Touring the Individualistic Old House Cafes in Enoshima and Kamakura

Enoshima and Kamakura both face the sea, boast a long history, and have long prospered as tourist destinations and places of worship since ancient times. Therefore, like temples and shrines, many houses and shops that are around 100 years old still remain in the town. Let's enjoy the flavors of Enoshima and Kamakura at the various cafes, stores, and restaurants on the island of Enoshima. This variety includes places featuring hand towels, organic menus, and delicious soba; liquor stores turned bakeries; stores with unique tastes; and even a cafe you can enter by crossing the Enoden train tracks.

Enjoy Original Sweets with the Atmosphere of the Taisho Era / Shima Cafe Enomaru

An cafe fashioned from an old house in Enoshima. The building from the Taisho era (1912-1926) has been renovated, but the appearance of the glass doors perfectly suits the timeless atmosphere of Enoshima. The lighting and furniture in the spacious store create a cozy retro space with antiques and vintage items.

You can enjoy meals such as the “Kamaage Shirasu Don” and original sweets. The "Handmade Banana Cake" is the most popular for its texture and sweetness, as it contains coarsely mashed bananas.

Next to the cafe is a Japanese miscellaneous goods shop and a T-shirt and bag shop, so you can pick up souvenirs or browse the exhibits in the gallery while taking a break at the cafe.

The shop is located on “Oiwayado Street,” which leads from Samuel Cocking Garden (a popular tourist spot on the island) to Enoshima Iwaya Cave (another popular viewing spot). This is an area where you can fully enjoy the charms of Enoshima, with its restaurants and souvenir shops that face the sea, and the inviting atmosphere of this particular cafe.

Enjoy a Healthy Organic Dish in an Old House Next to the Great Buddha / Tenugui Cafe Ichihanaya

A cafe located in an area surrounded by famous temples and shrines. Some of these include Kotoku-in Temple, where the Kamakura Great Buddha is located, Hasedera Temple, known as the Hydrangea Temple, and Goryo Shrine, considered one of the “seven gods of good fortune” in Kamakura. The store’s interior retains the style of the original 85-year-old house from the early Showa period (around 1930), so take off your shoes and go inside.

It's a relaxing restaurant with tatami flooring, and, on the veranda, sits a traditional Japanese folding table (called “chabudai”) and cushions, so you can enjoy food and drink while looking out at the garden. It’s a peaceful space where you can experience the nostalgic lifestyle of a Japanese family.

For lunch, they serve colorful plates with rice balls and other main and side dishes, along with a curry dish made with a side of brown rice with seasonal raw and sauteed vegetables. You can also enjoy organic tea and desserts, and all the items on the menu are good for the body, plus they have a gentle taste.

As the store name suggests, when you enter, you'll find tenugui hand towels and other original items selected by the owner. The store is perfect for choosing souvenirs, as they also carry miscellaneous goods such as one-of-a-kind pottery and accessories.

Enjoy the Peace and Relaxation on Tatami of an Old House with a Beautiful Garden and Authentic Japanese Sweets / Mushinan

The shop is located right next to Wadazuka Station on the Odakyu Electric Railway, and you can enter the garden by crossing the railroad tracks. It is one of the oldest cafes in an old house built about 100 years ago, and has a warm, nostalgic feel, making it a famous store with many fans. You can enjoy traditional Japanese sweets such as shiruko, anmitsu, matcha and Japanese sweets, and everything tastes authentic. We want you to enjoy the sweetness of the carefully crafted flavors, such as warm shiruko in the winter, chilled agar and brown sugar syrup, and shaved ice in the summer, along with the view of the garden that changes with the seasons.

From inside the tatami-floored store, you can see the garden where seasonal flowers bloom along with the Enoden passing right in front of the garden. In the "tokonoma" set up in the Japanese room, hanging scrolls related to the season are hung and flowers are arranged. Sometimes there are decorations related to the event, so you can enjoy good traditional Japanese culture. The shop is basically a sweets shop, but chazuke (Japanese traditional food where soup stock is poured over rice in a bowl) is also available for those who are hungry. The four types, (plum, kelp, seaweed, and salmon), and the taste of chazuke, served in a space that resembles the original scenery of Japan, is exceptional.

A Bakery Renovated from a Liquor Store
A Landmark of a City with a Long History / BREAD, ESPRESSO &

"BREAD, ESPRESSO &," operates on a nationwide scale. "Yuigahama Shoten" is one, and it is a renovated store and residence that is over 100 years old. The cigarette sales corner and retro red mailbox from that time have been left intact and serve as landmarks for the store, making it an impressive building. “A piece of bread and a cup of coffee can bring people together,” and here you can take a moment to enjoy bread and coffee with this concept in mind.

