Shonan is the name of a region along the coast of Sagami Bay in central Japan. Centered on Enoshima, an island about 50 kilometers southwest of Tokyo, the Shonan region stretches from Oiso in the west to Hayama in the east, including Chigasaki, Kamakura and Hiratsuka. Because of the bay, the region benefits from a mild climate and long beaches covered with dark volcanic sand.
In postwar times, the Shonan region gained prominence in Ishihara Shintaro's prize-winning 1955 novel, Taiyo-no Kisetsu (Season of the Sun). The novel, which was also made into a popular movie, portrayed the hedonistic lifestyle of young sun-worshippers from elite families (taiyo-zoku, the "sun-tribe"), who hung out on Shonan beaches. Lying as it does on the edge of the Tokyo-Yokohama metropolitan area, the Shonan region is nowadays a leading resort area, oriented to surfing, sailboating, and other water sports.