Japan · Outside

Zushi: the End of the Line

Zushi City is quite literally the last stop on the Keikyu Railway Line in the Kanagawa Prefecture of Japan. And since Zushi Beach is a mere 1.8 miles from our front door, Hubby and I decided to lace up our sneakers and go explore the area for the first time since moving to Japan. (Clearly, we are not diehard thalassophiles.)

Our first discovery was of the Kamegaoka Hachiman Shrine. It is located right next door to the city hall building; odd, yet convenient!

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The grounds also boast a small open-air plant shop that sells assorted flowers, trees, herbs and vegetables. Since some of the larger tomatoes in local grocery stores sell for around ¥500 each, I was tempted to shell out ¥100 for a couple tomato plants! Too bad I’m a terrible “plant mom” and unintentionally kill my chlorophyll children.

Plants

We continued to meander down city streets and through residential neighborhoods until we could see the beach. We then chose to follow the paved, outer loop around the peninsula in hopes of finding a great vantage point from which to snap some photos of the water.

However, if you know anything about me, you may recall that I’m a sucker for random steps leading off into oblivion….especially when they start out looking like this:

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As it turns out, this was the (unmarked) entrance to Oosaki Park.

Partway up, we took a break for a photo…and some air.

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Along the jungle path we saw many shimmering dragonflies with delicate orange wings and blue bodies, one of which paused just long enough for a photo op.

Dragonfly

I also spotted this brilliant bug I affectionately named “Joseph”.

Rainbow Bug

And, of course, no hike is complete without multiple sets of randomly placed steps….

steps

….and a mini waterfall coming out of the side of the mountain!

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After more climbing, we were nearly at the top!

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We finally made it, and the view was our reward!

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But wait, there’s more!

Hiroyama Park sits atop the mountain and is essentially a tiny community zoo. There are a few small animals, including chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs, and peacocks.

Peacock

We were surprised to see a big cage which contained a large troop of monkeys. Apparently, we arrived during feeding time, and it was a lot of fun to see the keepers interact with the mischievous primates.

Monkey

Hiroyama Park also has a lookout tower with beautiful views. But there was one particularly iconic mountain that we just happened to spot in the distance…can you make out the cloud-enshrouded, snow-capped Mt. Fuji?

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We were elated that our first glimpse of Mt. Fuji was only 1.8 miles from our home (give or take an exploratory mile or two).

After our mountaintop experience, Hubby and I discovered some awesome tidepools down at the beach.

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We found small creatures like this sea urchin…

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…and even smaller creatures, all waiting for the tide to come in again.

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Hubby even found a really cool stone for our collection!

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But it didn’t quite compare to this gigantic, stalwart rock!

Monument

But soon we realized it was getting late, so we started making our way towards home.

Now, as we soothe our crispy sunburns with aloe, we can take some pride in the fact that we trekked a total of 7 miles, took 17,000+ steps, climbed the equivalent of 30 flights of stairs, and saw Mt. Fuji!

 

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