August 13, 2008
While it may seem redundant if you have a rail pass, the Suica card is a surprisingly useful bit of kit if you are staying in Tokyo. It is good on the subways and the few non JR line rail lines in Tokyo which the rail pass doesn't cover. It also gives a modest discount on those lines.This is importamt if. like me you are located on a private line. Also, most JR line stations have restraunts and even convinience stores that accept the little penguin card in lieu of cash and it has all the convinience of a card swipe as opposed to fretting with a ticket and rummagfing through your change at a ticket dispenser.
Finally, it allows you to....quite on the fly....provided theres a SUICA machine available...upgrade to a green car (first class). This may seem decadent and silly and it is not something I'd be likely to do often even if I had a reasonable budget , but, if one finds oneself, arriving in Tokyo...during rush hour...the prospect of a comfortable quiet seat on your 86 minute train ride from Yokuska is most appealing....
As I initially arived in Yokuska, I noted that there is now, on the outside wall of the US Naval base main entrance, an ATM machine that takes virtually all US ATM cards! This is important since such machines are very rare in Japan and generally quite selective about what cards they will take. The machine will also dispense yen from your avings account albiet only in 5000 yen incriments (+-50 bucks). This may be of considerable use to those of you not in the military who have an oddball ATM card.
To get to the Naval base from Yokuska station cross to and stay on the left (water) side of the main drag as you exit the station...This will take you through a park that is a small Japanese naval memorial (dont be loud rude or skate)...There will be one set of stairs up and down over a parking lot that is afiliated with a mall...the second set of steps is a pedestrian walkway over the main entrance....the ATM machine is just before hat on your left, sort of hiding behind a live oak.
To see the main Japanese naval memorial and the Battleship Mikasa, procede over the pedestrian skyway ...staying on the left side of the street keep walking about 2 blocks then turn left....this will put you in a brick paved park with bronze mermaids and ducks.... IJNS Mikasa is at the far end.
The ATM machiine and main gate of the Naval base is directly across from a sketchy looking taco joint named the Honey Bee. As I'd arrived...again...too late to partake of Yokuska Curry so I figgured what the hell....I'll try a Japanese Taco...it might make for a funny story.
While the comedy was lacking, to my considerable surprise the tacos were top notch! I ordered a regular taco and a steak taco...the steak taco consisted of lettuce tomato onions and a new yourk strip in a taco shell. The taco taco was filled with texas chilli rather than mystery meat.
The little shop has a large menu ranging from corn dogs to fried rice to taco pizzas to pizzas and curry. The menu is bilingual and I suspect they get a lot of US sailors in there.
A.. the seats are counter seats...but you can get Coke and Coffee!
Posted by: J Greely at Wed Aug 13 22:47:35 2008 (2XtN5)
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