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Spots in Ise / Shima / Toba Area

  • Ise Jingu
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    4.5
    2430 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Mie Pref. Iseshi Ujitachichou 1
    This shrine in Ise City is the Honshuji of the Jinja Honcho (Association of Shinto Shrines). Its official name is simply Jingu, and it has been familiarly called O-Ise-san since long ago. The name “Jingu” is actually used as a general term to refer to 125 jinja (shinto shrines) including the two shogu of Naiku, dedicated to Amaterasu-Omikami, and Geku, dedicated to Toyo’uke-no-Omikami as well as other betsugu (associated shrines) and setsumatsu-sha (auxiliary or subsidiary shrines). When making a pilgrimage to Ise, the official order of the pilgrimage is to enter the Naiku from the Geku. Once every 20 years the shaden (the main building of a Shinto shrine) of the Naiku, Geku and 14 other betsugu are reconstructed and the enshrined objects are transferred from the old to the new structures.

    There's a reason this is one of the most important shrines in Japan - the sun goddess lives here! But aside from that, this has to be one of the most beautiful and peaceful shrines we've ever visited...

  • Ise Jingu Naiku
    Travel / Tourism
    Mie Pref. Iseshi Ujitachichou 1
    This is the other one of Ise Jingu’s shogu, officially called Kotaijingu. It is considered to have begun when the imperial princess Yamato-hime-no-miya determined that Amaterasu Omikami would be enshrined on the banks of the Isuzugawa River. Crossing over the Ujibashi Bridge and proceeding along the long gravel path that approaches the shrine over which Japanese cedar trees tower, one will arrive at the o-seiden (main building), which is enclosed by multiple layers of fencing. The vast grounds include a kagura hall, betsugu (an associated shrine), and free rest areas for worshippers, and the entire area is enveloped in a sacred atmosphere. Visitors can take a bus from Isuzugawa Station or Ujiyamada Station and get off at the Naiku-mae stop.
  • Toba Aquarium
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Mie Pref. Tobashi Toba 3-3-6
    Located in Toba City, this is Japan’s largest aquarium. Appropriate of its catch phrase “Japan’s largest number of species bred” the aquarium is home to approximately 1,200 species of animals. The aquarium has 12 zones that come close to natural environments, and one characteristic is that there is no prescribed viewing route. The aquarium has Japan’s only dugong, a sea creature which served as a model for the mermaid legends, and along with the manatees is a popular animal to see. Moreover, the museum not only features aquatic animals but also displays animals that live close to water such as capybara. The humorous show featuring sea lions and walruses is a must-see.
  • Shima Spain Village
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Mie Pref. Shimashi Isobechousakazaki
    This is a mixed-use resort facility in Shima City, comprised of three facilities including the main Parque Espana theme park, Hotel Shima Spain Mura and the natural onsen Himawari-no-Yu. Parque Espana features a beautiful Spanish village, and includes not only a flamenco show and a Spanish restaurant, but also many different attractions. Himawari-no-Yu is known for its rotemburo (open-air bath) overlooking the ocean and is a popular spot to ease the day’s fatigue while gazing out at the setting sun.
  • Okage Yokocho
    Travel / Tourism
    Mie Pref. Iseshi Ujinakanokirichou
    This was opened in 1993, the year of the 61st Jingu Shikinensengu (rebuilding ceremony), and the name indicates words of gratitude to the shrine, which is also known as O-Ise-San. Located in the very midst of Oharai-machi at Ise Jingu Naiku’s Monzen-machi, this is a sightseeing spot with more than 60 shops where visitors can enjoy shopping and eating as they stroll around the area. The area’s atmosphere is perfect thanks to Iseji’s representative buildings from the Edo period to the Meiji period that have been reconstructed here. It is full of Ise’s charm with shops offering local sake to pair with Ise udon, the Ise confection of akafuku (anko-coated mochi), old-time candy stores and shops that assemble toys.
  • Futami Okitama-jinja Shrine
    rating-image
    4.0
    289 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Mie Pref. Iseshi Futamichoue 575
    A Shinto shrine famous for the Meoto Iwa (“Married Couple Rocks”) situated 700 meters off the coast. The shrine is dedicated to the god Sarutahiko Okami. The offshore Meoto Iwa are sacred rocks affiliated with Sarutahiko Okami. The rocks serve as a torii gate for those worshiping the sun. Because of their resemblance to a married couple cuddling close, the Meoto Iwa are said to be a symbol of matrimonial harmony and luck in love. Each year, on the summer solstice, you can come to worship the morning sun as it rises between the rocks. Numerous Futami frog statues, messengers of the gods donated by people whose prayers at the shrine were granted, can be found on the shrine grounds.

