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The Magical Shonan Area

by Veronika 492

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Shonan area is well known as a resort for it's
beaches and pools, however it also has a
hidden historical value, as it had been popular
for many ages. This article will introduce some
spots in the area you can enjoy even in winter!


Oiso Station → Jifukuji Temple →  
BESNUG → Oiso inn Onoe Honjin →
Oiso inn Kojima Honjin → Oiso Beach →  
Kinoshita Villa → Rokusho Shrine (Optional)
Distance:1.6km(+ 4.1km to the optional location)
Time:20 min + time for sightseeing and relaxing
1. Visit a temple dedicated to a famous Japanese
author Toson Shimazaki (aka Shimazaki Haruki)
Located in the town of Oiso, Jifukuji Temple is
a place where one can  feel at peace. Inside,
hidden among the centenarian plum trees is a
resting place of an esteemed writer Toson
Shimazaki and his wife.
Plums start blooming around February, so you
can visit the temple then and feel the coming
of spring a little early.
Jifukuji Temple
1135 Oiso, Oiso City, Naka District, Kanagawa
2. Fuel yourself up for a long day of walking around.
"It is a shop run by a local surfer, and it is really
popular with surfers coming back from the sea"
says Kota, a surfer and a shop owner himself,
and he is right! BESNUG is a perfect place to eat
in before or after demanding physical activities
such as surfing or sightseeing. Burgers here are
quite voluminous - you might not able to fit one
bite in your mouth! They also mark their buns
with a burn stamp.
1093 Oiso, Oiso City, Naka District, Kanagawa
3. Take a short break at a place where people had been
resting since Edo period (1603-1868)
Oiso is a town where many Japanese lords and
other famous people would stop by for a rest
when traveling down the Tokkaido road. Oiso inn
Onoe Honjin and Kojima Honjin are the places
where stone monuments are placed  to remind
people of their importance (Honjin is the name  
for the specialized inn where daimyo - the
lords - would stay).
Even nowadays you can still find a Japanese soba
noodles restaurant near Kojima that has been
open since 1870. It is a unique and photogenic spot
with a retro feel.

Oiso inn Onoe Honjin
Oiso inn Kojima Honjin
1023 Oiso, Oiso City, Naka District, Kanagawa

4. Enjoy the view of Mt Fuji from a beach loved
by surfers and swimmers!

Oiso Swimming Beach is the first bathing beach
in Japan. It is popular not only in summer, but
also in winter, when you can see the great Mt
Fuji between the sea and the sky. This beautiful
view even makes you forget the cold. "Oiso Beach
is my home point for riding the waves. I also like
the old summer houses that have not changed
since the Showa era (1926-1989)" says Kota.

Oiso Swimming Beach
1990 Oiso, Oiso City, Naka District, Kanagawa

5. The beautiful houses from the first half of 20th
century are beautiful all the way to their details.

Right from the picture books or foreign movies
the beautiful former Kinoshita Villa is registered
as a Tangible Cultural Property of Japan. It is the
oldest Western style building in Oiso built using
a 2x4 method. When visiting, pay attention to
the crafstmanship of the details on windows and

Former Kinoshita Villa
1007 Oiso, Oiso City, Naka District, Kanagawa

6. If you still have the energy, visit Rokusho Shrine!

If you have some time, definitely visit the Rokusho
Shrine. It is about 50 min walk from Oiso station,
but you can take a bus bound for Ninomiya station
and get off at Kokufushinshuku station instead.
As you pass the big Torii gateway and head to the
main shrine, buy a lucky charm shaped like a comb.
This lucky charm is said to protect from misfortune
and bring good luck to women who have it.

Original article in Japanese: