Cycles & Sea Kayaking in Shima

Cycles & Sea Kayaking in Shima

Come experience the beauty of Shima both on land and on sea as you tour the inviting shoreline by road bike, and the stunning waters by kayak!

Written by Dan Lewis

-Author's Introduction
Originally from the state of Alaska in the USA, Dan Lewis is a long-term resident of Japan. He has lived in Mie, Ishikawa and Gifu Prefecctures, and currently resides in Nagoya, the capitol city of Aichi Prefecture. Dan is an avid fan of technology and nature - two areas that Japan is blessed with! He loves taking "the road less traveled" and discovering new places.

Today was the second of two days spent cycling in the Shima area and we had another early start, but I was excited for another day of adventure.  The air was quite cool, but the skies were completely clear and between the sunlight and the bicycles, we would be very warm quite soon.

We made our way through town and were soon crossing parts of Ago Bay.  The view from the bridges was great! It was a short, 15 minute ride to the port.

After loading our bikes into a transport van, we boarded a “sea taxi” and were soon cruising across Ago Bay.  The beautiful weather made for perfect photo conditions. Everyone in our group was either busy taking photos, or just enjoying the amazing view.

Back on the road, we cycled over another large bridge and I had to stop and get a few photos.  The view was simply amazing! Our guides were kind to keep us at a pace that allowed for a quick photo here and there, and still be able to keep up.

We passed a fisherman's wharf, where several older fishermen sat repairing nets and other equipment.  A few members in our group wanted to speak with them, so we took a short break here.

Soon after, we passed by a wholesale fish market and we decided to go check it out.  It was a great decision! Sure, there are some famous and larger places like Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo,, but here, there are no other tourists and you can get right up close.  I pointed to what I thought was a large catch and asked one of the fishermen if they usually catch that much. He replied that it was actually a smaller catch than usual.

It was interesting to watch the selling and auction process.  A few of them even put on a show with one of the huge lobsters they had caught.  I’m not sure which group was having more fun - the fishmongers or the foreign visitors.

We continued on and after a while, we came to an amazingly beautiful beach!  The crescent shaped beach was full of well-kept sand and there were small islands, some no more than a few rocks poking out from the water, that acted as a natural barrier separating the beach and the small cove from the Pacific Ocean.  The sun sparkled and danced on the water.

We were all thrilled to learn that this was our next destination.  We parked our bikes and had a bit of chocolate and a drink to get our energy back up.  Sitting on the steps next to the beach was the perfect place to rest up for our next exciting activity, which was...

Sea kayaking!!  We changed into shorts, or simply removed socks and shoes, picked up some oars and life jackets, and made our way to the beach.  An impromptu beach party broke out - a bit of disco-funk music and some goofing around near the shallow water. We didn’t know if we could do the sea kayaking well, but we were already having fun!

We participated in a sea kayak experience for beginners.  It began with a crash course on how to steer the kayaks. After about 5 minutes, our instructor seemed satisfied with the group’s ability - or she simply gave up on us, and it was time to buddy up and get out on the water.

The cove was large enough for more advanced kayakers to paddle along quickly, yet protected enough from the ocean to keep the waves small, making it easy for beginners to move around freely.  No doubt, the fantastic weather made the experience better, but floating around the cove, between the beautiful sandy beach and the tall rock formations jutting out from the water was thrilling!

The beach and trees stretched from one side of the cove to the other, separating the blue of the water and the blue of the sky.  And though it looks inviting enough to go swimming, today was the first of November, so I decided to stay in the kayak.

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