    A Shrine dedicated to the prosperity of married couples where people come to pray at sunrise. The summer solstice the sun rises center to the sacred Meitowa. The frogs are considered auspicious signs...

  • Sarutahiko Shrine
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    4.0
    17 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Mie Pref. Iseshi Ujiurata 2-1-10
    Sarutahiko Shrine is a Shinto shrine dedicated to Sarutahiko Okami. It is recorded in the ancient Kojiki and Nihon shoki that the great god Sarutahiko Okami guides everything towards the best state. According to legend, after guiding Amaterasu’s grandson to Takachiho, he married Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto. He then chose to reside in Ise and from there guided the development of the nation. A shrine known as the Sarume Shrine, dedicated to Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto, is located on the shrine grounds. When the sun goddess Amaterasu Omikami hid herself in a cave, she was persuaded to come out again after a kagura performance of song and dance by Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto. Accordingly, she is worshiped as the goddess of the performing arts.

    猿田彦神社の境内にひときわはなやかな様子で鎮座しているのが佐瑠女神社 です。 ご祭神の天宇受売命(あめのうずめのみこと)は猿田彦大神の妻であり、天照大御神(あまてらすおおみかみ)が天岩窟(あめのいわや)にこもられたときに神楽をされ、大御神が再び現れて平和な世を迎えられたと伝えられます。 このことから芸能の神様として信仰され芸能関係の方も多く訪れるそうです。

  • Meoto Iwa (Husband and Wife Rocks)
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    4.0
    564 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Mie Pref. Iseshi Futamichoue 575 Meoto Iwa in
    The Husband and Wife Rocks is a fantastic sightseeing spot on Futamigaura Beach and this unique geographic feature has long been seen as a place to worship the sunrise. The rocks are seen as torii gates for the rising sun and are located on the sacred Okitama jinseki group of holy stones 700 meters away from the coast connected to the god Sarutahiko. The male stone is nine meters high; the female four meters. The sun can be seen rising between the rocks from May through July, while in autumn and winter, full moon appears between them.

    One of the most well-known images (and shrines) in Japan for the wedded rocks, it's definitely something you must see when you visit Ise. We went in the off season and it wasn't too crowded, but the...

