Battleship Mikasa Museum - Yokosuka, Kanagawa

Trivia: the character Mikasa Akerman from the popular manga/anime 'Attack on Titan' was named after battleship Mikasa
The city of Yokosuka, Kanagawa has a long history as a navy town. The Tokugawa Shogunate began developing military facilities here in the 1860's, and the Meiji government continued the project until Yokosuka was home to a major naval base. Since WWII most of the ships in port have been US Navy vessels, but a relic of Japan's naval history can be found just a 5 minute walk from the base. The centerpiece of Mikasa Park, the HIJMS Mikasa is a turn-of-the-century battleship that served as the flagship of the Japanese fleet during the Battle of Tsushima in the 1904-05 Russo-Japanese War, where the Japanese won a stunning victory over the Russian fleet. In the 1920's, facing technological obsolescence and the fleet size limitations of the Washington Naval Treaty, the Mikasa was decommissioned and put on display where she stands now. This ship museum is a must-see for visitors to Yokosuka.
The museum is open from 0900-1700 daily, with tickets costing 600 yen for adults, 500 for senior citizens, and 300 for children. The exhibits are in both Japanese and English, and cover a wide range of subjects. You can tour the ship itself and see the restored guns, bridge, telegraph room, admiral's cabin, among other areas. The lower decks also include a lot of information on Japanese history from the arrival of Commodore Perry in 1853 to the Russo-Japanese War in 1905. The story of the Mikasa is also the story of Japan's rapid modernization in the latter half of the 19th century- to put it in context, Admiral Togo who commanded the Japanese fleet at Tsushima was a sword-wielding samurai as young man and had to go from a medieval to a modern understanding of war in a few decades. Now, there is one area of controversy in the museum's information, as it has a clear pro-Japanese slant in justifying Japan's actions up to and during the Russo-Japanese War. East Asian history is always a hot button issue, but for the sake of this article let's simply say that whether Japan was resisting Western imperialism or whether Japan and Russia were fighting over who was going to build their own empire in Korea and China depends on who is telling the story.  Regardless, the ship is a fascinating visit for any history buff, and with the dock for the Sarushima Island ferry directly adjacent to the Mikasa, it's easy to see two of Yokosuka's major attractions back-to-back.
You can find more information about the Mikasa and the Battle of Tsushima here.
Mikasa Park
The Bridge
The main forward guns
The lower deck.
Preserved naval uniforms.
Gun battery display.
These smaller guns can be rotated by visitors.
The lowest deck occasionaly hosts special exhibitions, such as this for -fittingly enough- the World of Warships video game.

Hayden Murphy