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 – 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,
Justin / IKIMASHO