Going to a beach near Tokyo in the summer won’t be your most memorable seaside experience, but it sure beats most things you can do that season. Here’s a guide to Yuigahama Beach, near famous Kamakura.
Yuigahama is the closest beach to the famous town of Kamakura, and one station up from Zushi on the Yokosuka Line. And what difference does one station make here?
For the majority of people not alot. They are just as content or loathe to go to either.Depending through which lens you are viewing it. The weather is hot, the water temperature is moderate to almost tropical, girls (and guys) are cute, the beer is in full flow, and can be as cheap or pricey as you want. Or the sand is ugly looking, and the water is not much better though I could swear that it’s a little warmer, and the party scene does not match up to the hazy memories from Kuta or Koh Phi Phi.
Some however have a clear preference. For starters, one station closer to Yokohama means one station away from Yokosuka Naval Base, which means less servicemen in particular, and foreigners, in general. Along of course with chicks who are interested in having a gaijin boyfriend.
Obviously this is a disadvantage for many gaijin out there, however, quite a few others would be more than happy to make a beeline for local girls who don’t make a beeline for foreign guys (they’re usually friendly enough).
One group of girls who certainly fit into the category of interested in foreign guys, but far from exclusively, and always friendly enough are the beaches bar sakura. Every beach has them, however, they seem to be more prominent, more of them on Yuigahama than any other place. Perhaps it’s just that there are plenty of them near the entrance,
As for the bars they are touting for, they are generally small like Zushi’s, and just a smidgeon cuteroverall,although again this might be a case of presentation, as one of the first images which hit you as you turn the corner and face the action is the very well put together Beach Bar, which looks like an inflatable beach bar identikit, transplanted from a Hollywood movie, which is in no way a bad thing.
Inside the bars themselves, you are considerably less likely to find the place rocking than find you and your mate are the only custom the place has. Don’t make the mistake however, of thinking that precludes the chance of any fun. As stated elsewhere, the bar masters and staff are often good crack, as are the bar sakura themselves. If you are buying the drinks of course…
I have a few friends who swear by the Mojito Bar for a good laugh (on eastern side of the main area and clearly visible from the main entry into the place) and will head up there at the end of the day regardless of who is in their, or which talent is out the front. Beach Bar always seems to have a couple of punters around it. But there’s gotta be other good ones about.
There are a couple of big exceptions to the standard, notably the Mild Seven BeachHouse, which draws massive crowds for their dance parties on Sundays, and I guess it is Yuigahama’s version of Zushi’s Otodama, however, unlike Otodama it is open, and doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb, even in a beach that looks like a bit sore hand that is Zushi.And not only does it leave Otodama in the dust aesthetically as a club, as a beach house it leaves the 1960’s style monoliths you find over at Enoshima, Nishi and Higashi, in the dust as well.
The Quicksilver Cafe meanwhile is a large and well designed beach bar that does a great job of looking like,,,a normal cafe, and as a reward is able to attract locals from around the area who come for a meal and a quiet drink by the seaside, rather than drunk boofheads.
Now that we are wandering away from bars and onto dinner, it’s a good time to mention there is a group of Thai (and one Turkish) restaurants clustered together near the entrance in a food court type arrangement which make a great choice for a bite after the sun sets, This is also popular with locals in the area who skip the beach frolics but make it down for dinner. Each place has quite a wide range of choices, although oddly enough, they don’t serve drinks which means you will have to head back to the Beach Bar in order to wash down all that spicy grub.
It’s a good 15 or so minute walk from Kamakura Station if you are taking the Yokosuka or Shonan-Shinjuku Lines down there. (Please read the Zushi entry if you want the nuts and bolts of getting down here, just take 3 minutes and about 0 yen off a trip to Zushi.) This makes it roughly as painful as the walk from Zushi Station to the beach and more so than either East or West Enoshima, however, Yuigahama Beach does have one advantage in that a convenience store is just across the road from the most popular entrance, which means you can put off the decision to say screw it, let’s just head to the bar” later than you would at Zushi with its 10 or so minute walk to the nearest outlet, which saves you money I guess. One odd thing about that conbini though is that the traffic light on the intersection takes an incredibly long time to turn green for pedestrians, so much so you’d think it was set up that way by the presiding beach authorities. Can’t win em all I suppose.
You can also get here on the Eno-den, that dinky little tram thingy, if you are coming over from Fujisawa or Enoshima or stuffing your face with Australian cuisine over at Bill’s Bakery at Shichirigahama. Get off at Yuigahama, not Kamakura. When you leave from the exit, turn left, then take the first right. Follow that road and it will bring you to the western end of Yuigahama Beach.