Top Things to Do in Iseshima - The Beautiful Land
August 15, 2016
Legend says that 2,000 years ago Princess Yamato hime no mikoto traveled Japan in search of a suitable and permanent location to build a divine palace for Amaterasu omikami, Japan’s guardian deity. Upon arriving in Iseshima, the deity spoke to the princess, saying “I wish to live forever here in Ise… the country blessed with the rich resources of the mountains and the sea." The Iseshima region is still blessed with these attributes, and it offers travelers willing to venture slightly afield from more famous locations beautiful scenery, delicious food, and the most venerable sanctuary in Japan.
Ise Jingu Naiku
Naiku is where Amaterasu is enshrined, making it the most venerable sanctuary in Japan.
This is a shopping district next to the Inner Shrine that contains many traditional buildings that sell various goods and food. This is a great place to shop for souvenirs.
The Inner Shrine and Okageyokocho can be accessed by the buses running from bus stop 1 from Ise Station. One way costs 430 yen. Entrance to both locations is free.
Hours: 5:00 – 18:00 (January through April, September); 5:00 – 19:00 (May through August); 5:00 – 17:00 (October through December)
Address (Jingu Administration Office): 1 Uji-tachi-cho, Ise City, Mie Prefecture
Ise Jingu website: http://www.isejingu.or.jp/foreign/
This is a great aquarium for its size. It costs 2,500 yen for adults and 1,250 yen for children.
Mikimoto Pearl Island
Iseshima was the first region where pearls were successfully cultivated. The island serves as both a museum and a shop, and it offers a brief show where visitors can see Ama (traditional female divers) in action.
Toba Aquarium and Mikimoto Pearl Island are both a short walk from Toba Station.
Address: 3-3-6 Toba, Toba City, Mie Pref.
Hours: 9:00 – 17:00 (January 1st - July 19th, September 1st - December 31th); 8:30 – 17:30 (July 20th - August 31th)
Mikimoto Pearl Island
Address: 1-7-1 Toba city, Mie prefecture
Hours: 8:30 – 17:00 (January - November ); 9:00 – 16:30 (December )
The Wedded Rocks
The iconic Wedded Rocks are two large rocks off the coast that have been married by Shinto priests. They are a great excuse to visit the coast and free of charge.
The Wedded Rocks are a short walk from Futaminoura Station.
Address: 575 Futamichoe, Ise, Mie Prefecture
Christopher lives and works in Mie Prefecture. He enjoys traveling and photography and is interested in Japanese history and religion.