Thursday, November 12, 2009


Chigasaki beach

We went to the town of Chigasaki yesterday. Chigasaki is a city located on the Southern shore of the Kanagawa prefecture about an hour by train from central Tokyo.

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Some of you might know that Chigasaki is the hometown of professional cyclist Fumiyuki Beppu, but we didn't go there to try to spot him. We went there because we had been thinking of moving there and wanted to get a feel of the city and check out the real estate situation.

Chigasaki is also said to be a very bicycle friendly town, so we wanted to check that out as well.

Chigasaki rent-a-cycle

After we got to the Chigasaki station, we asked about bicycle rental at the station tourist information booth. We got a map showing various shops near the station that rents bicycles. We went to the nearest one on the Southern side of the station and it turned out to be just a regular food take out shop rather than a bike shop. Apparently, the city places rental bikes at regular shops to be rented in more convenient locations. These bikes weren't fancy or well maintained, but they were good enough to get around with. They were just 300 yen (about $3) for the day.

After visiting a real estate office, we headed East towards the Tsujido area to check out a friends' photo exhibit at Lama Coffee. Our friends Tabioto were showing photographs they took on their extended stay in India this year. Their amazing photography is something that can only be captured during immersed traveling like they do and gives insight into the world which isn't seen by casual travelers. Their extensive blogging is always fun to read. It's written in Japanese, but just the photography alone is great to look at.

Tabioto photograph at Lama Coffee

They are not necessarily bicycle enthusiasts like us, but this amazing photo captures a bicycle taxi in action.

after that we headed towards the ocean.


and the beach had a nice multi-use path along side of it.

Chigasaki beach

Chigasaki beach

We also checked out the Eboshi Iwa. It's a piece of rock sticking out of the ocean 1.5 km off the beach in the shape of Eboshi, an old headgear worn by nobles in the Heian period about 1000 years ago.

Chigasaki - Eboshi Iwa

I was hoping I could see it more up close, but this is as big as I could take a picture of with my camera.

From the same spot I was able to see Enoshima to my left and the Izu Peninsula to my right even though it was cloudy.

Here's a little video I shot of Kao riding in front of me on the beach path.

The impression I got of Chigasaki was that there were plenty of people riding bikes, but the infrastructure wasn't quite there yet. You had the choice of either riding on the sidewalk or in the street with cars. Most streets have low enough speed limits, so that it wasn't so bad riding the mamachari in the street, but I think they can do a lot more before they start claiming bike friendliness.

I wasn't there long enough to see all parts of Chigasaki and I think we will be going back there more as we hunt for a place to live. As for biking, the location of Chigasaki is very attractive as there are so many places I can ride to from there. We didn't really take so many pictures of Chigasaki this time, but I'm sure we will be going there again, so we'll take more next time we're there.


  1. Very interesting!
    What is that shiny stuff embedded into the asphalt in some of the photos?

  2. Hmmm, I'm not sure, but I think the road is actually a mixture of blue and white painted rocks and it's covered with sand from the beach.