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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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Experience Japan arranged a trip to Japan for my three teenage children and me. It was the trip of a lifetime. Our coordinator, Amandine, was fantastic. Sh made excellent suggestions and arranged special outings for us that made the trip unforgettable. I was impressed with the value I received, with the guides, and especially with how well-organized and efficient the Experience Japan team was. If I had attempted to plan a trip like this on my own it would have been incredibly difficult and stressful. Experience Japan, with their excellent guides, carefully planned transportation arrangements, and meticulous attention to detail, allowed us to have a stress-free, thrilling adventure. My children and I got to experience a whole new land and culture, and it has been a life-changing experience. We WILL go back to Japan, and we WILL use Experience Japan again! I recommend them wholeheartedly. A private sushi-making lesson with a Master Sushi Chef. A stay in a traditional Ryokan in Hakone, with traditional lodging and hot spring mineral baths. Petting an owl in an Owl Cafe in Electric Town, Tokyo. Castles, temples, shrines, gardens...I can't even begin to list all the wonders we saw. Allow at least two weeks. We only had nine days, and there was so much more to see. But we'll just have to go back.... READ MORE

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