Kanagawa is one of the prefectures I go back the most often other than Tokyo, because it simply has too many attractions full of local charms to offer.
Think famous hot spring and shrine in Hakone, stylish, romantic port city Yokohama, “Little Kyoto” Kamakura, summer beach vacation at Zushi, even my favorite service area Ebina (which I think has world best toilet system haha), are all in Kanagawa Prefecture. Kanagawa is my favorite!!! (Just don’t let other 46 prefectures know ok.)
You can read my past 11 blog posts on Kanagawa (see how much I have visited this prefecture??)
And today, I will revisit Miura and Yokohama to refresh my precious memory, and introduce a few more new places that you can list down on your travel list the next time you are in Japan. Just about hour away from Tokyo city, attractions in Kanagawa are perfect for a day trip. Of course, I always recommend a ryokan stay for a more relaxing time outside the hustle and bustle of the metropolis.
February 11. Japan welcomed us with unexpected snow!
Partner in crime this time around – Chanwon.
Misaki Maguro Day Trip Ticket
The first stop of our itinerary this time is Miura Kaigan, for Kawazu Sakura!! I have actually blogged about Misaki Maguro Ticket 5 years before, you can read my blog post in 2014.
Misaki Maguro Day Trip Ticket is offered by Keikyu Line which connects you directly from Tokyo (Shinagawa) to Miura! You can take a ride from Haneda Airport or Shinagawa Station in Tokyo. Price ranges from JPY3400-3810. And you get to enjoy the benefits below:
- Keikyu Train Roundtrip Ticket
- Unlimited Keikyu Bus Ride
- Maguro Meal Selection Ticket (one meal for free omg!!! This is the most worthy part!)
- Leisure Facility or souvenir Selection Ticket (such as boat rides/hot spring/cruise/free omiyage)
You get to save over JPY2610 with just this ticket!! Find out more about Misaki Maguro Day Trip Ticket HERE.
Miura Kaigan Station
So we arrived at Miurakaigan Station from Shinagawa Station, Tokyo. Omg even the station signboard is sooooo pretty in spring colors!
Before you depart, remember to stop by the station office to redeem a original free gift if you are using Misaki Maguro Day Trip Ticket! Meet the really cute Keikyu Line mascot – KEIKYUN!
Just show your ticket to the train master and receive an original hand towel in cherry blossom print! ^^
Find out more on this limited campaign here!
You know it’s spring when the vending machine is cherry-blossom-clad.
Maholova Minds Resort
Our accommodation of the day is a very special resort located at Miura Coast.
There’s a free shuttle bus right at Miurakaigan station and it comes pretty often! ^^
Took the bus and checked in to our hotel. The facade is decorated with cherry blossom prints, really romantic spring mood maximum!
“The Bell of Happiness” and a giraffe installation at the resort.
There’s real Kawazu-zakura decoration at the lobby!!! 😀 I really really love all the effort they put into letting their guests feel the passing of seasons.
There’s also sakura sake and shochu campaign going on. Omg sakura-pink-everything starts now! 😀
Souvenir shops in the resort are selling all sorts of cherry-blossom related snacks.
Buy buy buy buy.
Try the bite-size kamaboko with cheese/mentaiko filling inside, it’s so good!
This is my room! SO HUGE OMG. 3 single beds… I felt like Goldilocks hmmm which bed should I take?? Haha.
AND THE LIVING ROOM?!?!? Spacious until…
It’s also very cozy, beach resort-like even though it’s a full service ryokan with public onsen bath. I love it!!
Comes with a huge balcony too that overlooks the Miura coastline.
There’s even a kitchen for cooking so this resort is really perfect for family stay!
Omg I didn’t know they even have themed rooms! There’s Sakura, Alice, Tiara, Cola Cola… how cool!
The dinner buffet was super luxe too.
Free flow crab??!?
As I have briefly mentioned in my IG, there are many types of cherry blossoms in Japan. One of the most frequently asked questions I receive is:
What is the best time to view cherry blossom in Japan?
My answer would be – across mid Feb to May.
Yes. While the classic Someiyoshino (Yoshino Cherry – cultivated in the Edo period and is the most common type of cherry blossom in Japan. Most of the forecast are based on the blooming schedule of Someiyoshino.) typically starts blossoming in March-April, there are early bloomers such as Kan-zakura (winter sakura) that blooms as early as February, while the sakura trees up north in Tohoku and Hokkaido bloom much later, all the way into May. So even if you miss the mass-blooming season, you will be able to catch some sakura if you are willing to go meet them. 🙂
Today I’m introducing Kawazu-zakura in Miura.
This winter is extra cold (damn, it snowed the very morning even!), so when we were there there was only a 10% bloom.
Kawazu-zakura looks like this. Slightly smaller petals than someiyoshino, but much pinker, so if you put a bunch of them together you have a super like-attracting Instagrenic background!!
We were SO LUCKY because part of the trees along the walkway bloomed more than the rest, so it was perfect photo opportunity.
