Exploring Mie: Northern Area


2013/07/23 Tuesday Exploring Mie


regiao norte de MieStations Along the Historic Tokaido Road

The Northern Area is bounded by the Yoro Mountains to the north and the towering Suzuka Range to the west. During the Edo Period this area was the location of part of the Tokaido Road, the most important trade route from eastern to western Japan, and was crowded with travelers.
This is a place where history abounds, the landscape changes from season to season, and you can follow in the footsteps of travelers of long ago.


1- Tado-Taisha Shrine (Kuwana City)
2- Sekijuku (Kameyama City)

tado-taisha shrine

This shrine was written about in an ancient poem, “If you travel to Ise (Ise Jingu), you must visit Tado, too.”  The full lineage of Japanese emperors have revered this shrine as a home for the god of industry and business.  You can enjoy viewing important national cultural treasures maintained here.  The Tado Festival, well known as the Horseback Climbing Ceremony, is held on May 4th and 5th every year.

  • 5-minute bus ride to the Tado-Taisha Mae bus stop from Tado Station on the Kintetsu Line


During the Edo Period this district of inns on the historical Tokaido Road was a popular rest place, both for feudal processions and for pilgrims journeying to Ise. Now restored, the old part of town includes two hundred historical buildings. As the only remaining historical inn district on the Tokaido, it has been designated a national historical district.

  • 10-minute walk from Seki Station on the JR Line
3 – Ruins of Kameyama Castle (Kameyama City) 4- Suzuka Circuit (Suzuka City)


The ruins, a designated prefectural historic site, include the fifteen-meter-high stone walls constructed during the 16th century Azuchi Momoyama Period and fortifications from the Edo Period.

  • 10-minute walk from Kameyama Station on the JR Line


Located here is a comprehensive leisure complex with an international racing course, an amusement park, and a hotel.  Demonstrations of the famous two-legged robot ASIMO are held here.  You can enjoy hot spring bathing in the hotel. This has started since 1987 F1 Grand Prix.

  • 15-minute bus ride to the Suzuka Circuit bus stop from Shiroko Station on the Kintetsu Line
5- Nagashima Spa Land /   Yuami-no-shima / Jazz Dream Nagashima (Kuwana City)
6- Mt.Gozaisho / Yunoyama Spa (Komono Town)


Nagashima Spa Land is an amusement park full of thrill rides.  Its Jumbo Seawater swimming pool is very popular during the summer.  Yuami-no-shima is a spa facility where you can enjoy various kinds of spas, including an open-air spa.  A huge outlet shopping mall, Jazz Dream Nagashima, is located next to Nagashima Spa Land.

  • 15-minute ride to the Nagashima Onsen bus stop from Kuwana Station on the JR or Kintetsu lines


Mt. Gozaisho is the highest peak in the Suzuka Range.  An aerial ropeway allows visitors to climb to the peak from Yunoyama hot springs, at the foot of the mountain.  Mt. Gozaisho is also noted for its splendid autumn colors.  The top area of Mt. Gozaisho is a natural park and Ise Bay may be viewed from the observation tower.  Yunoyama hot springs are at the mountain’s foot, to ease and relax your body and soul.

  • 10-minute walk from the Yunoyama Onsen bus stop, after a bus ride from Yunoyama- onsen Station on the Kintetsu Line
7- Banko Pottery Center (Yokkaichi City) 8- Night View of Yokkaichi Industrial Zone (Yokkaichi City)

Banko Pottery Center

Banko pottery, said to grow in luster and beauty the longer it is used, is a traditional product with a proud history of over 250 years. The pottery center has displays of Banko ware and items for sale.

  • 5-minute walk from Kawaramachi Station on the Kintetsu Line

Night View of Yokkaichi

Yokkaichi Industrial Zone is famous for its petrochemical complex, one of the biggest in Japan. Recently this area is drawing more attention as a tourist destination. The night view of Yokkaichi industrial zone is amazing, and it’s attracting many tourists for sightseeing tours.

