Food & Drink | TOKYO FOOD FILE

Little Thailand: Beachside beer and spicy food an hour from Tokyo

by Robbie Swinnerton

Special To The Japan Times

The sun, the waves, a sea breeze, the sand beneath your feet — and a nice, chilled beer on the table with good, spicy food, too.

When you’re stuck in the heart of the sweltering city, the beach can seem a very long way away. But just an hour on the train (plus a short stroll) will get you to Little Thailand.

Now in its 12th season, this temporary food court appears for two months every summer, from July to August. And it has become one of the most compelling reasons for making your way down to Yuigahama Beach in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture.

Despite the name, this year there is only one Thai outlet to satisfy your cravings for green chicken curry, spicy tom yum kung soup and pad thai noodles. There’s also excellent street-food from Bali, Vietnam, Okinawa and, somewhat strangely, French bistro cuisine.

So you can mix and match tempeh goreng (deep-fried fermented soybean) or excellent banh xeo (delicate Vietnamese pancakes wrapped around bean sprouts and shrimp) with goya champuru (the stir-fried bitter gourd that is Okinawa’s signature dish) or even homemade sausage with sauerkraut.

There is U.S. craft beer (Sierra Nevada in cans) as an alternative to the ubiquitous lager, and even wines by the glass.

Little Thailand, Yuigahama Beach, Kamakura, Kanagawa Pref.; (no phone); A 15-minute walk from JR Kamakura Station. From Wadazuka Station (on the Enoshima Electric Railway) it’s just a five-minute walk; ameblo.jp/littlethailand; Open daily 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. (LO), through Aug. 31; Dishes from ¥800; no smoking; credit cards not accepted; English menu; some English spoken.