Conveniently located about an hour from Tokyo by train, the laidback coastal city of Kamakura is a charming spot for day-trippers looking to escape the urban grind. From long stretches of sandy beaches to the many serene temples dotting the area, Kamakura offers tired city-dwellers the perfect weekend getaway.
During your time in Kamakura, be sure to explore its burgeoning craft beer scene. The city may be small in size but it is slowly making a name for itself with its vibey underground joints where you’ll find homegrown brews such as the eponymous Kamakura Beer and the new kid on the block, Yorocco Beer.
Here are four names you need to know before your next visit:
This tiny bar — situated a stone’s throw from Kamakura Station — has barely enough room for more than 20 people each time but continues to be a big draw with its nine taps and American-style bar grub such as Philly cheesesteak sandwiches and hot wings. At any one time, you might be swigging a saison from Kumazawa Brewing Company, a microbrewery in southern Kanagawa, or a pale ale from Ushitora Brewery in Tochigi Prefecture. On the day of your visit, check their Facebook or Instagram to see what’s available.
Established in the early 2000s, Kamakura Beer is the godfather of the local craft beer scene and you’ll find their brews at most restaurants and souvenir stores. You can also enjoy draft Kamakura Beer at the trendy Garden House Kamakura or at the minimalist-chic cafe within the Kamakurabori Museum, a space dedicated to this traditional engraving technique. Look out for the best-selling Beer Moon, a rich and full-flavoured brew; Hayama Beer, a light and refreshing Australian Pale Ale that is redolent of white wine and grapefruit; as well as the Kamakura Daibutsu Beer, a citrusy ale beer that was created to commemorate the brewery’s 20th anniversary.