Not only that, Nanohana (mustard seed flower) is also in season!!
So you have a contrast of bright yellow against romantic pink… just perfect. Now I understand why the Miurakaigan Station signboard is as it is! 😀
Behind the scene haha. This is how we take photos for each others.
Misaki Maguro Auction
No trip to Misaki/Miura will be complete without seeing (and tasting!) some real maguro – Tuna fish.
You can go to the Misaki Seafood Regional Wholesale Market to observe tuna auction for free, and see how as many as 1000 gigantic maguro are traded each day.
There was even a gentlemen who volunteered a Maguro lesson just for us two. It was an educational lesson about the types of tuna and the current situation of tuna fishing around the world.
All Japanese fishermen use the Haenawa (Longline Fishing) method, where they spend 5 hours running 2000 hand-baited hooks to fish. And guess how many tuna fish are caught in those 2000 hooks??
That’s how much tuna has decreased over the years due to overfishing and it’s really sad.
After the lesson I swore that I will never waste any tuna (and fish in general) anymore T____T. Every time I get in touch of nature in Japan something in me changes a little. I remember passing through golden ride fields in Yamagata prefecture, sighing to myself how beautiful it is, and I wondered how much effort the farmers put into these rice fields and turns into warm fluffy rice on our tables, and I also swore to try my best not to waste rice anymore.
Anyway. The tuna here is frozen down to -60°C, only the tail is defrosted to show the buyers the quality of the fish.
On our way out, a very kind man opened up his fish trunk and showed us his success bids of the day.
Thank you, Maguro.
We then went to a sushi restaurant for maguro. Yes, we finished every single piece of them. It was super delicious. Don’t forget that you can use your Misaki Maguro Ticket to claim your lunch for free! ^^ (Ours is not listed on the ticket so we will have to pay for our lunch.)
Rainbow Fish Boat
Utilize your Misaki Maguro Ticket to the max! You can actually redeem one activity/souvenir for free using the ticket on the listed partners.
5 years ago I chose to go for Kirari Glass Art, because the Rainbow Fish Boat was not in operation due to strong wind that day. I’m so glad we came here today for the underwater boat!
Just show your Misaki Maguro Ticket to exchange for the Rainbow Fish Boat ticket (In Japanese it is called Nijiiro Sakana-Go). The ticket itself is JPY1200 so you just saved yourself quite a lot there! 😀
It’s a really cute boat where you can go down to the basement, and it looks like this:
Like a mini aquarium, except that you are seeing fishes from the actual ocean!
It’s like diving for water-phobic-people without having to put on all the crazy equipments.
It’s very relaxing and therapeutic.
You can spot different types of fish including puffer fish and sea urchin!
You can also go up to the deck to feed some sea gulls.
These sea gulls queued up one by one to get my ebisen (ebi senbei) lolol. They must be Japanese. XD
Also, check out the market where you board Rainbow Fish Boat! On the ground floor there are various UFO Catcher machines featuring hilarious prizes…
Such as… Maguro Clutch.
You can put it in your backpack, carry it as a briefcase (and have people think you a nutcase), a clutch, or a sling bag. Awesome. You can actually slit its belly up and stuff your belongings inside.
On the first floor, there’s a farmer’s market.
You come to Miura for two things. No, three.
Because their daikon is so dai (big) until I must type in CAPS.
I love daikon.
Tsukuihama Ichigo Picking
Just a week ago I was in Chiba for strawberry picking, and here I’m at Kanagawa for more Ichigo buffet, as if all the prefectures are vying for my attention HAHAHA just joking.
I love them all the same. 🙂 (Maybe some a little more. But i’m not saying. ^^)
Anyway! Ichigo buffet!!
This is Tsukuihama Tourist Farm. It’s kinda funny because they have different pricing for different seasons!
Jan 1 – Jan 5 JPY1900
Jan 6 – Feb 28 JPY1700
Mar 1 – Mar 31 JPY1500
Apr 1 – May 5 JPY1200
I asked the owner why the price gets increasing cheaper?? (Even though at the most expensive JPY1900 it is still super affordable for all-you-can-eat ichigo!!) And they say that ichigo in winter time is bigger and sweeter, so as it gets warmer the taste decreases so as the price.
I stood there aghast. Want honest until like this or not, Japanese people??? Seriously I can’t even tell the difference. But anyway now you know. Come here in Apri-May and your wallet and tummy will be very happy.
It’s Japan, you get what you pay for, sometimes a little more.
I was very happy with the experience. Honestly I hardly had any not-nice ichigo in Japan. They are all nice no matter the brand. ^^
If I’m not mistaken the main brand here is Benihoppe, a very soft, sweet ichigo with little to no sourness! ^^
Dip in condensed milk!
That’s all for this time! In my next blog post, I’ll be sharing about Yokosuka and Yokohama, which I have not officially introduced in this blog under Kanagawa category yet.
Stay tuned! ^^