Kamakura beach and surfers
Kamakura in Kanagawa Prefecture is an internationally celebrated tourist post.
Unfortunately for all the beauty of the city, its mountains, old buildings, ancient culture and striking sea shore, the great majority of its restaurants and cafes are little more than traps for the crowds of tourists and surfers.
The perfect fried organic potatoes with anchovy and garlic savoury garnish at Magokoro!
But some locals belatedly realized that things had to change or else.
Heaps of organic food are grown or raised in Kamakura and its neighbourhood.
Just add to that the marine produce of the Pacific Ocean and you have the ideal combination to satisfy all tastes and priorities, be they omnivore, vegetarian or even vegan.
The same locals formed their own association, The Japan Vegetarian Society, in 1993 to help their fellow citizens and newcomers alike to discover restaurants, cafes and shops in accordance with their favourite food styles.
Since then they have grown into a small but extremely active non profit organization not only with their own blog/website but also a semi bilingual free pamphlet with a guide and map to no less than 51 establishments!
Call 0467-25-2668 if you cannot find the map.
Organic Vegetables and fish (mackerel) Lunch tray at Magokoro
The pamphlet/map is a real little treasure as it features not only restaurants, cafes, confectioneries, fair trade goods shops, grocery stores but even “earth-conscious (ecological) shops”, temples, body-care-shop, bicycle rental shops, hiking courses, temples, cooking schools and tourist information desks!
Each establishment is represented with at least one picture with letters indicating whether it serves or sells vegan, vegetarian food. It also clearly explains through the same simple lettering system if the food contains seafood, seafood seasoning, dairy products, eggs or even if it does contain such produce as leek, Chinese chive (nira) Japanese shallot (Rakkyo), onion or garlic!
It goes as far as counseling people to double-check in some cases!
The whole literally backed up by an easy English/Japanese lexicon for tourists with special gastronomic priorities on the other side of the pamphlet!
The same very ecology-conscious association has initiated an unusual association of shops with their own currency: Beach Money and Beach Money Shops!
The all-organic vegetables lunch tray at Magokoro
One outstanding establishment among this unforeseen wealth is a café/restaurant located right in front of the main beach where surfers and wind-surfers practice their sport all year round: Magokoro/麻心！
Founded in 2001, it has become the reference to organic (for all tastes!) food in the city of Kamakura.
For lunch you can choose among trays of organic food containing only vegetables, or a combination of the same and meat or fish. They will make sure not to include any dairy products, egg or mayonnaise for vegans upon request.
Vegetarians and omnivores will want to sample the restaurant organic creations featuring pizzas, curry dishes, macrobiotic cakes, organic coffees and teas, hemp beer according to the seasons and times of the year.
Keep in mind you might have to wait as it is extremely popular!
In the afternoon it will be easier to enjoy the sea view from their bay window counter seats or relax surrounded by a décor all of wood, painted walls and charming artistic bric-a-brac, the more for it as the whole establishment is non-smoking!
Live music and events are organized in the evenings (also in daytime occasionally), including Colour Therapy Sessions.
Better check in advance!
The Organic & Hemp Style Café & Bar, Magokoro
2-8-11, Hase, Kamakura, 248-0016 (within walking distance fromHase Station)
Tel. & Fax: 0467-25-1414
(Japanese, but including pics of their food!)
Kamakura Welcome Guide Association
(English, French, Japanese, Chinese plus services provided in Korean, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian)
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