Weekend getaway or not everything is as it seems

What image comes to your mind when you think of a mega city? Crowds of people, everyone in a hurry, traffic, noise, tired or indifferent looks, and so on… Tokyo is not an exception: a huge concrete jungle with millions of people fluently navigating their way, where everyone is polite, respecting the queues and most likely, lost in their own world behind the smartphone and/or headphones.

Tokyo crowds on a rainy day.

Yet, there is one difference that you may not notice right away. They are slow! No surprise that Tokyo is actually called a slow pace city. The impression of a hurry can be misleading, though with time you get to notice. Not to mention that the closer the weekend (or summer season, for that matter), the more slowly they become. Getting out on a weekend can be a pain to a westerner! I would have never believed that a human being can actually walk so slowly!  It is not the only misleading first impression about Japan, but let’s take one at a time.

Given the nice weather forecast, I get out of the city for the weekend, this time to the seaside. Perhaps the most popular beach destination from Tokyo is Kamakura – Zushi – Enoshima area, which is within 1 hour from Tokyo by JR lines.

Mainland off the Enoshima, can get really crowded in summer.

It is still too cold for the beach, thus, I head to Enoshima, a small off-shore island, popular among locals and tourists.

Enoshima island.

The island offers a variety of attractions, including a shrine, park, observation tower, caves, and beautiful views. You can judge yourself!

Enoshima island, Southern side, Iwaya caves.

Samuel Cocking garden and Lon Cafe, famous for its French toast (be prepared to wait!)

Samuel Cocking garden and a lighthouse – observation tower for beautiful views around.

And whenever on the main narrow street, remember the above and be patient (or slow, if you can).

A few hours later I am ready to go back, but the train service suddenly stops. After about half an hour waiting we are told that there is an accident at another station and it is not clear when the service will be resumed. Following others to another station, I almost feel like in Paris on a RER line, where you are never sure if your train will come…

Sunset in Enoshima.

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