Planning your trip to SETOUCHI



Book the tour to Tomonoura! Part. 2: Sea Kayaking to Abuto-Kannon Temple

Book the tour to Tomonoura! Part. 2: Sea Kayaking to Abuto-Kannon Temple

This time, let me introduce one of the recommended tours to Tomonoura, sea kayaking to Abuto-kannon!

The Abuto-Kannon was founded in the 16th century by Terumoto Mouri, a warlord of this area. The temple is a nationally important cultural property. It stands on a sheer rock face jutting out into the Seto Inland Sea and has been popular with people praying for safe voyages.

It is also depicted in the famous Ukiyo-e block print by Utashige Hirokawa. As you can see, the scenery matches nature that hasn’t changed over the centuries.

You can go there by a local bus or a car, but I recommend you to try kayaking by sea!

The meeting spot is Kayaker’s CAFE in the historic town of Tomonoura.

Meet with the instructor, Mr. Murakami, at his cafe.
Row out into the Seto Inland Sea, which is calm and lake-like.
When you get closer, you will see that the temple stands facing the sea.
Get off your kayak and step on a rocky surface.
Don’t worry. The kayaks are tied together so they won’t get washed away!

The temple is also known as a place of prayer for childbirth and safe delivery. But when you enter the Kannon Hall, you may be surprised by the breast-shaped ema (votive picture tablet) that cover the entire wall.

In the past, when rice was precious, pregnant women used to visit the shrine to pray for a good supply of milk after giving birth. Mothers who gave birth safely would fill ema in the shape of breasts with rice and leave them behind in gratitude. Then, the next pregnant women who visited would receive and take home the precious rice.

After delivering their babies safely, mothers came back to thank Kannon by leaving a breast-shaped ema filled with rice for the next pregnant women to receive. This was a period where people thought of others.

Today, breast-shaped ema are on sale and can be dedicated. Although it has become a more convenient time, the head priest fondly remembers the days when gratitude used to be passed forward.

What will you pray for when you face the sea?

If you are interested, click this tour and book now!



Born in Yokohama, and spent most of my school days in Tokyo.
Exchange student experience in the USA (in high school) and Thailand (after graduating from university).
Speak English, Thai and Japanese (of course).
Living in a tranquil island of the Shimanami Kaido.
”I would love to show you around this beautiful area of Setouchi! ”