  • Shinmei-jinja Shrine (Ishigami-san)
    Travel / Tourism
    Mie Pref. Tobashi Ousatsuchou 1385
    A Shinto shrine located in Osatsu Town, famous for its ama female divers and fisherman. The small Shinto shrine located on the approach to the main shrine is locally known as “Ishigami-san.” The shrine is dedicated to the goddess Tamayori-hime. Since ancient times, ama female divers have come to the shrine to pray for safety and large catches. Due to this association, legend has it that the shrine will grant one wish to any woman who prays here. Women from all over the country come to visit the shrine. There is a shop and café housed inside a remodeled private home along the approach to the shrine which sells handmade tokoroten jelly noodles and souvenirs.
  • Ise Sea Paradise
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Mie Pref. Iseshi Futamichoue 580
    An aquarium built around the idea of “zero” distance and shaking hands with animals. The aquarium holds frequent events where visitors can meet and touch sea animals like sea lions and spotted seals. During “walrus walk time,” you can take a commemorative photo with a walrus up close. The aquarium is divided into categories like a fish hall, marine mammal plaza, and sea lion hall. There’s also a rest area and shop where you can buy original merchandise.
  • Futamigaura
    Travel / Tourism
    Mie Pref. Iseshi Futamichoue
    This famous spot in Ise City, Mie Prefecture is a 15-minute walk from JR Futaminoura Station and featured in one of Utagawa Hiroshige's Ukiyo-e prints. Futami Okitama Shrine is famous for the Meoto Iwa Rocks, said to bestow the boons of prosperity and safety at home and the good fortune of Sarutahiko no Okami, the god enshrined there. The two larger and smaller boulders act as the torii gate usually found at shrine entrances, and the image of them as a pair has led to them being called the Married Couple Rocks. People often pray here for marital happiness and finding the right partner, and from May to July you can see the sunrise, a sign of the season. Futamiura Beach Resort and Sea Paradise are both nearby.
  • Tsukiyomi-no-miya
    Travel / Tourism
    Mie Pref. Iseshi Nakamurachou 742-1
    The God Tsukiyomi-no-Mikoto, who controls the phases of the moon and governs over the calendar, is enshrined here at Tsukiyomi-no-miya, an associated shrine of Inner Ise Shrine. After the gods Izanagi-no-Mikoto and Izanami-no-Mikoto gave birth to the Sun Goddess Amaterasu they then gave birth to Tsukiyomi-no-Mikoto. Tsukiyomi is said to be one of the pillars of the gods. Tsukiyomi-no-Mikoto was entrusted with governing the night world. The shrine is about a 10-minute walk from Isuzugawa Station on the Kintetsu Toba Line.
  • Ise Jingu Geku
    Travel / Tourism
    Mie Pref. Iseshi Toyokawachou 279
    This is one of Ise Jingu’s shogu and enshrines the deity Toyo’uke-no-Omikami, who provides companionship and sacred food to Amaterasu-Omikami. The official name is Toyo’ukedaijingu. Toyo’uke-no-Omikami is revered as the guardian deity of industry related to the necessities of life (food, clothing & shelter) as well as various other types of industry. In addition to the Shogu, the premises of which are covered in white gravel, is the Magatamaike Pond where there is a Kiyomori camphor tree related to Taira no Kiyomori and where Japanese iris and bloom, and the Mimaya where sacred horses were kept, as well as four betsugu (associated shrines). It is customary to worship here first before moving on to the Naiku. The closest train station is Iseshi Station.
  • Oharai-machi
    Travel / Tourism
    Mie Pref. Iseshi Ujinakanokirichou
    This is an 800-meter stone-paved street that follows the Izusugawa River from Ise Jingu Naiku’s Ujibashi Bridge. Full of shops with the gables and hipped roofs of the tsumairi architectural style, the area is bustling with tourists. The flagship store selling Ise’s famous confection “akafuku” (anko-coated mochi) as well as many shops offering souvenirs are located here, and taking a stroll here after worshipping at the shrine is recommended. On this street visitors can find historical structures such as the Jingu Dojo and Saishu Shokusha, and enjoy an overall ambience that is very representative of O-Ise-San.
  • Ujibashi Bridge
    Travel / Tourism
    Mie Pref. Iseshi Ujitachichou
    This bridge near the entrance of Ise Jingu’s Naiku (Kotaijingu) in Ise City spans across the Isuzugawa River. It has been selected as one of Japan’s 100 most famous bridges, and is a popular place to take commemorative photos as it is a symbol of the Naiku. There are torii gates on both sides of the bridge, and the outer torii is made from the old pillars of the Geku-seiden (outer shrine main hall) and the inner torii is made from the old pillars of the Naiku-seiden (inner shrine main hall). When the bridge is rebuilt every twenty years as a part of Shikinen Sengu (a periodic transfer of the divine symbol to a divine palace which is newly constructed every twenty years), these are dismantled and reconstructed, and the outer torii becomes the torii of the Shichiri-no-Watashi in Kuwana City and the outer torii becomes the torii of the Seki-no-higashi Oiwake in Kameyama City. For several days before and after the winter solstice the morning sun rises directly above the torii, and this area is bustling with many visitors during that time.
  • Isuzugawa River Mitarashi
    Travel / Tourism
    Mie Pref. Iseshi Ujitachichou
    Located on the premises of Ise Jingu’s Naiku (Kotaijingu) in Ise City, this is a place to purify one’s entire body and soul before worshipping at the shrine. The stone-paved Mitarashi constructed on the banks of the Isuzugawa River is said to have been donated by Tokugawa Tsunayoshi’s mother Keishouin. The temizusha (ablution front) also serves the same purpose in allowing worshippers to cleanse their hands in the clean, streaming waters of the Isuzugawa River and purify themselves.
  • Butasute
    rating-image
    4.0
    263 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Mie Pref. Iseshi Ujinakanokirichou 52 (Okage Yokochi inside)
    This is a branch of a long-established dedicated restaurant for wagyu Japanese beef founded in 1909, located within Okage Yokocho in Ujinakanokiricho, Ise City, Mie Prefecture. It only sells carefully selected high quality Ise meat, and the unique store name is said to have been acquired from its preference for beef (“butasute” means “to discard pork”). In addition to the restaurant’s specialty amiyaki, sukiyaki and beef hot pot, guests can also try beef and rice bowls. The shop sells fresh-fried hot croquette, which are popular among customers who want to eat on the go.

