Ise, Japan

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Ise, Japan

Region: Mie Prefecture

Geographic Coordinates: 34.483300, 136.717000
Temperature Range: -10.0°C to 35.0°C (14°F to 95°F)
Climate: Seasonal.
Population: 122432
Language: Japanese

Ise, Japan is a city located in the Mie Prefecture on the eastern coast of Honshu Island. It is renowned for its historical and cultural significance as the home of one of Japan’s most important Shinto shrines, The Ise Grand Shrine. The shrine is dedicated to Amaterasu, The sun goddess who is believed to be an ancestor of the Japanese imperial family. The Ise Grand Shrine comprises two main shrines – Naiku and Geku. Naiku enshrines Amaterasu while Geku enshrines Toyouke no Omikami, A deity responsible for agriculture and industry.

The shrines are rebuilt every 20 years using traditional methods that have been passed down for centuries. This practice is known as Shikinen Sengu and it ensures that the buildings remain in pristine condition while also passing on traditional craftsmanship skills to future generations. In addition to its religious significance, Ise also has a rich culinary culture with many local specialties such as Matsusaka beef, Akafuku mochi (a type of sweet rice cake), And Ise udon noodles made with locally sourced ingredients like seaweed from nearby coastal waters.

Another popular attraction in Ise is Okage Yokocho Street which offers visitors a glimpse into Edo-era Japan with its traditional architecture and shops selling souvenirs, Snacks, Crafts, And other goods made by local artisans. For those interested in nature tourism or outdoor activities there are plenty of options available too! The city boasts beautiful beaches along its coastline including Futamiura Beach where visitors can see Meotoiwa (the husband-and-wife rocks) which are two large rocks connected by a shimenawa rope symbolizing marriage unity. Additionally there are many hiking trails around Mt Asama which offer stunning views over Mie prefecture.

Overall visiting Ise provides an opportunity to experience Japanese culture at its finest – from its rich history and religious traditions to its delicious cuisine and natural beauty. It is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in exploring the heart of Japan.

Important Landmarks

  1. Ise Grand Shrine (Ise Jingu)
  2. Meoto Iwa (Wedded Rocks)
  3. Okage Yokocho
  4. Oharai-machi
  5. Futamiokitama Shrine
  6. Mikimoto Pearl Island
  7. Toba Aquarium
  8. Sarutahiko Shrine
  9. Yamatohime-no-miya Shrine

Primary Industries

  1. Tourism is a significant industry in Ise due to the famous Ise Grand Shrine that attracts millions of visitors annually. The city has several hotels, restaurants, and souvenir shops to cater to tourists.
  2. Agriculture is another prominent industry in Ise, known for producing rice, vegetables, fruits, and seafood due to its fertile soil and mild climate.
  3. Manufacturing industries such as electronics, machinery, textiles, and ceramics also operate in the city.
  4. Fisheries play a crucial role in the coastal areas around Ise where fishing communities catch various seafood like tuna, squid, octopus and shellfish.
  5. Retail stores selling clothing to electronics are abundant throughout the city.
  6. Education is well-represented with several universities including Mie University and Kogakkan University offering courses across various disciplines such as engineering and humanities.
  7. Healthcare services are available through several hospitals within the city catering not only to residents but also tourists who may require medical attention during their visit.
  8. Transportation options like railways or buses connect Ise with other cities making it an accessible destination for locals or visitors alike.

Noteable History

  1. Ise Jingu is a significant Shinto shrine in Japan, established in the 3rd century and rebuilt every 20 years.
  2. Emperor Tenmu ordered the construction of a new shrine building and made improvements to Ise Jingu during his reign from 673 to 686.
  3. Empress Jito ruled from 690 to 697 and ordered all Japanese people to make a pilgrimage to Ise at least once in their lifetime.
  4. Tokugawa Ieyasu, who founded the Tokugawa Shogunate, provided financial support for rebuilding Ise Jingu and made several visits during his lifetime.
  5. During World War II, many residents of Ise were forced to evacuate due to bombing raids by Allied forces.
  6. Toba, located near Ise, witnessed the Japanese Imperial Navy’s attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th,1941.
  7. Toba Aquarium is one of Japan’s largest aquariums located near Toba bay which attracts many tourists every year.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Ise Grand Shrine is one of the most significant Shinto shrines in Japan.
  2. Okage Yokocho is a traditional street featuring shops and restaurants that exhibit local culture and crafts.
  3. Ise Azuchi Momoyama Cultural Village is a theme park that provides an insight into the history and culture of the Azuchi-Momoyama period.
  4. Meoto Iwa (Wedded Rocks) consists of two sacred rocks in the sea believed to be married couple deities.
  5. Yamatohime no Mikoto Shrine is dedicated to Yamatohime-no-mikoto, a legendary figure who played an essential role in Japanese mythology.
  6. Toba Aquarium is one of Japan’s largest aquariums with various marine creatures such as dolphins, sharks, and rays on display.
  7. Oharai-machi features a street lined with traditional shops selling souvenirs, snacks, clothes etc.
  8. Kongoshoji Temple- This temple also known as The temple of going back to life has beautiful gardens and famous for its cherry blossoms during spring season
  9. Museum of History & Folklore showcases historical artifacts related to the region’s history along with folklore tales
  10. Kotai Jingu Museum displays various objects from different periods related to Kotai Jingu shrine such as ancient documents, paintings etc.

