Just a large stone’s throw away from Tokyo, Miurakaigan 三浦海岸 which literally means “three channel/bay shore” is one of the cleaner and quieter beaches that we have visited. It is slightly further down the peninsula than the Enoshima and Zushi stretch, but is still very accessible by train. It costs about ￥1000 and 1.5 hours to go from downtown Tokyo.
Upon reaching the Miurakaigan station, we took a 5-minute walk to the beach, where we were greeted with a peaceful, somewhat empty surprise. There were barely any people! I’m still not sure if it is because summer season is “officially” over and hence no one (read: Japanese) visits the beach, or if it is just normally like that. Sadly our opinions lean toward the former, but one can always hope! There were some people lying out in the sand, a handful of windsurfers and one kite surfer, and that was it. We were elated! The beaches along Kamakura, Enoshima and Zushi (Isshiki Beach is in a whole other league) were a far cry from this: rowdier, dirtier and all right for the more rah-rah party types. Not having to scan the beach for a spot to squeeze in, we walked leisurely along the shore and set our mat down somewhere in the middle. In the distance, we could see Chiba and ships making their way through the Tokyo Bay.
All of a sudden, we spotted a fish flying out of the water. Splash, there he was again, splash, splash! The magical fish at Miurakaigan could fly! This probably isn’t the most amazing of things to witness but it was pretty fly to me.
The sand was still coarse like the other beaches, but was relatively light in color. The water was clearer and less salty; it had a greyish blue hue rather than greyish green. There were children with thick tire bicycles riding on the wet sand, which would definitely have been prohibited on the other beaches, as well as a guy who was wearing a sumo style swimsuit! The unrestrained and liberating vibes of this beach have certainly rubbed off on some people. We took a dip in the cold water, lazed on the beach, and watched the seagulls fly into the sunset.
Besides a McDonald’s that had a noteworthy drive-through, there were also many family restaurants along the road from the station to the beach. Misakiguchi 三崎口 is one station away, where the end of the train line and the Misaki Port and fish market are. The specialty is tuna, or maguro まぐろ・鮪, and is well-known for being fresh. Highly recommended for tuna-lovers, especially fatty chutoro (otoro is too fatty for my taste) loving fiends like me! One of the restaurants named 紀川 had a particularly long line and you know what they say: expensive and good equates a long waiting list, cheap and good equates a long waiting line.
We opted instead for one of the other nondescript family restaurants down the road that specializes in maguro. Maguro usually refers to bluefin tuna, and ahi to its yellowfin counterpart. The lady proprietress sliced up our maguro and seafood bowls as we sat on tatami and watched a Japanese game show on the old-fashioned television. Succulent tuna, squid, hamachi, salmon and scallops! The menu also had some chinmi 珍味, or “delicacies” such as tuna heart and other innards. The port has tuna auctions as well, so be sure to drop by for a less-beaten alternative to the Tsukiji Market!