  • 20-minute walk from Yokkaichi Station on the JR Line
9- Rokkaen (Kuwana City)
10- Suzuka City Traditional Industries Museum (Suzuka City)


Rokkaen was designed by the architect who also designed the Rokumeikan. It is a Western-style mansion with a 4-storey tower, Japanese-style structures, and a circuit path garden having a central pond.  It has been designated as an important national cultural treasure.  The mansion is fantastically illuminated until 10:00 p.m.

  • 20-minute walk from Kuwana Station on the JR or Kintetsu lines

Suzuka City Traditional

This museum was built to carry on traditional craftsmanship, of which Suzuka City is quite proud, including Suzuka ink which developed into the second-largest ink-producing industrial region following Nara, and Ise pattern paper that is mainly used for dying Japanese kimonos, yuzen and komon.  Here you can experience the craftsmanship of Ise pattern paper.

  • 10-minute walk from Tsuzumigaura Station on the Kintetsu Line

Map of Northern Area



Exploring Mie: Ise-Shima Region

2013/07/23 Tuesday Exploring Mie


regiao de Ise Shima de Mie

A Landscape Blessed by the Sea

After a brief trip upstream along the sparkling waters of the Isuzu River, you can see the Ise Jingu standing solemnily in the middle of a grove of cedars. The sacred site of Ise has been a destination for travelers since ancient times. Ise is the “starting point for all journeys in Japan,” and  is regarded as the cradle of Japanese culture. Surrounding Ise the beautiful costal landscapes of Ise-Shima National Park stretch as far as the eye can see. A growing number of seaside resorts offer wonderful opportunities to enjoy this marine playground. Ise-Shima ranks as one of Japan’s best tourist resort areas, a place where history and natural beauty meet.

1- Meotoiwa (The Wedded-Rocks) (Ise City)
2- Futami Sea Paradise (Ise City)


These two large rocks in the sea, fastened together by ropes, have long symbolized marriage in Japan. The scene of the sun rising between the rocks on the first day of summer is spectacular and should not be missed.

  • 15-minute walk from Futaminoura Station on the JR Line

Futami Sea Paradise

Futami Sea Paradise is an aquarium located very close to Meoto Iwa and the kingdom of sea creatures with sea lions, walruses, and elephant seals.  You can enjoy a show where you can touch sea creatures or take your photograph with them.

  • 20-minute walk or 5-minute bus ride from Futaminoura Station on the JR Line
3- Toba Bay Cruise / Toba Bay Dolphin Island (Toba City)
4- Hinjitsukan (Ise City)

Toba Bay Cruise

A 50-minute cruise, stopping at Toba Bay Dolphin Island, Mikimoto Pearl Island, and in front of the Toba Aquarium.  At Toba Bay Dolphin Island, you can enjoy the magnificent view of Toba Bay from an observation tower and trails, as well as exciting dolphin shows.

  • 5-minute walk to Sadahama Port from Toba Station on the JR or Kintetsu lines


This building was constructed in 1887 as a rest stop and lodging facility for distinguished  guests of Ise Jingu. You will be satisfied with the stylishness of a traditional Japanese structure, not only the architecture, but also the fine garden.

  • 12-minute walk from Futaminoura Station on the JR Line
5- Okage-yokocho (Ise City)
6- Ise Jingu (Ise City)


A traditional Japanese street has been reproduced in front of the Naiku Gate of Ise Jingu.  You can immerse yourself among old worshippers, and enjoy meals and shopping in this district.

  • 5-minute walk from the Ise-Jingu-Naiku-mae bus stop

Ise Jingu

Ise Jingu dates back approximately 2,000 years, and is a pillar among the most important shrines in Japan.  Standing by the Isuzu River, surrounded by 800-year or older Jingu cedars, and with its gravel lane approach, the Ise Jingu presents a solemn atmosphere.  Ise Jingu is divided into areas called Naiku and Geku.  The main shrine building in the Naiku is constructed using the oldest architectural style in Japan.  Amaterasu Omikami, the god worshipped in the Naiku, is the ancestral goddess of the Japanese imperial family.

