Friday, July 19, 2013

Summer Icebreaker At Yuigahama Beach

"Palm trees, ocean breeze, salty air, sun kissed hair.
That endless summer, take me there."

Summer, 2013

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Kamakura was the destination for the weekend gateway.

Well, the summer is officially here! The raining season has ended a couple of weeks ago and we have just stepped into the early summer in Japan. But one thing for sure, this transition period is one of the worst through the whole year. Heavy rain, flood, typhoon, and the worst of all, the scorching heat! Just a few days ago, a record-high temperature was recorded in Tatebayashi city, where the boiling mercury hit 39.5 degree Celsius! Crazy stuff really.

But we are not gonna let all those demotivate us, because it's summer! Mention summer and among the few common stuff often associated with summer in Japan are barbecue, beach, summer festivals and fireworks festival. No summer is gonna be completed without all those.

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A very retro-looking train. You rarely get to see this kind of trains in Tokyo.

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Boarded the holiday express (ホリデー快速), which runs on the Tokaido Line.

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Outside Kamakura station. The beach is just about 15-minute walk away from this station.

Monday was a public holiday here in Japan; they call it the Marine Day (Umi-no Hi, which literally translates "Sea Day"), I headed to Yuigahama Beach (由比ケ浜) near Kamakura in Kanagawa prefecture. Geographically, this endearingly grubby beach is one of the nearest beach from Tokyo, and also one of the most popular spots for sun-bathing, swimming and surfing in the Shonan area, that you may have to fight for a spot on the sand at weekends.

Yuigahama beach faces Sagami Bay and is a 700-meter arch-shaped beach known for as a leisure destination just outside Tokyo. There are a number of seaside houses with showering facility, eating and resting places during the summer season.

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 One of the beach bar at Yuigahama.

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It was not even noon yet but the beach is almost covered by half-naked bodies everywhere.

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Beach bench and umbrellas, and floats are available for rentals from these small huts.

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And the traditional fun at the beach - building sand castles, human castles, etc.

It's summer and there's no denying that the weather here is usually hot. The water temperature however, is moderate to almost tropical, girls (and guys) are cute, and the beer is in full flow. Or the sand is not the most beautiful you have ever seen, so is the water, but well, it still will not beat the coffee-coloured Klang River lol!

The waves were just nice, not too strong and we managed to have great fun in the water. I was the main victim of Kai Cung, who brought his water pistol there and we had quite an intense water war in the sea haha! My response was to attack him with the seaweed that kept tangled on my legs all the time lol! On that day, I guess I've consumed more salt water than the past few years combined lol!

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The number of people keep increasing as noon approaches.

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There were a life-saving drill held at the water at noon.

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Someone kept teasing my Mickey Mouse pants, saying its too funny for me to put it on =.=

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Kai Cung and Benet were my partner-in-crime for the day.

One good thing is that there were life-guard on stand-by, just in case anything untoward happens in the sea. Whenever the wind gets a little stronger than usual, they will signal a warning to keep their distance from the deeper water.

One distinguish thing that you can only spot during summer is the beach houses, which is set up along the beach. The Norton Quicksilver Cafe is one of the most recognizable among all with its well-designed bright yellow beach bar. Besides offering itself like a cafe, there are also locker and showering facilities for visitors. As a reward, it often attract locals from around the area who come for a meal and a quiet drink by the seaside.

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After a long water fight, it was time to grab our lunch.

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They name this Kizuna Beach House, and Benet says they have Norton to protect this house from virus attack lol!

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Avocado hamburger set with mango juice on a hot summer afternoon.

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.

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After we had enough fun at the beach, we dropped by this famous street in Kamakura - Komachi-dori (小町通).

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There are souvenir shops, restaurants, stalls selling local goodies along this street.

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Shaved ice or kakigori sells like hot cakes on hot days like this.

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Cute little decorative items designed according to the twelve zodiac animals.

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Had some green tea dango, glazed with shoyu (soy sauce).

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Honey soft cream topped with yuzu-flavoured honey.

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Donguri Republic (どんぐり共和国) is a store that specializes in character-themed merchandise based on the animated films of Studio Ghibli.

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Donguri Republic is a place full to Studio Ghibli merchandise, leading you to jump into the Studio Ghibli animation world, 
helmed by the world renowned directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata.

So, that sums up my half-day trip to the beach in Kamakura and a short stroll at the town. Looking forward to more of summer outings in the coming weeks. And guess what, I am starting to smell some nice barbecue meat and magnificent fireworks already :)

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