This weekend, my brother took us to the Izu peninsula, to enjoy the beach, and I swam in the Pacific ocean. Once again, America was an ocean away, but this time looking eastward.
We stopped at Shimoda, where Admiral Perry landed, which event is celebrated as triggering the modernization of Japan. We spent two nights at the Sakuraya family pension in Shirahama, which I warmly recommend for its welcome.
The tenants, M. Yamamoto and his wife, will give you a warm friendly welcome, and will make your stay a pleasure, attending to your every needs and more. M. Yamamoto speaks a correct English and a bit of French; he also uses gestures to help get understood, though the gesture code is different between Europe and Japan. He and his wife are artists in many ways I can tell, and probably also many other ways I cannot tell. In particular, they are cordons bleus, and will cook delicious japanese food, served with homebrew alcohol made with fruits from the garden. Yummy. When my father got sick, he was served a very nice french-tasting pot-au-feu.
There is also a small public japanese bath down the pension, that M. Yamamoto can prepare for you, with room for three to be comfortably bathing, or more if you squeeze up a bit. We were the only guest in the pension at that time, so we had the full attention of our host. It's a good idea to come a little bit off-season, though the sea water might be a bit cool.
Beware though that you have to climb up a steep road to get to the pension, and that the house is over several levels connected by stairs; personally, I find this all very lovely, but that was a bit painful to my father with his heart condition, and might have participated in his feeling sick, together with raw fish and other food he is not accustomed to. There are other pensions by the beach, and with the warm welcome I've received everywhere in Japan, I'm sure you'll have a nice time wherever you choose to go; but the Sakuraya pension I can recommend first hand, above the other places I've tested.