Shimoda, Japan | A Family Day on 碁石浜 Beach

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Breakfast at Cafe Mellow

After our visit of the Kawazu waterfalls inland, we wanted to spend our last day in the area on one of the nicer nearby beaches. Driving towards the south of Shimoda we first needed to stop for breakfast somewhere. Luckily Café Mellow, just off Kisama Ohama Beach proved to be the perfect spot. The café was clearly popular with surfers from the nearby beach, however at that time of day it was still quiet and we enjoyed our food on the wooden verandah out back.

japan with kids izu peninsular cafe mellow

A Secret Little Cove

Kisama Ohama beach, was hidden behind a concrete barrier from view and sadly the water was too rough when we got a peek over the wall. We decided to drive on south and after a short tunnel found ourselves above a pretty, little cove. Other cars were parked on the side of the road and we decided to park and have a closer look at the beach. Walking down the hill we passed a small café and could see other families on the stoney beach, some completely equipped with camping tables, parasols and tents.  It is amazing how much some families take to the beach in Japan.

japan with kids izu peninsular touji beach cove

japan with kids izu peninsular touji beach

japan with kids izu peninsular touji beach

japan with kids izu peninsular touji beach life

Swimming in the Clear Sea

We found a spot near the water edge, and laid down our towels.  Jerome went off into the water with his newly acquired penguin swim ring and joined the other kids in the calm water.  Chris and I went for a snorkel, and spotted a range of fish and other sea creatures around the edges of the cove.

japan with kids izu peninsular touji beach float

japan with kids izu peninsular touji beach towel

japan with kids izu peninsular touji beach

Kakigori on the Beach

Jerome had made friends with some other kids, it always surprises me how children ignore any language barriers. The parents of the other children started to chat with us in surprisingly good English and were astonished to find out that we were visiting from abroad and not expats living in Tokyo. They were fully equipped for a day on the beach with table and benches and even a kakigori (shaved ice) machine. I could not believe that they would carry a large cool bag with ice and syrup bottles to the beach to treat their kids!

Jerome watched them make the kakigori with the blue bear shaped machine. You put ice in the head of the bear and turned a handle to grind it into small shavings in a dish – the eyes of the bear started to move, and he was in total awe as the ice came out of the bears tum! He was over the moon when they kindly offered him a portion of the shaved ice with sugary fruit syrup on top, a traditional Japanese summer treat.

japan with kids izu peninsular touji beach kakigori

japan with kids izu peninsular touji beach say cheese

Cafe on the Beach

Later, after Jerome had his treat, we went to the beach café and had some iced coffee and tea too. They also served some standard Japanese café dishes, including yakisoba and curry rice. It was relaxing sitting on the terrace watching the waves lap the stones. After our lazy lunch we whiled away the afternoon on the beach and in the water playing games or reading.

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Late Afternoon

Late afternoon most families started to pack their belongings and head back home – the Japanese are creatures of habit and routine.  We watched them carry their heavy beach gear and helped the family we had chatted to earlier with some items to the car. They still had to make a few trips, considering the amount of stuff they had on the beach!  They said goodbye to us and we had the then deserted beach to ourselves.  The sun was setting behind the hill to the back of the beach and the sunlight between the trees was dreamy. When hunger took over we went back to our car and drove back into Shimoda.

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Our Evening back at the Ryokan

On our return to the ryokan after dinner we went straight into the hot tub of the onsen, our daily ritual during our stay in Rendaiji followed by some card games, until it was time to turn off the lights and say goodnight on our futons.

As an aside Jerome was so taken by the kakigori bear that I searched the internet for one exactly the same later in the summer and presented it to him as a surprise present! It now has a pride of place in our kitchen.

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7 thoughts on “Shimoda, Japan | A Family Day on 碁石浜 Beach

  1. It’s been a long time, Vanessa! This is Kei from Kyoto(I sent your blog about your trip around Hiroshima where is my home town)How do you feel Japanese humid weather?! I also like eating Kakigori(かき氷) during summer. And you are able to feel the atmospher of Obon(お盆 means Festival of dead) all over the prefectures in my country. Enjoy!!

    1. Kei-san,
      we do love kakigori very much, especially Jerome. It is a great way to cool off in the heat of the summer. Sadly we can only get it in a few places here in london, but we bought our own kakigori bear a few years ago and can now make our own at home.
      When we were there last summer it was the first time we saw the graves decorated near Hiroshima and have seen the Obon dances many times before. It is a great time to visit your country.

    1. Thank you. We looked all over Tokyo for one but it was too late in the season. I then found one on eBay…

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