Alisa Ueno’s Japanese summer spot
Playful prints and fun accessories are Alisa Ueno’s vacation must-haves. We stalked our favourite DJ/designer to beach town Kamakura, just an hour away from Tokyo.
”Summer in Tokyo can be so hot and sticky that it’s almost unbearable,” Alisa Ueno says with a laugh. The DJ and designer spends her summers vacationing in Europe when she can. When she’s home in Tokyo, she escapes to the Shōnan coastline: Pacific sea breeze and beautiful beaches are just an hour’s train ride away.
”But it doesn’t feel like you’re near Tokyo at all – Shōnan feels more like Southern Japan. The water is crystal clear and the nature is amazing.”
If you’re going to Tokyo this summer, make sure to make a trip to Kamakura. The city’s rich history and culture, combined with the many beaches in the Shōnan area, make it the perfect getaway for any traveller. The former feudal capital of Japan, Kamakura boasts an impressive number of historical sights. But it’s the addition of modern culture that makes it truly captivating. Kamakura is one of Japan’s most well-known surf spots, and nowadays Californian-style vegan eateries lie side by side with the beautiful old shrines.
”Kamakura is perfect if you want to experience the traditional Japanese culture, but you still want great restaurants and nice beaches,” says Alisa Ueno.
Kamakura is perfect if you want to experience the traditional Japanese culture
WHAT DID YOU PACK FOR YOUR GETAWAY?
”I always like to bring photogenic stuff, like colourful printed dresses. And UV protection for my face and tanning oil for my body. I always bring a lot of swimwear options with me. I love a good swimsuit, but recently I’ve been more into bikinis – they are better for tanning.”
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PERFECT BEACH DAY!
”It involves a lot of swimming. I love swimming! And sunbathing. Sun-kissed skin is definitely a summer essential to me. But I like to relax and read a book too.”
DO YOU PREFER A BIG CITY OR A SMALL BEACH TOWN?
”Beach town! It feels more special to me, since I live in Tokyo. But I love to explore a new city too!”
BACKPACKING OR RESORT?
”Both. I went to Morocco with my boyfriend some time ago – the first few days we stayed at a fancy hotel and then we went backpacking in the Sahara. It was the perfect vacation!”
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE SUMMER FOOD?
”Anything cold! I always order a water melon juice. And shaved ice or ice cream – chocolate chip or cookies-and-cream.”
BASED: Tokyo, Japan
DOES: Designer and creative director at Fig & Viper. DJ and house producer/singer, just about to release her own music.
A QUICK GUIDE TO SHŌNAN AND KAMAKURA
HOW TO GET THERE: Take the JR Yokosuka Line from Tōkyō station or from Shinagawa station.
WHAT TO PACK
Take a cue from Alisa Ueno and go all in on summer fun: playful prints, cool accessories, cute ruffle details and crop tops are the perfect match for this seaside surf town.
WHERE TO EAT
There are plenty of good options – both for vegans and meat lovers – in Kamakura. Alisa Ueno took us to Mushinan – a traditional Japanese café and sweets shop in a hidden spot by the rail tracks. If you’re craving Western food, try brunch at Bills.
WHERE TO BEACH
Kamakura’s three beaches are wide and accessible – but they can get crowded during high season. If you have the time – go further south and try Morito beach or the Miura peninsula. ”I had never been before, but I am definitely coming back! ” says Alisa Ueno.
WHERE TO PONDER
Take a break from beaching and visit one of Kamakura’s beautiful temples. If you come in June, the hydrangeas at Meigetsuin temple are in full bloom – but it’s beautiful all year round. Or visit the Hokokuji bamboo garden and indulge in the serenity among the 2000 Moso bamboo trees.