Within forty minutes easy commute from Yokohama, the Miura Peninsula is a great place to explore with its many beaches, coastal walks and numerous hiking options. Popular amongst locals but perhaps less well known to many tourists are the Miura Alps, an impressive collection of mountains running from coast to coast along the peninsula’s southern interior. Despite being referred to as ‘Alps`, these mountains actually peak at only 200 meters, making them a relatively easy day hike.
One of the best hiking routes to follow starts at Zushi, a popular beach destination located on the peninsula’s western coast and finishing on the opposite side near Tsukayama Park. This course passes through several kilometers of forest, offering great views (weather permitting), of Zushi and Nagaura Bay as well as hosting some impressive Buddhist stone sculptures.
To get here take the Keikyu Line to Shin-Zushi Station then go out through the south exit, heading for the second bus shelter in front of you. You can catch any bus to Kazayabashi 風早橋 bus stop, which takes about 5 minutes and costs ￥180.
From the bus stop, walk straight on and look for a restaurant on the right called `Bonjour` then follow this road until you come to a set of traffic lights called Ki-no-shita. From here, walk up a steep slope which leads to Hayama Church. Next to the Church on the left hand side is a large unmissable white sign marking the start of this course.
From this point it is a moderate four hour hike covering 10 kilometers of varied terrain. Although not essentially a hard course, I would recommend wearing proper hiking boots as there are some sections with partially steep ascents and descents.
After hiking for about 15 minutes you should reach the Peak of Sengen Mountain 仙元山, which on good days, unlike the day I was there, offers impressive views of Zushi Bay. It is also worth noting that this is your last chance to take a proper toilet break for the next several hours!
Continuing on for about 20 minutes, you will come to a clearing where the path now splits into two. This area also offers good views of Zushi Bay, which can be seen at its best from the top of this hill. Once you are finished be sure to take the path on your right, following the signs for Kanon-Buke, カンノン塚.
Twenty five minutes later you will reach Kanon-buke. Continue along the same path but now follow the signs for `Bunki` 分岐, which is about one hour and fifteen minutes away. Upon reaching this point, follow the signs for Nyuto Mountain 乳頭山, which is about a further forty minutes away. This makes a good place for having lunch and offers panoramic views of Nagaura Bay on the peninsula’s eastern side.
The last main point of interest is Hatake Mountain, which has a small but impressive Buddhist sculpture. To get there retrace your steps 100 meters back to the main signpost which you passed before reaching the Peak of Nyuto Mountain. Now follow the directions for Hatake Mountain, 畠山. This is about forty minutes away.
Although there isn’t much of a view from this peak it does offer one last chance to find some peace and tranquility before leaving this forest.
Once you are ready you can finish this hike by walking downhill for about thirty minutes until you reach `Tsukayama Park`, 塚山公園. From the top of the park there are some stone tombs and on clear days, fine views of Mount Fuji. Unfortunately on this day however, it was cloudy throughout the entire hike!
From the top of the park follow the main path on your right heading downwards into a residential area. Now continue northwards along the main road where after about twenty minutes you will reach `Anjinzuka` Station, 安針塚駅, on the Keikyu Line ready to take you back to civilization wherever that may be.