Hikawa maru 氷川丸

The Queen of the Pacific

When it left the shipyards of the Yokohama Dock Company in 1929, nothing foreshadowed the extraordinary destiny of the Hikawa Maru . Moored in the port of Yokohama , this luxury liner, converted into a hospital ship, a freighter, then a museum, is today a symbol of the port city.

Commissioned on the regular Yokohama-Vancouver-Seattle route in May 1930 , this ultra-modern and sleek ocean liner, equipped with the latest diesel engine technology, is capable of reaching a top speed of 18.38 knots (34 km/h). ). The top-of-the-range services it offers to its wealthy clientele have earned it the nickname "Queen of the Pacific" . Retired in 1960 , he returned permanently to Yokohama where he was used as a youth hostel for ten years .

Designated " Important National Cultural Property " by Japan in 2016, it is now a fabulous museum ship that can be visited for the modest sum of 300 yen (€2.40).


Enjoy the spray from the deck of the Hikawa Maru


The ship is then transformed into a hospital ship and adorned with huge red crosses on its sides. He thus repatriated nearly 3,0000 wounded soldiers in the archipelago . During these years of war, the ship managed to miraculously survive three mine attacks. It is one of the only two surviving liners of the Japanese fleet at the end of the conflict.

In 1947, faced with the shortage of boats, she was refitted as a freighter for the freight of goods . This third life only lasts a few years but gives the ship an essential economic role.

Civilian passengers eventually reunite with the Hikawa Maru for regular services to Seattle in 1953.


1st class cabin



The Hikawa Maru has been moored in Yokohama Port since 1960

Nesnad / Wikimedia

It is also an opportunity to see the contrast between the 1st class cabins with bathrooms with bathtubs and the cramped 3rd class cabins where 8 passengers sleep in bunk beds. If the "Queen of the Pacific" was renowned for the finesse of her cuisine, she was also renowned for her wonderful interiors created by the French decorator Marc Simon . The lights, the woodwork, the stairs are in the purest Art Deco style .

The visit to the engine room, meanwhile, allows you to appreciate the quality and technicality of Japanese shipbuilding in the 1920s. A valuable testimony to modern maritime transport.


The dining room


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