Hayama is a picturesque seaside town located about 4 km south of Kamakura. Favored with a mild climate and scenic coasts, it sports a neighborhood of upscale houses and sophisticated restaurants facing a small yacht harbor. A chain of quiet beaches stretches south along the rock-strewn coast; inland, gentle wooden mountains offer inviting, rustic hiking trails. The charm of Hayama is such that it is even the site of a secluded Imperial villa.

The town flower of Hayama is tsutsuji (azalea). Tsutsuji is an indigenous plant venerated since ancient times as a symbol of spring. In an old rural custom, young women used to bring flowering branches down from the mountains on April 8 (corresponding to May 8 today) to plant by rice paddies and to display on the front doors of their farmhouses. This was to welcome the god of the mountain, who was believed to descend to villages in springtime.

This course begins with a bracing 3.3-km hike on a trail through woods leading to a brilliant azalea garden, and finishes with a hearty lunch in an unspoiled fishing port. The restaurant closes for lunch at 2:30 p.m. and is reached by an infrequent bus, so plan to arrive at Zushi by 10 a.m. or so if you want to eat there.