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Ise-Shima (Mie Prefecture)

If you are coming from Tokyo and heading towards West Japan (Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Himeji, Hiroshima), Mie Prefecture is located approx. 1 hour from Nagoya City inland, before you reach Kyoto. Or if you prefer to include the Ise City and other areas of Mie Prefecture on you way back towards Tokyo, you can access Mie Prefecture in approx. 2 hours from Osaka City and 2.5 hours from Kyoto. It is often thought that Mie prefecture, and in particularly the Ise City, Toba City and Ise-Shima City are difficult to access, however with the Kintetsu Train lines and the special passes available, you can get to a relatively remote area of Japan with ease, and get away from the crowds and sometimes “Over Tourism” of other regions in West Japan. For the staff of Experience Japan Travel, Mie prefecture and the several cities that make up the Mie Prefecture, creates one of the most charming and tempting areas, and one of the best possible alternatives to get away from the hustle and bustle. The major attraction is the Ise-Jingu Shrine which is one of the top Shinto Shrines in Japan, and every single Japanese person wants to come here once in their lifetimes. Different from other shrines of Japan, this is an Imperial Shrine which means you don’t ask for personal wishes, but rather more for general wishes for all or mankind. Yes, even the Imperial Family come here regularly. Not to mention the Azuchi Castle, The Meotoiwa Rocks which are Husband and Wife rocks and are the entrance the shrine for worshipping the God of the Sun, as well as the famous Toba Aquarium which has one of the 2 only Dugongs in captivity. However, two of the least known but most refreshing factors of Mie is the breathtaking coastline and the culinary experience you will get here. The coast line is made up of endless inlets, beaches and emerald green and blue water. That is one reason why the famous Mikimoto Pearl is also cultivated here. (Mikimoto pearl museum and shop is also a must here). If you have pearls here, it also means the marine environment is the perfect place to harvest Ise Lobster, Oysters and other succulent seafood. Even the G7 Summit was held here and provided with the same food you can experience. Believe me, you will be impressed with the cuisine and the coastal environment. If you want to go a little deeper into the culture or Mie prefecture, you can even have a Seafood BBQ with the AMA which are female divers that don’t use any oxygen tanks and started diving to sustain themselves while the husbands and males went to War in World War Two. An area of Japan that is not over crowded and provides some of the most relaxing and beautiful experiences possible.

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We’re back in New York after a rewarding trip to China an Japan. No new ravel until Christmas week (Mexico) and two European trips in March and May. Your itnerary worked very well for us. It was the right mix of escorted and self travel – and we could not have had better weather in both countries. The bullet trains were great (living in the Northeast corridor of the US and dealing with Amtrak makes for a sad comparison) The guides were all knowledgeable, articulate and friendly (with special kudos to Tomomi Azuma in Kyoto), and the hotels were al excellent. A small nit for which I probably should have warned you is that I have some back problems (not debilitating as I play tennis at least three times a week), so two ryokan experiences might have been too much (but that’s on me). Again, thanks so much for your guidance. We won’t hesitate to recommend your services in the future. Richard... READ MORE

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