A chilled bottle of Singha beer forms a ring of condensation on the table. The heady aromas of fried garlic, lemongrass and curry spices waft from the kitchen in the corner of the wooden hut. Two waitresses gossip in Thai.

The sea sparkles. A surfing video flickers noiselessly on the screen behind the bar. The sound system plays house music, the beats merciless in the midday heat. Another typical day on the beach in Koh Samui? Rather closer to home, in fact. We're just an hour south of Tokyo, tucking into lunch on the Kamakura coast in Kanagawa Prefecture.

The cluster of temporary beach huts affectionately known as Little Thailand has been a regular fixture on this stretch of Yuigahama Beach for six summers now. Operating just for the months of July and August, they are set up and staffed by a number of established Thai restaurants in Japan (one from up the road in Kamakura itself; another as far away as Narita in Chiba Prefecture).