Hota – So good I went twice!

By Chris Eve

May 20, 2024

I was so enthused by my first visit to Hota that I persuaded my Chief Navigator, Kaoru, to join me for a second visit. In order to keep the journey as short as possible to allay Kaoru’s concerns about getting seasick, I decided we would motor all the way. We set out from Yokohama Bayside at nine and set course for Kannnonsaki. Eothen is fitted with a 30hp Yanmar 3YM30 engine which is more than enough for a vessel of her size, but it does mean that she can cruise comfortably at a steady 5.5 knots, so the trip to Hota would only take around 3 hours.

Motoring out of Yokohama Bayside Marina

We had pleasant passage down Tokyo Bay in bright sunshine and calm seas. On the way we passed two cruise ships headed towards Tokyo, the three-masted clipper Stad Amsterdam and the Costa Serena. Both were too far away to photograph, pictures here from the internet:

Passing Kannonsaki lighthouse

Coming into Hota harbour I was a bit dismayed to see that all the berths were full, with some boats moored double-up. I wasn’t sure of the protocol for berthing alongside another boat. I could see Ishii-san’s yacht was still in the harbour, but he wasn’t on board. Would it be OK to moor alongside without permission? I decided to give him a call, and he said go ahead no problem. So with that I took Eothen alongside his boat and tied up at 12:30. The passage from YBM had taken 3.5 hours.

As I was securing Eothen, two very noisy power boats came into the harbour. They looked like offshore racing powerboats and their engines, even while idling, were absolutely deafening. Oh dear, I though, this wasn’t like the last time I was in Hota when it was idyllic. It almost felt like we were in a busy Golden Week highway service area! Luckily the two powerboats gave up trying to find a berth and went away, and tranquility returned to Hota.

I was eager to introduce my Chief Navigator to the delicious Sakaemaru restaurant, so we immediately went for lunch. When we got to the restaurant there was a long queue, but I had noticed there were also a lot of people waiting outside the Banya restaurant, so we decided to stick it out and wait. It was a very long wait, but worth it in the end as the food was again fantastic. We can recommend the aji namero – goes well with beer! After our late lunch we went to have a bath (which was also very crowded) and then back to the boat to relax. Soon it was evening and time to open a bottle of something special to celebrate Golden Week. We were treated to an absolutely gorgeous sunset and a stunning view of Mount Fuji. Wow, this is the life!

Sunset champagne

Beautiful end to the day

It doesn’t get much better than this!

It was forecast to get windy the next day, so in order to avoid discomfort for my Chief Navigator, we decided to have an early night and set off back to YBM early in the morning. It had been another very enjoyable visit to Hota and we look forward to going again one day.

Sunrise over the Boso Peninsular

About the author:

I have always loved the sea, boats and ships, even though I grew up in Warwick, about as far as you can get from the sea in England. As soon as I could, I joined Cunard as a deck officer cadet and gained my Second Mates ticket while sailing  on the company’s cargo ships, tankers and the Queen Elizabeth 2. I started sailing dinghies in my teens while at nautical school. Fast forward to coming to live in Japan in 1990, I sailed dinghies and Hobbie Cats off Zushi beach for many years until I bought Eothen, a second-hand Cornish Crabber 24, at the end of 2021 and joined TSPS. Eothen is berthed at Yokohama Bayside Marina. Professionally, I run an exhibition organising company, and it is no secret that of all the exhibitions I do my favourites are Sea Japan and Bari-Ship which serve the maritime industry.

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Timothy Langley

About Timothy Langley

I have only been sailing for the last 5 years or so. I was originally drawn to TSPS and to the alien-to-me suggestion of sailing (I wasn't really looking) when a friend invited me to a Keelhaul. Several friends and old-timers who I never imagined were connected to the sea were active Members. After a few pints and lots of lobbying, I thought "why not...". I stopped hitting the sauna on weekends and working on old cars and, in no time, was sailing regularly. In my plight for sailing opportunities & begging for crewing time on someone else's yacht, I stumbled on a decrepit yacht that needed some attention. So I purchased it, fixed it up and sailed the heck out of it. It is now a very proper and reliable sailing vessel. And, as a consequence, I have become somewhat competent as a solo sailor (though this is a long road). I long for something bigger (Santana is a 40 year old Yamaha 26' possessing a proper enclosed head, a good galley, two berths, dry, comfy, reliable: sleeps 4) but in the meantime I am out on the Pacific almost every weekend. Completely smitten.

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