You haven't lived summer to the fullest until you've been to a umino-ie (beach house). Living in Tokyo we're lucky to have access to many beaches just slightly outside of the metropolis, so we can spend every weekend basking in the sun. While there may not be that many restaurants or convenience stores around these coastal areas, the beach houses come in handy as they provide all the essentials goods we need to enjoy a day on the beach.
Depending on the location, you'll find a variety of beach houses, including those that are set up in collaboration with a renowned local tea house, ones that look like a resort transplant, and even those that come with its own container sauna. Here are our top five picks of the best beach houses near Tokyo this summer.
Sail Hus is back for its third year at Isshiki Beach, giving beach goers a place to relax and unwind. The first floor of this beach house is open to all but you'll need to make a reservation for a seat at the second-floor terrace (pictured top). The facility features Japan’s first container sauna, where you can warm up after spending hours in the cold water. The food menu consists of your staple Japanese street food like yakisoba and kakigori (shaved ice dessert), as well as gourmet delicacies like roast beef bowls, truffle fries and vegan ice cream. The drink menu, on the other hand, offers wine, craft gin and freshly squeezed fruit juices. About an hour and 40 minutes from Tokyo Station; ends Aug 31.
Sanctuary Beach Lounge will give you all the opportunity to take the most Instagram-worthy shots by the beach. Inside the wooden shack you’ll find swings and sofas to relax on while you feast on barbecue and cocktails. This sunny lounge was created in collaboration with DJ Dragon’s Sanctuary dance music festival, so expect to hear the organiser's upbeat playlist at the venue. About one hour and 20 minutes from Tokyo Station; ends Aug 24.
Happy Go Lucky has been around for 13 years and it is still the most anticipated beach house by locals, who revel in its lavish, resort-inspired offerings. Anyone can just rock up to the dining space; however, reservations are recommended especially on weekends. The menu offers a barbecue set which comes with a selection of meat, seafood, vegetables and fruit for just ￥3,600, while the tiki bar is stocked with local craft beer and a variety of spirits. For those looking for an active beach outing, drop by at 8am on weekends (or 8.30am on Tuesday and Wednesday) for a 75-minute beach yoga session. About one hour and 20 minutes from Tokyo Station; ends Sep 1
Japan’s favorite instant yakisoba brand, Peyoung Yakisoba, has opened its first beach house on the sandy shores of Katase Higashihama. Here you’ll find every flavour of Peyoung, even those not usually available at the local convenience stores – plus you get to add toppings to your noodles. There will also be exclusive merchandise on sale, including branded t-shirts and a picnic mat featuring a collage of all the instant noodle designs. About one hour and ten minutes from Tokyo Station; until Aug 31.
Kamakura’s annual beach house Sunny Cafe have collaborated with local tea specialist Ichika to create a cool, laidback seaside hangout at Yuigahama beach. The wood and bamboo structure will make you feel like you’re in a Hawaiian resort. For refreshments, get the ice-cold tapioca tea latte or kakigori with tea syrup. About one hour and 30 minutes from Tokyo Station; ends Aug 31