You’ve done the Ōtorii, Itsukushima-jinja, the temples and pagodas, and you may have been to the top of Mt. Misen. This month, however, there is a rare opportunity to explore the rarely visited parts of Miyajima, by boat, with an English speaking guide.
On November 24, the fledgling Seto Naikai Eco Tourism Association [ja] is offering a one day tour of the Miyajima coast. 10 participants will circumnavigate the island in a small fishing boat.
It appears to be an excellent, and relaxing, way to make the nanaura pilgrimage around the 7 shrines dotted along the shores of the island. En route you will be able to view the coastline and natural rock formations, rarely seen be visitors, well away from the main route between Miyajima-guchi and Itsukushima Shrine. A qualified guide will keep participants informed and share some of the history and legends of Miayjima, such as the sad story of Shrine Maiden Rock (Naishi-iwa) on the west coast of Miyajima, as well as explaining about the varied wildlife in the area.
At the very far end of the island, the tour leaves the boat to make a short hike between Suya-ura Shrine over to Nagahama Beach. From here the boat will pick up the group and move up along the eastern side of the island, stopping briefly at the beautiful Aonori-ura, to rock-littered Koshibosho beach.
After a bento lunch, participants conduct a guided environmental survey, looking for and identifying the sea life on the beach and helping to assess the health of the local waters. After exploring the surrounding sea caves and rock formations, the boat will complete its loop of Miyajima, ticking off the remaining shrines and passing by the distinctive Horai Island before returning to Miyajima-guchi.
Tour start: Particiapants assemble at 08:30 at the Miyajima-guchi ferry terminal (on the mainland) behind the Momiji-honjin souvenir shop.
Tour end: 17:00
Participation fee: ¥10,000 (bento lunch included)
*Limited to 10 participants