From Tokyo with Love: August 2020

August is always my favourite month of the year. The weather is hot; the greens of nature seem all the more vibrant; and I immerse myself in my now-annual summer soundtrack of mid-90s intelligent DnB, cicadas in the trees and waves lapping against the shore. Nothing boosts my mood more than blue skies above my head and the feeling of sun against my skin.

August is also usually a time for travel: 2012 Taiwan / 2013 Bali / 2014 Java / 2015 Sri Lanka / 2016 Brunei / 2018 Vietnam / 2019 Mexico. And while there were no summer trips for me in 2020, August still remained my favourite month of the year.

A week off with no real plans meant I was able to sip coffee on my porch in the sun, take a few trips to the coast, and simply enjoy living in the moment. Because there were no airports, check-ins and other such things, it was perhaps one of the more relaxing Augusts I’ve had. I did miss the experience of flying somewhere new, but more than anything I was grateful for the fact that I have done a fair amount of travel already in my life, and that right now I am based in Japan. I think during the pandemic, this is a good country to be ‘stuck’, if you could even call it that. 

I feel bad for those a bit younger than me who are itching to get out and see the world right now but can’t. I myself quit my job a few times to travel for a year, and so I can only imagine how I would have felt if my long-term travel plans had been totally crushed due to COVID.

The furthest we travelled during August was down to Izu, specifically the Jogasaki Coast, a beautiful section of coastline along the peninsula’s eastern side. The vibe here is rugged, with jagged cliffs and vast seascapes. A hiking trail follows the coast for almost ten kilometers, and while we didn’t do it all, we did enough to feel a proper sense of seclusion. We were able to sunbathe on huge stone formations and discover little rockpools deep enough to become our own little plunge pools. After a lunch of fresh fish caught earlier that morning (not by us I might add!), we headed back to Tokyo. Jogasaki is a very manageable daytrip.

During the summer break I also got reacquainted with a beach spot I had visited many years ago: Isshiki Kaigan in Hayama, a short bus ride from Zushi. Over the years, this quiet seaside community has been a popular home for actors, businessmen, and even one of the Imperial Villas. The water is far cleaner than that of other Shonan beaches, and during the (multiple) times I went it gave me the summer-sun fix I sorely needed. Just watch out for the odd jellyfish โ€“ one wanted to get a little too up-close-and-personal with me. Social distancing please, kurage-san!

I hope you enjoy this selection of photos from August in Tokyo. It is a city that continues to bewitch me with its endless facades: bustling one minute, quaint the next. After eight years of living here, I still smile when I walk down the street and see something new.

I hope you are all safe and well,



  1. I loved your photos! I like how clean everything looks. I have a friend who lives in Tokyo and she always talks about how great it is to live there and how friendly the people are. Now I know what she meant ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thank you for sharing these moments with us.

  2. Lorraine WILSON

    Hi Justin
    Love your blog as always. I think Mrs Ikimasho’s phot of Mount Fuji and reflection is great. Is the jack russel dog yours ?

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