Skip to main content
Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window
Travel Trade & Media

Explore Hayama with a Local—Mt. Fuji, Beach, and Local Foods

by Veronica Carnevale

Recommended Transit Passes

Hayama Excursion Ticket

If you are looking for an off-the-beaten-path destination filled with local charm, impressive vistas, and delicious cuisine, Hayama is the place for you! This seaside town is situated on Kanagawa’s Miura Peninsula and is located a short 30-minute train and bus ride from the tourist hotspot, Kamakura. However, despite its close proximity, Hayama retains its quiet, community vibes and offers an enchanting escape filled with traditional architecture, trendy cafes, beach getaways, and more.

Explore this hidden gem by the sea with an English-speaking Official Kanagawa Tour Guide! Your host, Hiroko, presently resides in Hayama and loves sharing the charm of her hometown with visitors.

Please arrive at Zushi Station by 10:20am to get acquainted with Hiroko. Then, at 10:30am, you and Hiroko will board a bus for Morito bus stop (about 10 to 15 minutes). The tour focuses on Hayama’s Horiuchi neighborhood and takes about two and a half hours.

Without further ado, let’s start the tour!

Morito Shrine

Our first stop was Morito Shrine, one of Hayama’s spiritual hotspots. This 12th century shrine was built by Minamoto no Yoritomo—Japan’s first Kamakura shogun (military ruler)—and is recognized as a Cultural Property of Hayama.

Morito Shrine entrance
Morito Shrine entrance

Upon arrival, I was first greeted by a vermilion torii (gate) flanked by residences and pine trees. Before we entered the shrine, Hiroko provided insight into the shrine’s history and explained shrine etiquette—such as bowing at torii, chozu (a practice of purifying hands through washing), and praying.

Once we entered the complex, Hiroko first brought me to the back of the shrine to see one of Hayama’s most iconic views. Sandy beaches gave way to the vast ocean, where I was granted distant views of Enoshima, tiny Najima island with its characteristic torii, Hayama Lighthouse, and of course, Mt. Fuji! Although it was cloudy when I visited, I was still able to see the top of the iconic mountain.

There’s an especially fun viewing spot in this area where you stand on a specific rock and look at the vista upside down through your legs. I highly recommend trying it. It is a view few have seen!

Oceanside views from Morito Shrine
Oceanside views from Morito Shrine

Next, Hiroko and I headed back into the shrine complex where she purchased an omikuji—a type of paper fortune—for me. As the fortunes are only in Japanese, she helped translate the information, and I was ecstatic to hear that I received daikichi, or great luck! As I basked in my excellent luck, Hiroko explained the meaning of Morito Shrine’s numerous smaller shrines and showed me the site’s 800-year old juniper tree.

Morito Shrine main hall
Morito Shrine main hall

At the end of our visit, we crossed back into the real world via the beautiful red bridge, Misogi bashi, and arrived at our next destination—Morito Beach.

Morito Beach

Morito beach with Morito Shrine in the distance
Morito beach with Morito Shrine in the distance

Located directly beside Morito Shrine, Morito Beach is Hiroko’s favorite oceanside spot. With similar panoramas as Morito Shrine, the beach serves as a lesser-known, yet equally mesmerizing Mt. Fuji viewing spot. The refreshing ocean breeze coupled with the seaside views, quaint Hayama townscape, and distant foliage-covered hills, made for a lovely walk for Hiroko and I.

Asahiya

Delicious range of products from Asahiya
Delicious range of products from Asahiya

After our beachside stroll, Hiroko and I walked about five minutes to Asahiya, a locally-loved butcher shop. This century-old establishment sells a variety of food items. However, it is most visited for its Hayama beef, a high quality type of beef that belongs to the same category as Kobe beef. Here, Hiroko suggested that I try one of Asahiya’s Hayama croquettes. The price was only ¥100! It was the best ¥100 I have ever spent.

Must try Hayama croquette
Must try Hayama croquette

The expertly fried croquette, with its crispy exterior and pillowy inside, acted as the perfect vessel for the luxurious flavors of the domestic beef and pork, onions, and high-quality potatoes. For an elevated experience, you can even purchase some of the shop’s homemade buns to create a croquette sandwich!