  • (To Naiku) 15-minute ride to the Naiku-mae bus stop from Ise-shi Station on the JR or Kintetsu lines, or from Uji-yamada Station on the Kintetsu Line
  • (To Geku) 5-minute walk from Ise-shi Station on the JR or Kintetsu lines.
7- Mikimoto Pearl Island (Cidade de Toba) 8- Ise Azuchi Momoyama Bunka Mura (Ise City)

Mikimoto Pearl Island

Home of the world-famous Mikimoto Pearls, this island is where Kokichi Mikimoto developed the world’s first cultured pearls. A museum showcases many beautiful pearl products, and various exhibits demonstrate the process of making cultured pearls. Visitors can aIso watch ama, female divers, demonstrate diving for pearls.  Five-minute walk from JR or Kintetsu Toba stations.Ise-Shima’s many aquariums offer the visitor a close-up view of members of the area’s abundant marine life.

  • 5-minute walk from Toba Station on the JR or Kintetsu lines

Ise Azuchi Momoyama

This park brings to life the Sengoku Period (15th-16th centuries), when the power of the samurai was at its height. With a reconstruction of Azuchi Castle as a backdrop, period dramas and ninja action shows are perfomed on the main stage, offering an enjoyable presentation of Japanese history.

  • 12-minute walk from Futamiura Station on the JR Line
9 – Toba Aquarium (Toba City)
10 – Umi no Hakubutsukan  (Museum of the Sea) (Toba City)

Toba Aquarium

This is one of the world top aquariums, containing approximately 850 varieties of 20,000 sea creatures. You must visit the Mermaid Sea Zone, the only place in the world where you can see a dugong couple in captivity.

  • 10-minute walk from Toba Station on the JR or Kintetsu lines

Umi no Hakubutsukan

The museum has exhibits organized around seven themes on the relation of the Japanese people to the sea, including the history of the ama divers and fishing techniques indigenous to the Ise- Shima area. Japanese wooden boats and canoes from around the world are also on display.

  • 5-minute walk after a ride to the Umi-no-hakubutsukan bus stop from Toba Station on the JR or Kintetsu lines
11- Shima Marineland (Shima City)
12- Ama Hut (Toba City , Shima City)

Shima Marineland

Shima Marineland  on Ago Bay offers the visitor close-up views of many interesting fish species, including sunfish and electric eel. Ama divers perform a feeding demonstration at the aquarium several times daily.

  • 2-minute walk from Kashikojima Station on the Kintetsu Line

Ama Hut

Ise-Shima area is known for ama, female divers, and approximately 1000 amas are still working in this area. The Ama Hut is where amas take a break and chat with their peers. Visitors can reserve the hut to enjoy grilling fresh seafood and listening to Amas’ story telling by the irori fireplace.

  • 2-minute walk from Kashikojima Station on the Kintetsu Line
12- PARQUE ESPAÑA – Shima Spain Village (Shima City)
13- Nemu no Sato (Shima City)


Capturing the color and charm of Spain, Parque Espana features a fantastic world of elaborate parades and amusing character shows. The park also has the world’s fastest suspended roller coaster, the Pyrenees, and
many other popular attractions.

  • 13-minute bus ride from Ugata Station on the Kintetsu Line

Nemu No Sato

At this resort area, located on the Osaki Peninsula jutting out into Ago Bay, visitors can enjoy yachting and canoeing as well as golf, tennis, and archery. The resort also offers a natural spa and a flower garden in bloom in every season.

  • 15-minute ride to the Nemu-No-Sato bus stop from Ugata Station on the Kintetsu Line

Ise-Shima Region Map