Once we got out into the middle of the bay, I handed my camera to Hiro and he took over the photography duties so I could focus on my paddling. I had no problem going faster, turning or stopping and I was soon able to fully appreciate the experience of being surrounded on all sides by the incredible natural beauty of Mie Prefecture.
Caption: I was confident enough to paddle harder and increase my speed.
Caption: We paddled over to a gorgeous cliff face on the other side of the bay.
As we moved along in the bay, we could see traditional fishing villages where residents had been making their livings from the sea for generations. Izumi was able to tell me some interesting facts about each town and we talked about how life in these villages is changing with the times. Being out on the water and looking from a distance, it was easy to forget that we live in a modern world.
Caption: The fishing villages on the edge of the water were amazing.
Before the final leg of our kayak trip, Izumi and Hiro stopped and pulled out some mikan (Japanese Mandarin oranges) for us to eat. They told me that they are also part-time mikan pickers in Mihama, a town where they can grow mikan all year round. The delicious little green oranges were great and a welcome snack after 1.5 hours of paddling.
Caption: My guides had some green mikan forus to snack on.
Caption: Izumi and I with our green mikan.
Caption: The final stretch of our kayak journey.
Caption: Hiro and Izumi were amazing guides for the day.
Caption: We used a public bathhouse to wash and change after kayaking.
After cleaning myself up, I was ready for a hearty lunch featuring some fresh locally-caught seafood. The food was amazing and I was even able to try some kinds of seafood for the first time. For example, we had some fresh sazae (a type of sea snail), which my guide explained was a popular delicacy in Japan. The chance to have new food experiences while enjoying a great day of outdoor activity was a real bonus for me on this tour.
Caption: The BBQ lunch was included and there was an impressive selection of meat and seafood.
Caption: It was fun to grill our lunch together and relax after our long trip across the bay.