!). Instead, you will find stunning cliffs and war ruins such as tunnels and canon bases.


Sarushima is the only natural island in Tokyo bay and it can be easily reached from Yokosuka (which is around an hour from central Tokyo by train). Walk from Yokosuka station for fifteen minutes to Mikasa pier. From here it takes around ten minutes to reach the island by speed ferry.


Visitors taking photos as the speed ferry approached Sarushima

The speed ferry runs every hour but please double-check the time of the last ferry from Sarushima back to Yokosuka port. Sarushima is an uninhabited island so after the last speed ferry leaves, the island is completely deserted. Don’t worry yourself though. If you get lost in the woods and miss the last ferry, there is an emergency button in the (abandoned) cafeteria for you to call for help.

While it is easy to spend your whole day just sunbathing, swimming, barbequing or fishing, Sarushima has more to offer. Take a trekking pole that is offered for free and walk into the woods where the charms of Sarushima lie.

From the end of the Tokugawa era up until the end of the Second World War, Sarushima was a base for the army and navy and public access was strictly forbidden. Now it is your turn to discover its ruins! It is a small island of only 14 acres. You will reach the entrance to this tunnel after five minutes walking in the wood.


A historical tunnel made of brick.

It takes less than an hour to walk around the whole island and at the end of the trek you reach this beautiful cliff where you can gaze over Tokyo bay.


It was this beauty that inspired the magical world of the anime “Castle in the Sky” by Miyazaki. Despite being such a small island, Sarushima has much to offer. Come and explore it yourself!




Address: Ogawa-machi, Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture
Telephone: 046-825-7144
Opening Hours: Open while the speed ferry runs, please check the timetable (summer and winter timetables are different)
Regular Holidays: None
Fee: Speed Boat Round Trip (adult 1,300 yen; children 650 yen) + Entrance (adult 200 yen; children 100 yen)
Access: Hourly speed ferry from Mikasa pier at Yokosuka
*Mikasa pier is a 15-minute walk from Yokosuka station
*Yokosuka station can be directly accessed from Shingawa station, approximately a one-hour ride on the Yokosuka line
Distance to airport: 54 km from Haneda Airport
Wi-Fi: No
Credit cards: No

Article by Eva

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