Misaki Donuts

Misaki Donuts
Misaki Donuts

After indulging in the savory flavors of the Hayama croquette, it was time for a sweet treat at Misaki Donuts—about a two-minute walk from Asahiya. This adorable donut shop has a laid back beachy atmosphere and sells a variety of year-round, seasonal, and location-exclusive flavors. With options such as milk chocolate, salted caramel, strawberry milk chocolate, blueberry cheesecake, pistachio, and more, it was difficult to choose! Eventually, I settled on a lemon cream cheese donut—the shop’s number one seller—and packed it away for a sugar boost later in the tour.

Soso Hayama

Entrance to Soso
Entrance to Soso

Our next stop was Soso—another two-minute walk. This gorgeous cafe is located in a 100-year old Japanese folk house, or kominka and acts as a cafe, florist, and seller of eco-friendly products. The facility aims to brighten people’s days with simplicity and is a popular spot for locals to relax and work thanks to its Wi-Fi offerings and lush outdoor area. As Hiroko led me through the picturesque facility, I felt my mind relax in tune with the peaceful atmosphere.

Genbei

Entrance to Genbei
Entrance to Genbei

Genbei is a must-visit spot in Hayama. Located about a three-minute walk from Soso, this extremely popular beach clothing store has been in business for about 150 years and is a cherished spot among residents. The shop’s most popular product is its flip flops. In fact, Genbei is the first place in Japan to sell this type of beach flip flop! When I asked Hiroko if she owned a pair of Genbei flip flops she instantly responded with an enthusiastic, “Of course!” If you are looking to pick up a Hayama souvenir, Genbei is the place for you.

Suwa Beach

Suwa beach
Suwa beach

Next, Hiroko led me to a hidden spot rarely visited by tourists—Suwa beach. This quaint area has a local fishing port and is used to dry seaweed. Past the fishing area, Hiroko and I rested on a concrete jetty where I finally enjoyed my Misaki Donuts!

A perfect treat to eat by the beach
A perfect treat to eat by the beach

As we overlooked the shifting tide, Hiroko told me more about the culture of the area and her own experiences. Be sure to ask her about the local octopus folk tale!

Horiuchi Neighborhood

Exterior of 45r
Exterior of 45r

As we walked between destinations, Hiroko provided lots of interesting information about the area’s locally-renowned spots. We passed by jizo statues (Buddhist deities for children and travel), MegMog (a stylish cake shop), Gazebo (a trendy coffee shop), 45r (an indigo apparel shop), and more!

Hayama Marina

Our last stop was Hayama Marina—the birthplace of Japanese yachts. Here, I enjoyed views of the sparkling sea with dozens of yachts docked in the harbor. Hiroko also led me around the main facility and showed me clothing stores, restaurants, Marlowe—a pudding shop popular for its large variety of flavors and seasonal offerings, and even a shop serving ice cream made from fresh Yokosuka milk.

After we enjoyed the luxurious atmosphere of Hayama Marina, Hiroko guided me past the facility and showed me beautiful views of Hayama’s coastline, an abandoned shrine and temple, and local fish markets.

Bye bye, Hayama

The tour ends at 1:00pm at Abuzuri bus stop, and the bus for Zushi Station departs at 1:10pm.

As we waited for the bus, I asked Hiroko what she likes about Hayama. Her answer, “I like the beach and culture. It’s a mix of history, trendy spots, and local charm, and the people here are very passionate about their home.”

With Hiroko’s kind and knowledgeable guidance, discover Hayama’s charming allure for yourself!

Click here to book the tour.

Share

Related Itineraries

Guided Mt. Oyama Hike in Isehara image

Guided Mt. Oyama Hike in Isehara

Trip Reports
One-day Trip in Manazuru image

One-day Trip in Manazuru

Trip Reports
Guided Mt. Oyama Hike in Isehara image

Guided Mt. Oyama Hike in Isehara

Trip Reports
Chigasaki: Hawaiian vibes in the heart of Japan  image

Chigasaki: Hawaiian vibes in the heart of Japan

Trip Reports