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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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Scott Kent, our travel advisor for our Japan trip, made this trip so enjoyable and memorable! From the very beginning stages of our planning to the very last da's request for dinner suggestions, his attention to detail and concern for our whole family (15 of us) was so very professional and always timely. Our family was very impressed with the "luxiourious" accomodations/experiences/settings. We loved experiencing a Japanese baseball game, from cheers and chants while the opposing pitcher threw the pitches, to the beer girls smiling and selling beer from a keg on their backs to the yellow balloon release during the 6th inning. And a very special, surprising treat, a huge Welcome to the family sign during the game!! Other fun experiences loved by our family: taiko drumming bento box cooking lesson at the Cooking Sun geisha spotting in the Gion district taking pictures at the Fushimi Shrine visiting Nara and feeding the deer hiking around the Golden Pavilion eating green tea ice cream every day! enjoying Japan's natural beauty, the lush green mountains, rice fields and bamboo forests tasting sake shopping at the huge anime stores gorgeous morning views of Mt. Fuji Hakone Open Air Museum slurping ramon noodes visiting the Imperial Gardens... READ MORE

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