A slightly more time-consuming journey than some of its neighbours, but Hayama Isshiki beach, aka Isshiki Kaigan (一色海岸) is definitely worth the effort. A beautiful stretch of sand so nice that the Emperor himself has his summer home right on the beach. In the summer there’s a tropical feeling: the police guards pacing the royal beach house walls are not there to stop you drinking beer - or even having barbeques - and seem pretty content to get in the beach vibe.
There’s some really good swimming to be had in the bay directly in front of the Emperor’s house. An artificial bay of flat, calm water, flanked by a large, concrete kind of sea wall/pier and gentle currents
Where is Hayama?
Isshiki Beach is not so far from Tokyo or Yokohama, and it’s easy to get there and back in a day. Isshiki (一色) is a region in Hayama city, in the middle of the Miura peninsula south of Yokohama. Miura is the smaller little bit sticking out in between the much more prominent peninsulae of Chiba to the east and Izu to the west. It’s basically Tokyo Bay but on the right side of it: according to locals, due to certain currents the water is much cleaner than neighbouring Zushi and Kamakura.
How do I get to Hayama?
All in It takes just under 2 hours from Shinjuku (1170 JPY), and around 1 hour from Yokohama Station (600 JPY).
Connect to the JR Yokosuka Line and ride to Zushi Station. From there there’s a bunch of bus stops, ride Bus No. 6 for about 20 minutes.
Then walk through the trees and greenery, about a block walk in the direction of the sea.
Going home watch out for the bus timetables and check your last trip … it’s a long way back to Tokyo.
If you walk into the town there’s a huge supermarket with nice bakery and fresh foods that will save you some yen for beer in the beach cafes.
When there is no lifeguard after 5pm, or anytime out of ‘season’,, jumping off the pier is great fun, but in the peak season this results in a megaphone scolding.
The island is a short 10-20 minute swim.