Dan and I were limited in domestic-only travel in Japan in 2020, for reasons we already all know…although, with the Covid-19 situation worsening, travel of any kind needs careful consideration in 2021 too.
With that context, in October 2020 Dan and I spent the week at an isolated beach hut on the coast of Ibaraki prefecture near Kashima. This place was so remote, to get food (dry goods) we did an online order for Amazon, which was delivered by an old man from the back of his Fiat! Still, this remoteness meant we could spend the week alone and together, enjoying some peace and the strong sea breeze.
We enjoyed an abundance of Netflix (thanks to Karl who I suspect accidentally left himself logged in at a holiday home…sorry Karl) and I spent many hours on the beach enjoying being surrounded by the natural stones. This may sound odd, but the sound the make with the waves washing against them and the colours they sparkle in the sunshine were exactly what I needed at this moment. I became quite the natural stone connoisseur this week…
As a beach break, the stony beach and rough seas were ideal for us. I wouldn’t recommend the coast for swimming or sunbathing though! For one thing, it’s the most eastern coast of Japan on the
Atlantic (whoops – Pacific!) Ocean side which means there is a fair amount of sea based rubbish washed up. As always, the amount of plastic was harrowing. Still, the rough seas and open coast also saw a few more interesting things wash up on shore…a whale skeleton, what I can only assume was a boat load of walnuts, a huge shipping lightbulb, and as more drift wood than a craft shop could dream of!
We also travelled into Kashima town one day for a sneaky trip to the brewery and visit to a famous shrine. We were delighted with the shrine, which provided us the chance to feed some Japanese deer. As it was raining, we had most of the shrine and the deer to ourselves, and enjoyed a hot milky sake to warm up in the outdoor cafe. It was a great day trip away from the beach, but I enjoyed returning to sounds of the sea at the end of the day!
This break didn’t provide us with huge adventure or activity, there were no hipster coffee shops for us, but did give us some daily healing space that I for one, much needed.