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In the map above all the coastline area included, the cities of Hiratsuka, Chigasaki, Fujisawa and Kamakura are all generally considered as part of Shōnan. Although it's not an official geographic term, it's widely used to describe the area. The term Shōnan might conjure up images of Sunny beaches and the ocean for most people. It's definitely a popular Summer destination for the inhabitants of the greater Tokyo area. I thought I would write about it since it's destined to be a term we will use very often from now on.
I will share with you some pictures of different parts of Shōnan that I have ridden to on my bike.
Most recently, yesterday morning in fact we rode to the nearby Enoshima where I took the picture above. Enoshima is a small island off of the coast. It is a very popular tourist destination and it's very scenic for sure.
Here's another picture from Enoshima. This is the very backside of the island and there is a cave you can see for a few hundred yen. (We were too cheap to pay to see it)
This is the beach front of Hiratsuka and in the distance you see the mountains of Hakone and Tanzawa. If the sky was clearer, you would see Mt. Fuji beyond there. This scenery pretty much continues from a little beyond near Enoshima to Hiratsuka.
This is Kugenuma beach just West of Enoshima. It is one of the most populated beaches in the Summer. I took this photo before the Summer vacation season began in earnest, but these temporary shacks are called "Umi no Ie" which roughly translates as "House by the sea" are places where beach goers can go to lounge around, eat, drink, take a shower, and keep valuables in lockers while dipping in the ocean. Kugenuma is littered with these Umi no Ie during Summer, so locals tend to stay clear and go to more quiter beaches in other areas.
This is the view of the ocean in Oiso. Oiso is the city West of Hiratsuka. I rode there a little over a week ago. That is so far the farthest I've ridden since I'd moved here. Going from Fujisawa, you cross the Sagami River from Chigasaki to Hiratsuka first and it starts to feel more rural and then when you get to Oiso, it feels even more rural. I saw a lot of sport cyclists in this area. I found that it was much easier and pleasant to ride there as well. I didn't ride by the ocean in Oiso, so I don't really know what the waterfront area is like, but I stopped to go toward the ocean here and snapped this picture. Unfortunately, I couldn't ride any further so, I couldn't get closer to the ocean, but the water looked really beautiful there. I will try and ride by the ocean next time.
Shōnan isn't just about the ocean. There is all kinds of cool neighborhoods and shops and there's a lot of historic sites as well. This particular picture is the old school shopping street in Kugenuma Kaigan. We bought some fresh Tofu there.
Anyway, there is so much to explore. My bike still isn't ready yet, but when I do get it, I will be venturing all over Shōnan and will share with you what I've seen.