21 Things Sailors Who’ve Served in Yokosuka Will Understand

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BY ORVELIN VALLE — WEARETHEMIGHTY​.COM

The sailors assigned to the commands around Yokosuka, Japan know about high optempo. The units assigned to Forward Deployed Naval Forces Japan are either on deployment or working up for deployment.

But with limited liberty time, the sailors of Yokosuka (and Atsugi) also learn how to play hard.

Here are 21 things every sailor who’s ever been stationed there knows all too well:

1. Your weekend begins with a Liberty plan and a designated buddy

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U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Christopher S. Johnson

(The liberty plan may not apply to those before 2002 or after 2014. Lucky you.)

2. But in reality, you have alternate plans

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3. Instead, you pregame with a Chu-Hi or three

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Image: Kirin

4. And head for the Honch

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Off to the Honch, Yokosuka, Japan. Image: Shissem

5. But you only stay for a while because you don’t get along with the regulars: a.k.a. ‘shore patrol’

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Instagram, zacharyattackery

6. And, trust us on this one, you won’t stand a chance if you start your Captain’s Mast like this:

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YouTube, Paul Coleman

7. Dinner options always brings out the toughest debates

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Image: Rocket News 24

(By the way, Sukiya is way better.)

8. You opt for taco, rice, and cheese because there’s no way to come to an agreement

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Photo Credit: Okinawa Hai!

(How did this Okinawa dish make it to Yokosuka?)

9. Or maybe you settle on ramen (because it’s crazy delicious)

Tonkatsu-Ramen-B

Pinterest, Honest Cooking

10. After dinner, it’s off to Roppongi

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Giphy

11. You learn to stay away from “buy me drink” bars

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Giphy

12. You learn that trains stop running at midnight . . .

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YouTube, kennooo93

… the hard way.

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12. But if you happen to miss the last train the real debauchery begins

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Giphy

13. Really, what’s a sailor to do without transportation? 

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Instagram, AgehaTokyo

15. Somehow you always manage to save just enough cash to get you back to base

Yen

Flickr, BriYYZ

16. You know you missed your stop when signs are no longer in English at all

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Flickr, François Rejeté

17. Luckily, the Japanese people are very friendly

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Giphy

18. MWR (Morale Welfare and Recreation) trips are great for holding on to your money, exploring Japan and staying out of trouble. You could visit Kyoto …

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Kiyomizu-dera (清水寺), Kyoto, Kyoto prefecture, Japan. Image: Wikimedia

19. … climb Mount Fuji …

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Image: US Navy

20. … or take an epic snowboarding trip to Nagano

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Image: Orvelin Valle, We Are The Mighty

21. And you know how to make the best of a liberty incident

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VAW-115 barracks party. (Photo: Orvelin Valle, We Are The Mighty)

7cc2d58a75f63dd62c48af721ef7b5af  Orvellin Valle –Social Media Editor at We Are The Mighty

Orvelin Valle is a U.S. Navy veteran who served aboard the USS Kitty Hawk with VAW-115 Liberty Bells.


MORE POSTS FROM WE ARE THE MIGHTY:

7 lies sailors tell their parent while deployed

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The 7 Types Of Sailors You Meet In The Chow Line

We Are The Mighty (WATM) is dedicated to serving the military community with authentic entertainment and original content. With a team of military veterans and civilian military supporters, WATM features premium original and curated video programming of all genres as well as photography, stories, quizzes, lists and much more. For more, visit the We Are the Mighty site.

 

  • Larry Goulet

    Baka! Baka! Baka! This article was OBVIOUSLY written by some O-type who, in reality, didn’t want to have any fun in the first place. And I really don’t know what he is talking about with “buy-me-drink” bars in Yoko. At first, I thought he was talking about Subic, but he was still probably wet behind the ears when Subic/Olongopo was still hopping! From what I understand “The Honch” is pretty tame these days, plus the cost of a Kirin or misuwari (whiskey & water) and the devalued dollar make pullin’ liberty there expensive! That first pic, with the three white hats in it, was probably around ’69 or ’70, when the Yen was still 360 to a dollar and a Kirin was only 150 YEN. I remember having a great time back then! And, BTW, you REALLY had to go out of your way to P.O. the SP’s, so things were, more or less, pretty relaxed. I next went back on the Midway (’77 – “80) when the Yen was down to 300/dollar and then on the Lockwood (’85 – “87) when the Yen slipped to 270! By then, there were more problems with guys smoking weed, than drinking in “The Honch” so things were kinda tame! Thanks to all my ol’ tomodachi’s out on “The Honch” – Ike-san, Charlie-san, Kusaka-san, Buckshot, Tomo-chan and all the rest! I had some of the best times of my 26 years there! Domo arigato gozaimasu! MMCS(SW), USN (ret)

    • jim Huntington

      i was there in 56,57,58 you could get a steak for 50 cents I had onr hell of a time That steak was at the EM club. $ 5.00 you got 1500 yen
      I was on a Destroyer USS Black DD- 666 GM

  • nicholas vlachos

    when I was there in summer of 1965, all that was there was “buy me drink bars” and me and my shipmates thought they where great. Alot of partying and good times.

  • . Griffin

    A Trip down to the “Hole” solved all problems

  • bob S.

    When I was there in 55, it was 360 yen to $1 and nothing there but “buy me a drink” bars and sobe carts
    to eat from on the way back to the ship in the AM. Japanese folks were very, very nice to all military folks
    especially sailors….loved all parts of Japan…..

    • Jim Huntington

      Right on Bob i think $ 5.00 got you 1800 Yen We hung out in thr Bars i was 18 when i hit Japan. ” WOW ” Ha Ha i was on the Destroyer USS BLACK DDE-666 GM

  • Bob Donoho

    Well, I was on the Bryce Canyon in ’55-57. Had a great time in Yokosuka, as well as some other ports. Was with the Admirals staff, so we had permanent overnight passes, which probably cost me in the short run!

  • Ron P

    USS Oklahoma City (CLG5) home ported in Yoko 64-66. Yen was 360 to the dollar and a Kirin or a Torres Misou (Whiskey & water) was 100 yen. Had plenty of “Buy me a drink” bars, the “Black Rose” was one of them but preferred “Stand Bars” where if you wanted to you could buy the female bartender a drink and she would shoot the bull with you while she drank her drink between serving others. A fifth of Johnny Walker Red at the Class 6 store was $2.45 and a case of beer was $2.00. We could buy a bottle or bring a case of beer into a bar and check it into the bar for 100 yen. That would get you all the mix and ice or cold beer out of your case whenever you came into the bar until your bottle or your case of beer was gone. Yakisoba (soup & noodles) was the common bar food of the day. The Petty Officers Club (Windjammer) had happy hour every day from 1700-1900 hrs and drinks were 10 cents each except for Heineken beer (normallly 25 cents was reduced to 15 cents). Definitely those were the days!

    • Darrell Ihde

      I came off the Oklahoma City CLG-5 in 1963. Seems like yesterday! I was the EXEC’s driver for a year and then to the Captains Office. Tough job. Reunion this year in New Mexico. Darrell Ihde-YN3rd