(From February 2019)
The beginning of 2019 was our first trip to Japan and even though Rob was there for work, it was new and exciting for both of us. Even though we were a 45 minute train ride from Yokohama or Kamakura, and in most cases, an hour+ from the fun attractions in Tokyo, it was so neat just walking around the streets of Yokosuka, exploring our new but temporary home. Rob was able to do some of the exploring with me but while he was at work, I did quite a bit of it on my own, which allowed me to see some things I might not have seen otherwise. In comparison to someplace like Tokyo, Yokosuka isn’t a very big place but there are some nice spots. It was also great to get all my steps in while checking out the town!
Verny Park is named for French engineer Francois Verny, and is a waterfront park that sits on the water with a view of the Yokosuka Naval Shipyard. It is well landscaped and full of a wide variety of trees, plants & flowers in french style flower beds, french fountains and park benches, and consists of a cafe and small museum. My first trip to Verny Park was in February, so it was still cold and not much was in bloom yet but it was still a nice spot. I went a second time because the first time I went, the little museum was closed and I wanted to check that out. I made a point to go back a third time, in Spring before we left because I wanted to see that place at its peak. The third trip was the best because Rob went with me! This visit took place just a day or two befor we returned home so it was a little bittersweet.
Francois Verny came to Yokosuka in 1865 to oversee the construction of the Yokosuka Naval arsenal. Verny participated in the negotiations for the start of foreign training missions in Japan, helping to train the Tokugawa army. Under Verny’s management, he hired 65 Japanese technicians, 2500 workers, constructed & built up the shipyard, established schools for training workers and built four lighthouses (including the Kannonzaki lighthouse). In 1876, the Japanese were able to take over and Verny returned to France where he had great success working for a major mining company. He was also awarded the Legion of Honour before passing away in 1908.
Visit to Verny Park, trip 1: winter
Visit to Verny Park, trip 2: The Museum
Visit to Verny Park, trip 3: Spring! One last day to wander around Yokosuka before returning to Seattle.
Update: Kinda cool — for my third trip to Japan, while visiting Rob for another of his work trips, we stayed at Libery Cove House, which overlooks Verny Park. We had a great view of the park and the water!