Last summer, I boarded the slow-moving Kamakura-bound Enoden Line at Fujisawa Station. After about seven minutes, I got off at Kugenuma – the fourth station. I walked towards the sea. I had no particular objective but to find a place to sit down, relax, and have a glass of tall frozen beer to quench my thirst and beat the summer heat and humidity.
I didn't have a map with me; I didn’t need one. I love exploring places without any guidebooks or maps. I love the feeling of getting lost and discovering something new along the way. But I knew that if I carried on walking, I would eventually reach the beach. I had never walked around this area before but I had passed by it many times on my way to Enoshima – my usual destination. However, on this day, I decided to see something I’d never seen before. Thus, I walked leisurely and obeyed the logic of the road.
Walking around the neighbourhood was quite a discovery. Kugenuma is a posh place – almost every garage sported a Mercedez Benz or a European car. Japanese cars, it seemed, was not a favorite symbol of wealth for the local residents. Its proximity to the beach and to Enoshima makes it an ideal vacation place. I've heard there are entertainment celebrities living in the district.
After about fifteen minutes, I caught glimpses of the sea. I was already dying for a glass of cold beer. I knew there would be shops along the shore in the summer.
I hit Route 134 and immediately crossed to the other side. I ascended to the prefecture's Shonan Kaikan Park. The sun was already setting. The view from this little hill was spectacular: On the right, the shore resembled Long Beach in California in its length; it was crowded with surfers; On the left was the solitary island of Enoshima, almost in silhouette. The summit of the hill served as a gathering place for pet walkers. I didn't expect to see any of these sights. I found them just by pure serendipity. After walking around for a few minutes, I found a wooden seat where I was able to relax and enjoy a pint of frozen beer.
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I have a little garden: slightly bigger than the forehead of a cat. I grow herbs: parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme, and mint, and lemon grass, and lavender, and basil. Occasionally, I cook for myself. Sometimes, my Japanese wife and my daughter like my cooking. I come from the Philippines – it is said that there are more than seven thousand islands but I do not own one. I’d love to, though. I always carry a camera with me – in my walks, journeys, and wanderings. Most of the time, I’m home – staring at Fujisan and writing something.