In the building of a liquor store with an old history, the interior uses a lot of wood, thereby creating a calm atmosphere. The freshly baked bread lined up on the counter is full of originality, and the aromatic coffee also whets the appetite. There is also an eat-in space and an open terrace built from a renovated warehouse.

It is said that in addition to alcoholic beverages they also sold sweets and daily necessities at the old store, and it seems the store was loved by the local community for many years, much like a modern-day convenience store. Keeping in form, the store also stocks picture postcards, eco bags, and daily necessities.

Enjoy at a Soba Restaurant and Auberge
Delicate Soba Noodles and Cuisine Unique to Kamakura / Matsubara-an (Yuigahama)

In the early Showa era, when this area was once called Midarebashi Kiza Matsubara, mansions were built on land that was still close to the beach and protected by a pine forest. This soba restaurant is housed in such a historic old house.
It has a good reputation for its fine, delicate, and tasty soba noodles, and ranks high among soba restaurants in Kamakura on restaurant review websites.

The Nihachi soba (soba noodles made with eight parts buckwheat flour and two parts wheat flour) is made by hand in the restaurant every day using carefully selected buckwheat flour. You can enjoy the umami flavor and pleasant texture, and it goes well with the slightly sweet Edomae-style soup.

In addition to soba, there’s a wide selection of a la carte dishes made with local seafood and vegetables, such as tempura. Please enjoy a delicious meal with Kanagawa's local sake or fine sake and wines from all over Japan.

There’s also terrace seating in the garden, so you can enjoy soba noodles outdoors when the weather is nice. What’s more, it’s only a 3-minute walk to Yuigahama Beach.

In Koshigoe, closer to Enoshima, there’s an auberge (inn) called "HOTEL AO KAMAKURA" that’s also run by Matsubara-an, so you can also enjoy soba noodles there along with the view of the sea from the guest rooms.

An Old Private House Turned Cafe Popular for its Medicinal Cuisine and Location in a Residential Area Reminiscent of the Showa Era / Tsubame Cafe

In the ancient capital of Kamakura, many old private houses remain in residential areas. You can feel the atmosphere of Japan during the early Showa era, and it's fun to walk around town. Tsubame Cafe is located in such an area and is an old house with a history of 90 years. You take off your shoes at the entrance, and it feels like visiting an ordinary Japanese house. The interior, furnished with antique furniture and dried flowers, is covered with tatami mats, warmly welcoming guests. Seats by the window offer a view of the the garden through the retro glass doors.

The concept behind the cuisine is "something a little better for your health than your usual meal.” The menu includes medicinal dishes using local and organic ingredients, as well as a blend of Japanese and Western dishes. The owner, a former Italian chef, is popular for his special medicinal curry set and wontons. Vegetable-based dishes are also available for vegans. The curry comes with three other dishes in large portions. All of the dishes are carefully prepared with care and are not only good for your body but also your mind.

A stream flows next to the cafe, and the 53-meter-high Mount Gion is also nearby. There’s a hiking trail, and you can enjoy the view of Yuigahama from the observation deck at the summit. Enjoy medicinal dishes in an old house, stroll through the residential areas of the ancient capital, and enjoy the ocean view from the top of a low mountain. How about spending half a day in such a peaceful way?

Enjoy the Sound of Approaching Trains and the Aroma of Grilled Fish / Yoridocoro

The Enoden train runs along roads and along the coast, and runs past the eaves of the houses along the tracks. At Yoridorico, you can enjoy the sight of this popular train passing right in front of you. The small shop is housed in a renovated building from the early Taisho period (early 20th century) and allows you to experience the everyday atmosphere of this seaside town, with its concept of "traveling through everyday Kamakura."

Many people line up from early in the morning to get the ASA set meal (morning set meal) – which uses carefully selected dried fish – because it’s limited to only 50 servings per day. It’s said to sell out within the first hour since the store opens at 7 am. Take a bite of the perfectly grilled and seasoned Japanese jack mackerel or mackerel and let the exquisite taste spread in your mouth. In addition to fish lovers, even those who prefer meat will be impressed by the taste of the dried, grilled fish here. Also, raw egg is served whisked with a meringue-like texture on the side – a unique way to enjoy tamagokake gohan (rice with egg) that’s become popular.

It's less than a 2-minute walk from the shop to Inamuragasaki Beach, and Kamakura Seaside Park is also nearby. Kamakura Seaside Park is famous for its spectacular view of Mt. Fuji and the sunset over Enoshima Island, and has been selected as one of the "100 best spots to view Mt. Fuji in the Kanto region."

Yoridocoro also has a second branch near Yuigahama Station (Enoshima Electric Railway) that was repurposed from a former store that’s over 100 years old. It's fun to take the Enoden and enjoy a leisurely tour of the cafes.