Ōiso (大磯) is an unremarkable-looking town in the middle of surf-hotspot Shonan coast, Kanagawa Prefecture. However, don’t judge a book by its cover! This town is a slice of history: established in 1885, it’s Japan’s first ever seaside beach resort.
In reality, sure, it’s a long stretch of dark sand in the shadow of a noisy, grey-concrete elevated highway. There’s no pier, merry-go-round or donkey rides, but it has some charm if you find yourself in the locale.
Some of which is due to the panoramic views. On clear, unhazy days, especially in the early evenings against the sun, and crisp mornings, the entire coastline along here has some great views of Mount Fuji (which both explains the darker sand). Turning the other way across Sagami Bay, Enoshima and the Miura Peninsula look nice in the near-distance, too.
The swimming is good, if you are into a bit of turbulence. There are some really big waves here, which make for some fun body surfing, and it’s nice for a change to feel the raw power of the sea if you’re used to the flat-sea beaches of neighbouring Enoshima.