The image of Itsukushima Shrine's floating red torii gate may be synonymous with Miyajima, but the entire island is dotted with shrines and sacred places, many of which are traditionally approached from water.
A ferry ride from the mainland allows visitors to catch a glimpse of these sights, but for a closer look, the island's stand-up paddleboard and guided kayak tours are offered by several local companies. The island is part of Seto Inland Sea National Park, but since the park was established, Miyajima itself has been recognized as sacred. As a result, despite its status as a popular tourist destination, its natural beauty was relatively unaffected.
Depending on the weather and the physical condition of the participants, full day and half day kayaking and paddleboarding courses are offered. No previous kayaking or paddleboarding experience is required - before getting into the water, an expert guide will teach participants how to steer their rides and navigate the currents of water on the island.
The standard route starts at Nagahama Beach on the north side of the island and continues past the ferry pier and Itsukushima Shrine. Another line starts on the east side of Miyajima and takes about 30 minutes to reach nearby Enoshima. The full-day trip began at a secluded seaside beach, followed the southwestern ring of the island, and enjoyed some of Miyajima's lesser-known scenery. Agile participants can even combine different courses into longer meetings.
English guided tours are provided.
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