Sea Kayaking to Beach Muffin

P5270006Heading out from Ohama beach

I’m fairly certain that no one has ever written a blog on the subject of “Sea Kayaking to Beach Muffin” so here goes. After our Hayama swim on Sunday, Youri and I were joined by kayaker John for a paddle around the bay. Without a plan, we headed downwind around Shibusawa point towards Najima Island with its iconic giant red torii.

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P5270011Arriving at Najima island

Najima has been battered by storms in the last few years, and the bridges that once linked the concrete key to the island are now in the water. But there is still a tiny sheltered bay where we could rest up and enjoy the beautiful view of the Hayama shoreline, from the forests on Sengen hill, to the pines surrounding the Emperor’s palace.

P5270017Up the river to Zushi

I then had a  brainwave: let’s paddle to Beach Muffin. This little known gem is a vegan restaurant with tricky opening hours, and little sign from the outside of the pleasures awaiting within. It has the feel of a Sunday afternoon back home, lounging in a rustic pub, reading the paper, chatting with friends over a real ale.

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With beer and burgers in our minds, we paddled across to Hayama Marina, around to Zushi Bay, under Route 134, and up the river which winds into Zushi. The banks are high concrete, but as luck would have it, there was a narrow ledge beneath Beach Muffin where we could moor up, and climb over a fence, and cross the street to the restaurant. Our luck continued, as there was still one table free. We ordered vegan burgers and the No. 2 Yorocco pale ale made locally in Zushi. The beer was about as good as a beer can be, made even better by what we had done to get it.

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Refreshed, we returned to the boats which were now afloat on the incoming tide, and headed out across Zushi Bay and around Osaki point to Kotsubo with its cliffs and caves and marina. The wind had picked up so our trip back to Hayama was enlivened by a choppy swell and the sailing boats we had to weave through. This time we really needed the shelter of Najima island where Youri found his kayak was half full of water. The high tide let us paddle through Shibusawa rocks back to Ohama.

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