Cape Kannon, located in the city of Yokosuka just south of Yokohama, is the easternmost part of the Miura Peninsula. Kannonzaki Park (観音崎公園) offers a lot of attractions and sights and is a beautiful place to spend a day of fun and relaxation if you live in Tokyo or Yokohama.
Kannonzaki is of cinematographic fame: it is the location where the film monster Godzilla made its first landfall before heading for Tokyo. It is also assumed to be one of the places mentioned in Jonathan Swift's 'Gulliver's Travels'. Although "Xamoschi" the small town where Lemuel Gulliver landed might have been in fact Shimosa Province north of Tokyo Bay, Yokosuka City holds an annual Gulliver-Kannonzaki festival in November in which members of the U.S. Navy base dress up as Gulliver and parade through the streets.
Most of the cape is now part of Kannonzaki Park with its most famous landmark, the Kannonzaki Lighthouse (観音埼灯台).
The lighthouse was planned by the Tokugawa Shogunate and designed by the French naval engineer Francois Leon Verny, but its construction started under the Meiji government in November 1868. The original structure was rectangular and made of bricks. It was destroyed by an earthquake in 1922 and rebuilt in reinforced concrete. It was again damaged in the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 and reconstructed in 1925. The lighthouse displays several historical artefacts and maps in a small museum. Visitors can climb up the narrow corkscrew stairs and enjoy the spectacular view from the observation platform. Admission fee: 200 JPY.
The mountains of Kannonzaki offer a network of trails and stairs with beautiful views over Tokyo Bay, beaches where people barbecue at summer weekends, a park for children and two museums.
The view over Tokyo Bay with the coast of Chiba visible in the background.
Sailors adrift at sea: a statue dedicated to all sailors who lost their lives at sea. The statue was visited by the Showa Emperor.
Commemorating the imperial visit.
The Tokyo Bay Vessel Traffic Service Center: the centre aims at "improving the efficiency of ship navigation by controlling the traffic in Tokyo Bay".
Kannonzaki was the site of a citadel used by the Imperial Japanese army. Several batteries, tunnels, and ammunition depots attest to its role as a naval fortress.
Playground and picnic area at Kannonzaki Park
Lots of fishing around the beaches of Kannonzaki.
The Yokosuka Museum of Art (横須賀美術館 Yokosuka bijutsukan) was inaugurated in 2007 and displays paintings of rather unknown contemporary Japanese painters. Acquamare, an Italian restaurant attached to the museum, is well-appraised but crowded at the weekends.
Yokosuka Museum of Art
4-1 Kamoi, Yokosuka-shi, Kanagawa 239-0813
Tel: 046-845-1211 Fax: 046-845-1215
Admission and hours:
310 JPY (adults), 210 JPY (students and senior citizens), children free; group discounts available; open daily 10:00-18:00, closed on the first Monday of the month, and from 29th of December to 3rd of January.
Yokosuka Museum of Art
The roof of the Yokosuka Museum of Art with a breathtaking view of Tokyo Bay.
The Kannonzaki Nature Museum (観音崎自然博物館) is a small museum displaying several marine species home in Tokyo Bay, including spider crabs, as well as a "real" footprint left behind by Godzilla. Admission: 400 JPY, hours: 09:00-17:00.
See more images in the Kannonzaki gallery.
By train from Maborikaigan Station (Keikyu Line) / JR Yokosuka Station. Take the Keikyu bus bound for Kannonzaki and get off the Keikyu Kannonzaki Hotel and Yokosuka Museum of Art bus stop. All the other sights are within walking distance.