A hop and a skip from the central town of Zushi lies Hayama, another beachside locale with a laidback vibe. Think long walks on the beach, afternoon naps for kicks and curiously, a variety of vegan and alternative dining eateries.
As there is no direct train line from Tokyo to Hayama, you will need to make a connecting stop at Zushi. (For directions on how to get to Zushi, check out our guide here). From Zushi Station, catch the bus numbered “逗 12″ bound for Hayama at the terminal right outside. 15 minutes later and you’ll be in paradise.
At 350 meters long, Morito Beach is a great destination for a stroll to get your steps in for the day. During the warmer climate, expect to see makeshift beach huts and rental shops offering their wares to local beachgoers. Despite comparisons to its sister beach in Zushi, both places are worth going as they offer different views. For those who prefer a quieter beach day experience, Morito Beach is often a little less crowded.
This intimately sized shrine right next to the beach is a popular stop for locals and travelers alike. Built in the 12th century by Kamakura’s first shogun, Minamoto no Yoritomo, it is said to treasure children and babies. For this reason, many visitors flock to pray for fertility and a safe birth. One of Morito Daimyojin’s most well-known features is its red torii gate in the middle of the ocean. Should you have the opportunity to see a sunset from Hayama, Morito Daimyojin is undoubtedly one place you should visit for its panoramic view of Enoshima and Mount Fuji in the far distance.
Exploring while traveling can be tough work. Thankfully the main street of Hayama is lined with an abundance of cafes. This includes Soda Cafe which serves gluten-free and vegan baked goods from its small but welcoming space. It’s ideal for an afternoon reprieve. The cafe is all about wooden tabletops, clean white tiles and al fresco dining for patrons who want to catch the sea breeze. The menu features a variety of baked treats but don’t pass up their vegan chocolate banana cake or the blueberry soy cream cheese muffin as each are equally delightful. Having recently celebrated six years since its opening, Soda Cafe is a place you can rely on.
Hidden inside Hayamakan Hotel is Masakichi, a Japanese-style eatery specializing in seafood. Teishoku sets here are as cheap as the fish is fresh, no doubt due to the restaurant’s proximity to the ocean. For as low as ¥1100 (pricing subject to menu updates), one can order a fresh shirasu (a type of whitebait) rice bowl, complete with a steaming cup of chawanmushi (egg custard dish), miso soup and pickles. A side dish of tempura is also highly recommended.
Where to Stay
Hayama has several hotels as well as Airbnb-like options. One place which caught our eye was The Bath and Bed Hayama. A four-minute walk from the nearest bus stop, this stylish abode has a warehouse feel to its exterior that is juxtaposed against an interior of warm colors and quaint wooden furniture. It has interesting artwork and shelves of books, all of which adds to the space’s cottage feel. The Morito Coast is two minutes away, making it perfect for a morning stroll with a cup of coffee in hand.
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