    Okage Yokocho just beside the entrance of Ise Grand Shrine, the walking street is full with food stall! Very nice to walk and many difference food you can try! And also have many wine shops which you...

  • Sushi-kyu
    rating-image
    4.0
    141 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Mie Pref. Iseshi Ujinakanokirichou 20 (Okage Yokochi inside)
    This is a restaurant for local cuisine located in the middle of Oharai-machi, in Ise City’s Okage Yokocho. From the large wooden building constructed in Japanese style with old pieces of lumber from Ujibashi Bridge after the Shikinen Sengu (rebuilding ceremony), guests can enjoy a full range of Ise Shima’s tastes while enjoying a view of the clear streams of the Isuzukawa River, cherry blossoms, and colorful autumn foliage. A popular item on the menu is tekone-zushi, in which skipjack tuna is marinated in their secret soy sauce and then combined with Mito-mai (celebrated local koshi-hikari rice). Seasonal offerings such as takenoko gohan (bamboo shoots and rice) and chilled duck somen noodles are also very popular.

    I was fortunate enough to be in Ise on the first of the month, on this date every month there is a ‘festival’ where all the locals go crazy for Monchi - a famous local sweet delicacy of the region. I...

  • Mikimoto Pearl Island
    Travel / Tourism
    Mie Pref. Tobashi Toba 1-7-1
    In 1893 Mikimoto Kokichi opened the first pearl raising facility here on Mikimoto Pearl Island and after the island was opened to the public in 1951 it has drawn numerous sightseers. On the island, which is approximately 23,000 square meters in size, you'll find the Mikimoto Pearl Museum with everything about pearls as well as the Mikimoto Kokichi Memorial Hall which will introduce you to the life of Mikimoto Kokichi, the Pearl King. With these and demonstrations of traditional white clad Ama pearl diver techniques you can immerse yourself in the wonder of pearls, making this almost a Pearl Theme Park.
  • Hinjitsukan
    rating-image
    4.5
    43 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Mie Pref. Iseshi Futamichouchaya 566-2
    The Hinjitsukan was erected in 1887 for honored guests worshiping at Ise Jingu shrine to use for resting and lodging. Numerous notable personages have stayed here, including Empress Eisho, mother of Emperor Meiji, and Emperor Taisho. A nationally designated Important Cultural Property, visitors can observe elegant traditional Japanese architecture here, including a 120 tatami mat reception hall with chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, the Wajima lacquered tokonoma alcove in the Gotennoma hall, and a strolling garden with central pond.

    Many visitors to Japan walk one kind of cultural trail or another, each trying to find Japan of his or her image. Few will succeed in such an effort, because it calls for broad perspective and sharp...

Mie Main Areas

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Spread across the eastern side of the Kii Peninsula, Mie prefecture boasts hundreds of kilometers of pretty coastline comprising the oyster-rich Toba city and Shima National Park all the way down to Kumano, a city that marks the beginning of part of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage, which runs into neighboring Wakayama prefecture. However, Mie is best known for the Ise Jingu Shinto shrine inland, one of the oldest and largest shrines in the country.

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