Sarushima, which means Monkey Island, is a small island at Yokosuka, Kanagawa. However, you may be disappointed by the lack of monkeys on the island. Originally named Toshima, the name of the island was changed to Sarushima after Nichiren was shipwrecked on this island and prayed for help which came in the form of a white monkey. Sarushima is uninhabited and is the only natural island in Tokyo Bay. The island is accessible by a ferry ride from Mikasa Pier which takes only 15 minutes.
In the past, Sarushima had been regarded as a strategic point of defense due to its location in Tokyo Bay. During the Edo period, this island was used as an artillery battery by the Tokugawa Shogunate. After the Meiji period, Sarushima was developed as the Yokosuka Navy Yard which is a United States Navy base. Thus, you will be able to see remnants of the island’s history such as tunnels and fortresses.
Like most islands and beaches, Sarushima is an ideal place for your summer vacation where you can swim, barbeque, and just generally enjoy the nice view and atmosphere. As the island is small, there may be overcrowding during the summer.
However, the opposite is also true where Sarushima suffers from lack of visitors during the winter months of December until February. Due to the lack of popularity during the cold months, the island has been opened for rent during this off-season period for only 70,000 yen!
This offer is only available during the weekdays as there are still a considerable number of visitors during the Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.
The news of this highly affordable island rent became highly known by other Japanese people due to this tweet by a Japanese Twitter user, @yuruhuwa_rikusi, which features images of the island being featured in a TV show.
According to a Japanese article, there have been enquiries on the usage of the island as a place for a fan meeting with idols. If you are interested in renting the beach, you may contact Space Market which is the rental agency in charge of the island rent.
You can be creative with what to do on the island. You can organize parties, weddings, hide-and-seek games, or make it a place for cosplay shooting. Artists can even come here to shoot music videos! If you were to rent this island, what ideas do you have in mind?
Kanagawa: A Stone’s Throw Away from Tokyo