The ruins of Monkey Island

Mike Grist Haikyo, Kanagawa, Military Installations 11 Comments

No, not the game. This particular Monkey Island (‘Sarushima’ in Japanese) is located off the coast of Yokosuka near the mouth of Tokyo Bay, and during World War II served as an artillery battery and first point of defense of the Japanese homeland. After the war the anti-aircraft guns were removed, a ferry service began, the beach was opened to tourists, and walking trails were prepared around the various defensive bunkers carved into the rock. Now it’s a great spot for a BBQ and some sun-bathing.

Long walkway troughs cut through the jungle and rock.

SY put this trip together, booking the BBQ several months in advance. It’s generally necessary to book two or three months ahead due to popularity. Some of her friends came along, as did my old buddy Mike, now back in Canada. It was one of our last haikyo adventures together- though the ‘hai’ part of that was not really true, as there were lots of people knocking around. ’Hai’ ? means abandoned, btw. ‘kyo’ ? means empty space.

We had a great BBQ, sausages, yakiniku (Korean BBQ style) meat, and of course beer. A family with some serious gear beside us opened up a freeze box to reveal a huge ostrich egg. Wow. With great care they cracked it over a big wok and fried up one massive omelette. That was neat.

Then we went to explore. I didn’t expect anything much beyond some fenced-off entrances into long-empty bunkers and empty platforms where gun turrets had once stood, and that’s what I got. Still, it was interesting. To boot there were some cos-players knocking around, but as usual they were extremely shy of cameras not their own.

Thanks SY for booking the BBQ!

Chimney of an old power source?

Nicely overgrown.

One of many sealed-off bunkers.

This one was a powder magazine.

Its neighbor.

Another, this one not so severely fenced off. I did a brief explore inside, but there was nothing to remark on, just a dark dank space.

Steps that look like ‘The Ruins’ movie.

More large bunkers.

More modern tunnel ahead. SY and Kumi  in the middle distance.

Various graffiti.

Nice tunnel, seems to glow.

Darkly inside.

Mike strides purposefully from tunnel to tunnel.

Cos-players eye me dubiously. Seconds later they break formation and face the wall. Why so shy?

LOST brick bunker.

Open-air tunnel cut through rock.

Down to old gun-turret base. Nothing to see though.

Except these caves.

I found a flue heading up out of a tunnel and shot upwards. I guess there might have been a ladder in here once.

And now, farewell ye Monkey Island!

See a curation of world ruins in the ruins gallery.

See my collection of Japanese ruins (haikyo) in the galleries:

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Comments 11

  1. I’ve been meaning to get to Sarujima, but not had time. Didn’t know you need to book so far in advance, as I thought you could just hop on a ferry. The skin diving is supposed to be nice around there – did you get in the water?

    1. Post

      Hey Curt, you don’t need to book ahead just to go there, though arriving early is a good idea in peak time. The line for the ferry when we went was very long- we basically jumped to the front or we might not have made it, though we excused that by the fact that we HAD been waiting for some 20 minutes already, only in the wrong place… 🙁
      It’s only to rent a BBQ, chairs, tables, etc.., that you need to book in advance.
      Oddly enough, none of us even went in the water.

    1. Post

      I thought it might catch your eye. As for it being on your site, well, I’m sure we could come to some arrangement… feel like swapping for your Gunkanjima coverage? 😉

  2. Hi Im traveling to Japan from Australia for a week next week, and I do Urbex as it’s called here. Anyways would love some information as to where I can go and have a look around the Tokyo area.

    1. Post

      Ha ha, yes, I took many photos with you guys in the frame! Though the light there was a bit weird- all that green and shadow I think made many of the photos weak.

  3. It indeed looks pretty similar to Tomogashima off the coast of Wakayama. If you really enjoyed Sarujima you should put it on your Kansai to do list – unless you are coming in July, then Tomogashima is nothing but a hot, humid nightmare…

    1. Post

      Yeah, Tomogashima, I think they must be very similar. Sarushima was fun for what it was, a BBQ with a bit of gentle haikyoing, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to do something similar again.

  4. Used to go there in the 50s. A lot of monkeys back then. Guess they were moved or died off. They used to sell nuts to feed them.

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