Sports Teams

  1. Mie Prefecture Football League: The Mie Prefecture Football League is a regional football league that includes teams from cities like Ise, Tsu, Matsusaka and Suzuka. Teams from Ise city include FC Kaito and FC Oki.
  2. Shimano Racing Team: Shimano Racing Team is a professional cycling team based in Sakai city near Ise. The team was established in 2007 and has participated in various international cycling events.
  3. Katada Fishing Club: Katada Fishing Club is a fishing club based in Katada town near Ise city. The club was established in 1954 and has hosted several national fishing competitions.
  4. Nihon University Rugby Football Club (Ise Campus): Nihon University Rugby Football Club (Ise Campus) is a rugby union team based at Nihon University’s campus in Ise city. The team was established in 1988 and has won several national championships.
  5. Suzuka Circuit: Although not located directly within the boundaries of Ise City itself, the Suzuka Circuit hosts numerous motorsport events throughout the year including Formula One Grand Prix races as well as Super GT races which draw spectators from all over Japan to nearby Suzuka City which borders on the east side of Mie prefecture adjacent to Tsu city making it easily accessible by car or train for residents living anywhere within Mie prefecture including those residing within or near to cities such as Yokkaichi or Kuwana which are located south-west of Nagoya along the coastlines leading towards Shima Peninsula where one can find some of Japan’s most famous historical landmarks such as Toba Aquarium & Mikimoto Pearl Island just to name a few.

Cultural Events

  1. The Ise Shrine in Japan hosts several festivals throughout the year, including:
    • Jingu Festival (April 7-8)
    • Reitaisai Festival (October 15-17)
    • Kannamesai Festival (October 17)
  2. The Mie Prefecture Food Festival takes place in November and celebrates local food such as seafood, vegetables, and sake.
  3. The Ise Traditional Crafts Fair showcases traditional crafts from Ise and other parts of Japan, including pottery, textiles, and lacquerware. It takes place in November.
  4. Matsuri no Mori is a festival that features traditional Japanese music and dance performances along with food stalls selling local specialties like oysters and grilled fish. It takes place in February.
  5. The Meoto Iwa Festival celebrates the famous married rocks of Futami Bay with a procession of mikoshi through town followed by fireworks over the bay at nightfall on July 5th.
  6. Kintetsu Railway Summer Night Market is held every summer at Kintetsu Station near Ise Shrine, featuring food stalls selling local delicacies such as oyster skewers and grilled eel.
  7. The Harvest Moon Viewing Party is held every September at Okage Yokocho near Ise Shrine to celebrate the full moon with traditional Japanese music performances and moon-viewing activities like tsukimi parties.


  1. Ise Udon: A type of thick noodle dish made with wheat flour and served in a hot soup. Some popular places to try it are Ise Udon Nakamura and Yamato.
  2. Matsusaka Beef: A high-quality beef that is known for its marbling and tenderness. Some popular restaurants to try it are Matsusaka M, Gyu-Kaku, and Yakiniku Kintaro.
  3. Akafuku Mochi: A traditional sweet made with mochi (sticky rice cake) and red bean paste. The most famous place to try it is Akafuku Honten.
  4. Ise Ebi (Spiny Lobster): A local delicacy that is often served grilled or boiled with soy sauce or salt. Some popular restaurants to try it are Hayauchiya, Asariya, and Shiojiri.
  5. Toba Oysters: Fresh oysters that are harvested from the nearby Toba Bay area. Some popular places to try them are Miyamoto Shokudo and Kakiya.
  6. Izakaya (Japanese-style pub): There are many izakayas in Ise where you can enjoy local dishes like sashimi (raw fish), tempura (battered deep-fried seafood or vegetables), yakitori (grilled chicken skewers), and more while drinking sake or beer with friends or colleagues.
  7. Michelin-starred Restaurants: There are several Michelin-starred restaurants in Ise such as Kohaku, Taiko-en, Sushi Ueda, etc., where you can experience top-notch Japanese cuisine using fresh local ingredients in an elegant setting.

Parks and Recreation

  1. Ise Azuchi-Momoyama Cultural Village: This park showcases a reconstructed castle from the Azuchi-Momoyama era, along with traditional Japanese gardens and cultural exhibits.
  2. Oharai-machi: A historic district located in Ise that boasts numerous shops and restaurants, as well as the renowned Ise Grand Shrine.
  3. Futami Sea Paradise: A beloved aquarium featuring dolphins, sea lions, penguins, and other marine life.
  4. Toba Aquarium: Another aquarium situated in nearby Toba City that highlights local marine life such as giant clams and sea turtles.
  5. Meotoiwa (Wedded Rocks): Two large rocks positioned off the coast of Futami that symbolize a married couple.
  6. Matsusaka Castle Park: A park surrounding the remnants of Matsusaka Castle with walking trails and picturesque views of the city below.
  7. Ise-Shima Skyline Drive: A scenic drive through the mountains offering breathtaking views of Ise Bay and its surroundings.
  8. Mie Prefectural Art Museum: An art museum showcasing works by local artists as well as exhibitions from across Japan and beyond.
  9. Akafuku-mochi Factory Tour: Take a factory tour in nearby Ujiyamada City to learn how this traditional Japanese sweet is made!
  10. Kintetsu Minami-Ise Amusement Park: An amusement park containing rides, games, food stalls, and other attractions for individuals of all ages to enjoy!


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