The Heart of Kanagawa Cuisine: Yokosuka Curry
By Kelsey Leuzinger
On July 24, 2014
If you’ve heard of Yokosuka, you’ve probably heard of “Yokosuka Curry,” or as the Japanese call it, “Yokosuka no caree.” People come from all over Kanagawa to sample a taste of this famous dish. When you come to Yokosuka, trying the curry is definitely necessary to get the real “Yokosuka experience.”
The British Royal Navy first introduced curry in Japan in the late nineteenth century, which is also known as the “Meiji Period.” England had India under their rule at the time, and apparently felt the need to share part of their cuisine with Japan. Today, the country is clearly grateful for this introduction. You can find curry in any Japanese grocery store, as well as plenty of combinis, not to mention the countless curry restaurants located across Japan.
Because Yokosuka is a port city with deep connections to foreign navies, the curry dish seems to have landed in what is now nicknamed as “Curry Town.” And like any other popular item in Japan, it even has its own Mascot! Anywhere you see the Yokosuka-Navy-Curry bird, you’re sure to find some great dishes. Here is a list of the top places to find the best curry in Yokosuka.
1. Yokosuka Navy Curry- 横須賀海軍カレー
This is the real deal. Yokosuka Navy Curry is packaged and sold in various local grocery stores to have the convenience of making quality curry in your own home. You can see from the packaging that the authenticity of this style curry is extremely important. There are different flavors and styles to choose from, and you can guarantee that each will satisfy your Yokosuka curry craving.
The ingredients are complete inside, including the pre-made curry sauce and mixed vegetables. The only addition needed is a fresh bowl of rice. Simply open the package, heat in the microwave or on the stove, and pour over a good-sized serving of rice. This is definitely the best way to enjoy Yokosuka curry at home, regardless of where you live.
Any local grocer or specialty curry shop in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture.
While Japanese-style curry will always be a favorite in this country, you can’t forget about the original Indian-style curry. If you are looking for a reasonably priced place to sit down and enjoy some genuine Indian curry, this is the place to go.
Other than the curry, the best part about this place is the smell. If you have any question about where it is located, simply take a deep breath and you’ll be able to find it from meters away. The aroma of freshly cooked curry fills the street, tempting every passer-by to stop in for a bite of this infamous curry.
Actually, without the smell, it may not be so easy to find. Look for the orange signs outside that lead to a deep, basement-style dining area. You can tell from looking down the stairwell that the adventure has already begun. Nirvana diners from all over the world have signed their names in pen to leave their permanent mark so they’ll never forget their delicious experience.
The inside is decorated in traditional Indian décor, with Bollywood music and movies always on. You really do feel like you’re in a little India or Nepal when you step inside; and you won’t find any Japanese serving staff or chefs here.
The lunch menu starts at ¥690 for curry, rice, a salad, and your choice of drink. Also, complete English and Japanese menus are available. The types of curry available range from chicken to eggplant, with seasonal specials like pumpkin and egg. The rich flavor of these dishes is unbeatable, and you can tell right away that it’s not your typical plate of Japanese curry. Alongside their other traditional Indian dishes, this place is a must-try if you are visiting Yokosuka.
English: Otaki-cho 2-23 Mikasa Shopping Plaza underground 1F
Yokosuka, Kanagawa 238-0008
Hours: 11:00am – 11:00pm
Everyone loves Coco’s! This chain restaurant now has locations all around Southeast Asia and even the United States. They have become part of the local Yokosuka curry culture, and every gaijin in the area knows this spot.
Inside its designed in typical seating arrangements with bar and table options. The service is always fast and friendly, as usual in Japanese fashion.
Coco’s may be what you’ve had of Japanese curry before, but with all of the different combinations of ingredients you can choose from, it is easy to have a new plate in front of you every time. They are even known to have full English menus, which is always a plus for the English-speaking foreigners.
At this specific location, they actually take both Japanese yen and U.S. dollars; like only a couple of other locals places do. (Remember its cash-only, though!) When you’re in the mood for some good traditional Japanese curry, look no further than the Yokosuka branch of Coco’s.
1 Chome-11-10 Wakamatsucho
Yokosuka Curry has become a staple of Kanagawa culture. Next time you’re in the area, or if you’re lucky enough to live nearby, don’t miss out on this delectable dish.