I had been to Yokosuka Naval Base a few times, and had seen what looked like an old warship in a city park area off base. I asked about it and found out it was a open display of a pre-WW 1 battleship. Teresa was in the states for a training seminar, so this seemed like the perfect time to spend a day crawling thru an old steel battleship...Here I am taking off in the morning for the bike ride to Tachikawa city, and then onto teh 2.5 hours of train time to get there.
Here is the Yokuska Train Station. I came in on the Keiko Line, not the standard JR line, so I had to hike a kilometer or so to the bay. I knew I was in the right place when I saw all of the Japanese sailors in uniform.
This is the main shopping road going down thru Yokosuka City. It is wide and open, with trees, large sidewalks, it was clean, and the cherry blossoms were just finishing falling down. It was very charming.
Walking pass the US Navy Base, I walked down along a long plaza, which borders the bay. Here is some sort of monument to a Japanese sailing vessel. I couldn't read the characters on the memorial, so I'm not sure what it was for.
There were plenty of public signs on the streets showing maps of the area, both in English and Japanese. It is easy to find your way around.
Finally I walk thru a plaza entrance, and see the battleship. It seems to be a popular place for the locals to come and visit too. There was a visitors center and tour boat shop on the right of this picture. It is where I bought the ticket to visit the ship as well.
I hold out the camera to take a shot of myself. It was a nice and sunny day, about 70 degrees. The sun was very bright, and I was wishing I had brought sun lotion.
At the visitors center they also sell tickets for harbor cruises, as well a trips out to some of the islands just a kilo or two out in the bay.
Here is a shot of one of the cruise boats. The boat rides to the islands look like they take only 10 or 15 minutes to get to the islands. In the following pictures is some data that I got off of the brochures, and off of the internet.
This is the HIJMS Mikasa, which stands for His Imperial Japanese Majesty's Ship, Mikasa. Construction was started on the Mikasa in 1899 and was completed in 1902 by the British firm of Vickers Company. The battleship Mikasa was the flagship of Admiral Heihachiro Togo, Commander in Chief of the Japanese Combined Fleet during the Russo-Japanese War (1904~1905).
Mikasa was the flagship of the Imperial Japanse Navy, and fought in every major naval engagement of her time. Most noteworthy was Mikasa's performance in the Battle of Tsushima Straits on May 27, 1905, when the fleet she lead, under the command of Admiral Togo, achived a total victory over the Russian Baltic Fleet. As a result of this battle, Russia surrendered and Japan became recognized by the world as a major World Power.

The Mikasa is the last remaining "Pre-Dreadnaught" battleship left in the world. She was named after Mount Mikasa in Nara, Japan.

Following the 1894–1895 First Sino-Japanese War, and the forced return of the Liaodong Peninsula to China under Russian pressure, Japan began to build up its military strength in preparation for further confrontations. In particular, Japan promulgated a ten-year naval build-up program, with the construction of six battleships and six armored cruisers at its core.

One of these battleships, Mikasa, was ordered from the Vickers shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness, United Kingdom at the end of 1898, for delivery to Japan in 1902. She took three years to complete, at the great cost of £880,000 (8.8 million yen).

That same year Japan also secured diplomatic and strategic support, by concluding the 1902 Anglo-Japanese Alliance with the world's strongest naval power. The United Kingdom shared Japan's wish to contain Russian expansionism in the Far East, especially to protect its interests in China and India.

At the time of her delivery, Mikasa was a state-of-the-art pre-dreadnought battleship, achieving an unprecedented combination of firepower and protective strength. She was adapted from the Royal Navy's latest Majestic class design, with increased displacement (15,140 tonnes against 14,900), improved speed (18 knots against 17), slightly stronger armament (two more 6 inch guns), and much stronger armour: she kept the same armour thicknesses but used high performance Krupp armour, around 50% stronger compared to the Harvey armour used by the Majestic class.
Her main guns, grouped in armoured turrets in a central position, allowed for the rest of the ship to be evenly protected with the heavy Krupp protective steel plates. Thanks to this design, Mikasa was able to withstand a large number of direct hits: she received around 20 hits during the battle of the Yellow Sea on 10 August 1904, and around 30 hits during the battle of Tsushima, with only limited damage. The firepower and the longer range of the guns of Mikasa were also fully exploited by highly trained and effective Japanese gunners.
At Tsushima, Mikasa led the combined Japanese fleet into one of the most decisive naval battles in history. The Russian fleet was almost completely annihilated: out of 38 Russian ships, 21 were sunk, 7 captured, 6 disarmed, 4,545 Russian servicemen died and 6,106 were taken prisoner. On the other hand, the Japanese only lost 116 men and 3 torpedo boats. But note that the Japanese navy was a highly professional organisation based upon the British Royal Navy; by contrast the Russian navy was ill-prepared to fight and crewed largely by landsmen, not seamen. Admiral Togo, the 'Japanese Nelson', himself spent several years with the Royal Navy in Britain.
Ironically, shortly after the peace treaty with Russia was signed, Mikasa sank after a fire and magazine explosion took out a section of hull while in harbor at Sasebo on 1905-09-11. The accident killed 339 crewmen, or approximately three times the number killed in combat during the war and injured some 300 more. The ship settled in 11 metres (36.1 ft) of water. Extensive efforts were made to salvage the ship, and after repeated attempts, she was re-floated on 1906-08-08 and towed to Maizuru Naval Arsenal for repairs.

After two years of repairs which included the replacement of her badly-corroded 12-inch 40-calibre main guns by newer longer and hence more more powerful 12-inch 45-calibre guns, Mikasa was re-commissioned and restored to active service in 1908.

However, she soon became obsolete following the development of the dreadnought battleships, and was de-rated to a 2nd class battleship, then to a 3rd class battleship, and on 1921-09-01, to that of a 1st class Coastal defence ship.

Mikasa ran aground while patrolling in dense fog in the Askold Channel off the coast of Russia during the Japanese Siberian Intervention in the Russian Civil War on 1921-09-16. She was recovered with the assistance of the Fuji, Kasuga, Yodo, and repaired at Japanese-occupied Vladivostok. After her return to Maizuru, her active deployment was terminated, and she was placed in the mothball fleet

Mikasa was decommissioned following the Washington Naval Treaty of 1921 and scheduled for destruction. However, at the request of the Japanese government, each of the signatory countries to the treaty agreed that the Mikasa be preserved as a memorial ship. On 1925-11-12, Mikasa was put on display in Yokosuka, Japan.

This is a shot of the admirals cabin in the back of the ship, along with 5 inch twin cannons on either side of the room. Just up from the cannons are doors leading to an outside decking area.

During World War II Mikasa was bombed during various air raids by the USAAF. Following Japan's defeat, the American occupation forces confiscated Mikasa, dismantled her guns, leaving her in very poor state. The government of the Soviet Union made strong demands that Mikasa be destroyed completely as a symbol of Russia's humiliation by Japan during the Russo-Japanese War[citation needed]. The demands were dropped when the Soviet ambassador visited the ship and saw its extremely dilapidated state.

Below is a shot of a wrap around decking for the Admirals Cabin in the back of the ship.

A preservation movement resumed in 1958, with United States participation through financial support and the direct involvement of Admiral Chester Nimitz. Restoration work was completed on 27 May 1961, at a cost of 180 million yen. A substantial quantity of the missing parts and fittings were provided from the Chilean Navy battleship Almirante Latorre, which was being scrapped in Japan at the time.

This is a shot of the Admiral's Bathroom.

The tourist brochure given to visitors boarding the Mikasa describes the ship as one of the "Three Great Historical Warships of the World", together with Victory in Portsmouth, UK, and Constitution in Boston, USA.

The ship has an extensive model and photo museum in the heart of the ship, and well worth touring for that alone!

.In England, at Barrow-in-Furness where JNS Mikasa was built, there is a street of local shops on Walney Island named Mikasa Street.
Me and the timer feature of the camera get a shot of me, the forward turret, and the US Navy Base at Yokosuka.
Looking back from the bow at how the Battleship is laid out.
I use the timer feature to take a snapshot of me on the bow.
I've been on a number of warships, including the HMS Victory, USS Alabama, USS Missouri, USN Bowfin, and others. But this one had a certain charm and grace that I didn't sense in the others.
Looking up at the forward mast and observation post.
Here is a shot of the forward part of the Mikasa. The battleship is totally encased in concrete, with the bow pointing in respect, directly at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.
After visiting the Mikasa, I decided to walk around Yokosuka Navy Base, and then shop at the NEX. Here is a shot looking back at the Yokosuka Navy Base marina, with a McDonalds overlooking the rental boats.
Here is a shot of the Yokosuka Navy Exchange comples. I enjoy shopping there, as it is differntly stocked than the local AAFES BX.
Here is a drawing of the HIJMS Mikasa when it was in active duty.