must see spots

Don’t miss them!Must-see spots in No.2 Sea Fort, The Battleship Island of the East!

No.2 Sea Fort is a large gun battery base island that has been an inaccessible without the government permission for many years.
It was built between mid-Meiji period (1867-1911) and Taisho period (1912-1925).
The Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) was stationed there before WWII, and later the IJN used the island as the key spot to protect Tokyo. After WWII it was occupied by Allied Forces, but even after the island was returned to the Japanese government, visitors without government permission were never allowed on the land because of the abandoned military ruins.
The island was cloaked in secrecy for several decades. Finally in 2019,
just when Japan changed from the Heisei era to the Reiwa era the long awaited travel agency approved landing tours started.

Where everything startedThe Breakwater

No.2 Sea Fort was built from scratch. Originally, there were only rocky surfaces and sand on the bottom of the ocean. First, the breakwater had to be created, then a pier to moor the ships and after that, many big rocks were dumped into the ocean to form the island’s foundation. This breakwater was the first known one in Japanese history. The breakwater was originally higher and longer, but was greatly damaged by the Great Kanto Earthquake.

It withstood even typhoonsKenchi-Ishi

As you land on the island from the northside berth, you will see large diamond shaped rocks piled around the pier. They’re called “Kenchi-Ishi [ken-chee-ee-shee]” and were part of the original seawall constructed in Meiji era. This construction technology is based on Japanese castle building. The large rocks are placed, then small stones are packed in between the spaces and hardened with mortar, making the construction very strong and sturdy. With its solid structure, they have survived waves and huge typhoons. Later, this technology was shared with United States of America. You can see how they were built from the northside of lighthouse.

Lighthouse Fanatic’s dream spotNo.2 Sea Fort Lighthouse

Only accessible by boat due to its unique location, “No.2 Sea Fort Lighthouse” is a dream place to visit for all lighthouse fanatics. The original model installed in 1894 was called “Toukan [Toe-kahn]” (literally “Light Post”), the second model was a more traditional lighthouse. Both the first and second model’s were located on different parts of the island. From the third lighthouse and on, it has been at it’s current location. The lighthouse you see today is the fourth model and was built in 1983. It’s 12m tall and it’s light can reach as far as 24km and can be seen all the way from Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line toll road and Umihotaru Parking Area.

Symbolic Structures of No.2 Sea FortCentral Turret Gun &
Command Post

The ruins of a 27cm Turret Gun Base are located on the highland at the center of No.2 Sea Fort. The gun was positioned on the top layer of the turret where it could rotate and change it’s aim during attacks. The bottom layers of the turret held ammunition and additional space. The red brick structure that is currently still standing over the ruin is the Anti-Aircraft Command Post and is believed to have been used as an observation deck and a commanding post. It is one of the best photo spots if you want to take pictures of No.2 Sea Fort.

Beautiful construction technology
from the Meiji period
Westside Square

Westside Square” is located on the western edge of No.2 Sea Fort. Originally, another big gun was planned to be installed there but the plan changed. Instead, a search light and an anti-submarine sound training center was installed. From recent research, it is now known that the ammunition magazine was also there. With the thick red brick walls on the bottom, a concrete layer and then asphalt layer was added on top to prevent high humidity and salt damage. Together they formed the robust sea fort.

Look for
Sakura flower markings
Stamped Red Bricks

Some bricks on No.2 Sea Fort have Sakura (Cherry Tree Flower) or Japanese letters stamped on them.
This is one of the characteristics of bricks from the Meiji period. The stamp marks indicate where they were created. There are many famous red brick buildings from the Meiji period that also have stamp marks, such as Tokyo Train Station. However, these markings are not well-known because they were stamped on the top of the brick which is then covered with mortar when they’re constructed. You can find many bricks with stamps at No.2 Sea Fort because many structures on the fort have collapsed.

To protect soldiers and suppliesEnpeigo Bunkers

You can see an approximately 90m long red brick wall from the pier, called “Enpeigou [Em-pay-go]”.
Along the wall were places where soldiers could enter and exit the storage rooms and bunkers. Arched top entrances can still be seen and used to be connected to large rooms which are now unfortunately inaccessible for safety reasons.

The artery of Japan’s logisticsMonstrous Vessels Watching

Uraga Channel in Tokyo Bay is known as the “Oceanic Highway” and plays a very important role for Japanese logistics. More than 500 vessels go by each day; it’s one of the busiest channels in the world. No.2 Sea Fort is located about 1.5km away from the Channel. During the tour of the island, you often can see enormous vehicle transports vessels that can contain over 1,000 cars, or monstrous container ships that are over 300m long. This breathtaking view can be seen from the island because of its unique location.