In what may be a rare opportunity for the public, one of Japan’s biggest sailing ships has opened its doors to visitors for guided tours. The Kaiwo Maru is currently docked in the Port of San Francisco and has allowed the public to come up its deck beginning May 4.
The ship is part of the fleet owned by the National Institute for Sea Training, an affiliate of the transport ministry of Japan. It is used to conduct maritime training for seamen and has been of service for more than two decades beginning 1989. Weighing 2,556 tons, the Kaiwo Maru is 110 meters long and has two diesel engines that help its 36 sails run the ship. It arrived in San Francisco on May 2, which left the public in awe of its high masts that could be seen in the city streets. The voyage to the city was non-stop sailing across the Pacific Ocean after it left Tokyo on April 5.
A combination of engineering and marine navigation trainees that came with the ship facilitate the guided tours. 65-year old Carnella Gordon-Brown and her two friends were among the first visitors of the ship and they expressed amazement at the massive size of the vessel and how it came all the way from Japan across the Pacific. The ship will stay in San Francisco until May 6 and will sail to Honolulu, Hawaii afterwards.
[via The Asahi Shimbun]