Surf n' Turf
Kamakura Day Trip
Only 50 minutes by train from Tokyo lies Kamakura, the former capital of feudal Japan famous for its historical sites and surf-worthy waves, and best visited from August to September. Admittedly not a typically Japanese pursuit, surfing was introduced here after WWII by US soldiers stationed at the nearby Yokosuka naval base – although don’t expect Hokusai-proportioned waves – this seaside haven is known for its learner-friendly waters. There are surf shacks aplenty along the Yuigahama beachfront, Wetland for instance rents out boards and offers surf, bodyboard and stand up paddle lessons. If you’re feeling slightly peckish post-surf, swing by California-style Seedless Bar for some tacos, a cold beer and a sea view – you’ve earned it!
Alternatively, if water sports don’t exactly float your boat, take the cultural route starting with the 47-foot bronze Buddha at Kotoku-in which miraculously withstood the 1,495 tsunami, followed by a light bite at nearby diner Shamoji where you can sample the local delicacy of shirasu (dried baby anchovies). Next up is the fascinating Hasedera Temple set in lovely gardens overlooking the city, with a famous statue of the 11-headed goddess of mercy Kannon and row upon row of little Jizo Bodhisattva sculptures. To round off a fabulous day, hike up the steps to Italian restaurant Amalfi Della Serra, much-loved for its excellent pizza and jaw-dropping vistas of the cool Shonan shore.