Sip and sup by the Shonan shores
Editor’s Note: With glorious beach days on the agenda, the Shonan coast is an ever more appealing retreat from the stifling stone saunas of Tokyo and Yokohama. Against the picture-postcard backdrop of the sun setting behind Mount Fuji, this stretch of coast’s eating and drinking spots demand consideration and relaxation. Here’s a few to check out.
This restaurant is a taste of effortless Chigasaki surf style with an Italian influence. The décor is bright and warm with cheese boxes and wine bottles lining the walls and a well-chosen soundtrack. By day, try a cup of the gourmet coffee that they pride themselves on along with one of their luxurious cheesecakes while flicking through their collection of English books and magazines. By night, candles on each table give the restaurant a relaxed feel. Italian and some Spanish fare is on offer (¥500-¥1,150), along with a long list of cocktails and wine. During happy hour a glass of wine is just ¥300, which works nicely with the outstanding cheese platter.
1-4-16-101, Tomoe, Chigasaki. Tel: 0467-82-9981. Open daily: 11:30am-11pm, closed Tue. Nearest stn: Chigasaki. www.southerly.co.jp
Australian celebrity chef Bill Granger’s Shonan restaurant has a prime spot overlooking the renowned surf beach of Shichirigahama. Sit out on the restaurant’s balcony for an ocean view as you eat, or settle into the bright spacious interior. Stylish whitewashed wood and brick are complimented by woven rugs and a mosaic bar. The menu contains offerings for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Try the ricotta hotcakes with banana and honeycomb butter (¥1,400), perhaps accompanied by one of their fresh fruit smoothies (¥700).
2F Weekend House Alley, 1-1-1 Shichirigahama, Kamakura. Tel: 0467-33-1778. Open Sun-Thu 8am-10pm (LO 9pm), Fri-Sat 8am-11pm (LO food 9pm, drink 10pm). Nearest stn: Shichirigahama. www.bills-jp.net
Set back from the beach road, Double Doors is a white, wooden-terraced seaside house with a view of the ocean and a laidback vibe. The bright interior is effortless beach-hut style with whitewashed walls, mismatched furniture and art on display, all set to a surf-rock and blues soundtrack. Mouthwatering aromas drifting from the open kitchen intensify anticipation. The menu consists of pizza, pasta, salads and indulgent desserts, all beautifully presented. Expect to pay ¥1,000-¥1,600 for a main meal. From the extensive list of hot drinks, wine and cocktails, the sangria is a standout.
2-2-2, Shichirigahama, Higashi Kamakura. Tel: 0467-33-1593. Open daily 11am-11pm. Nearest stn: Shichirigahama. www.doubledoors.jp
Mowa Kitchen Studio and Café
Off the main tourist track through Kamakura but surprisingly close to the station, you’ll find this intimate restaurant and bar. A few small tables, a tatami space and a wine bar fill this stylishly simple modern eatery that incorporates traditional Japanese features. The menu is only in Japanese but the friendly staff speak English and are able to help. Bean curry, beef stew and pizza (almost all under ¥1,000) are all on the menu but Mowa also specializes in healthy vegetarian cuisine. Recommended are the Kamakura vegetables, complimented by garlic-anchovy and yuzu and miso dips.
Yuigahama 1-1-10, Kamakura. Tel: 0467-22-1414. Open: Mon. – Sat. 11:30 a.m. – 11 p.m., Sun. 11:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. Nearest stn: Kamakura. www.mowa-kamakura.net
Just a minute away from the coastal side of Chigasaki station is this lively Hawaiian-style restaurant and bar. Jammin’ is great for a meal during the week or drinks at the weekend when the bar comes to life. Open onto the street and separated by a wall of potted plants, the restaurant is decked out with Hawaiian features, tropical flora and surf memorabilia. The international cuisine takes inspiration from Hawaii, Southeast Asia, India, Jamaica and Mexico. The food is priced between ¥800 and ¥1,300, with drinks around ¥500. Exhibitions and live music events are held regularly (live music cover charge ¥2,000).
1-1-15 Tomoe, Chigasaki. Tel: 0467-57-1129. Open daily 11:45am-midnight, lunch 11:45am-4pm, dinner 5pm-midnight (LO food 11pm, drink 11:30pm) closed Wed. Nearest stn: Chigasaki. http://homepage3.nifty.com/jamming
This beachside eatery is a new establishment from popular counterpart Free Culture in Fujisawa. While the Fujisawa bar is suited to late-night drinking with friends, the Chigasaki restaurant is ideal for romantic dining with a sea view. On warm nights you can sit outside on the large terrace. On colder nights stay inside with the laidback soundtrack and soft chairs in a well-designed interior, ceiling-to-floor glass doors giving a panoramic view of the ocean. The lunch menu includes pasta (¥1,500), macrobiotic dishes (¥1,500) and grilled meat or fish (¥1,800). The evening menu is à la carte, with prices ranging from ¥700-¥1,650. I had the raw octopus with spicy cold tomato salsa, which I would definitely go back for.
4F Southern Beach Hills, Chigasaki. Tel: 0467-84-8442. Open daily 11am-11pm. Nearest stn: Chigasaki. http://party-animal.oops.jp
Koya is a wooden portside building, with a natural, earthy interior. The restaurant is in the traditional Japanese style with wooden beams, natural timber tables and a covered veranda with stunning views. A panorama of the stretch of water leading from the port below to Enoshima Island is laid out before you. As you wait, the cooks prepare the freshest seafood possible in the open kitchen. I had the rice bowl set with shirasu sashimi (Enoshima’s speciality), miso soup and pickles, priced at ¥1,260. For fresh, tasty food with an inspiring view this restaurant is a winner.
2-20-12, Katase, Enoshima. Tel: 0466-29-5875. Open 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. Closed first Tue and first Wed Nearest stn: Katase Enoshima. http://enoshima-koya.com