More Boats of Nakaminato – Hitachinaka City
Being a huge fan of boats (I know that Japan is more into trains, traditionally) I could not resist walking around the tiny commercial harbor of old Nakaminato City (in present day Hitachinaka City, Ibaraki Prefecture). All the boats were in very good condition – I wonder if this is due to them having been recently replaced after the tsunami in 2011? My favorite from this harbor though was the Nakakaze CL82, Craft Large class patrol ship of the coast guard. Clocking in at 20m in length and weighing 26 tons it is one of the smallest regular patrol ships of the Japanese navy and coast guard. This boat was commissioned in 1996 so it definitively survived the tsunami. It belongs to the 3rd Regional Coast Guard (there are eleven), covering the Kanto are coastal prefectures of Shizuoka, Kanagawa, Tokyo, Chiba and Ibaraki. The 3rd Coast Guard even has a section on their homepage where you can download and build your own paper models of their bigger ships. Since many of the southernmost islands in Japan formally belong to Tokyo the 3rd Cost Guard has to cover a huge territory, far south of even the Ogasawara Islands. Their work must be tremendously interesting!