All of that to say, I have begun boycotting the toll roads. Lest you think I'm dramatic, the toll roads here are not like the toll roads in America. The cheapest toll road we've been on to date is 970yen going one direction. It adds up, lemme tell ya. Every time we go to Fuji or anywhere near Fuji, it's about $40 just in tolls--and that's a cheap trip, toll wise. Throw in parking, food, and souvenirs and every day-trip turns into a financial investment.
Today, I did my research. I realized the route to Enoshima was only a 20 minute difference if I skipped the toll road. That's what Maps said. Maps was wrong. I also almost killed my entire family during two somewhat evasive maneuvers. I almost killed a man on a moped. And someone in a BMW (that I was bound and determined to catch at the next stoplight) almost killed my entire family and a man on a moped at the same time. I was sooooo hoping we'd meet at a stoplight. I had some English phrases on the ready to test his language skills.
We never made it to Enoshima. We gave up with only four miles to go. Those last four miles were going to take us 30 minutes to complete. Well, "30 minutes" is what Maps said and we all know Maps is a liar. We opted for a parking lot at an unknown beach and it turned out just fine.
Tsujido Beach is where we landed. The boys had a blast. The Pacific was still a TAD nippy, but kids don't seem to notice things like that. The surfers were something to see. I can't believe how many were there for such tiny little waves. Either way, I was kicking myself for not taking my camera. Thankfully, Simon brought his! I won't steal all of his pictures, just this one that he took of Jude & a few I got when he oh-so-graciously lent me his camera.
A few differences from American beaches: the sand is black. Well, not really black, more like dark brown. It has gold flecks in it that shine when the sun is out.
There weren't shells on the beach. We found lots of really cool rocks and quite a few pieces of broken pottery(I'm assuming from tsunamis that have hit here), but no shells.
There were tsunami warning signs and giant loud speakers at the edge of the beach. I can't even imagine...
We were the only non-Japanese I could see. There was one little boy that wanted to play with my kids, but every time he got close, his mom would say something and he'd turn away. I was listening hard, but I couldn't pick out any words. It bothered me. Our sunshade went airborne as we were packing up and landed right on her tent, collapsing it on top of her. If people on the beach hadn't noticed the white people before, they certainly got an eye full as we chased our giant half-tent down the beach. Good times, good times.
The drive home was interesting. We knew what we were in for given the drive out, but traffic at 730am on a Sunday is a different beast that traffic at 1pm on a Sunday. It took us 2.5 hours to drive the 39 miles home. It wasn't even all that busy, just typical Sunday traffic.
Even Sean agreed the tolls would've been worth it. It was a great day, all in all. I sure do enjoy this stage. Taking big kids to the beach is so much easier than taking babies to the beach!