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If you are in for an adventure paired with lengthy, quirky, brutal honest thoughts then you are in the right place.

My name is Arisa and was a cosplayer for 12 years in Malaysia before settling down in Kyoto, Japan. Exploring Japan full time has been a long time dream of mine, so let's explore it together!
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Mie 1 Day Travel Guide | Ise Shima

Finally, a new prefecture conquered (like less than 10% though haha!) and a new sub category for my blog, it’s ever growing and I’m proud that this year alone I’ve visited 7 new prefectures! Wow, all of these wasn’t planned too, more like spontaneous trips lol.
I first heard of Mie when i was invited to promote their Kaiseki dishes back in KL couple years ago and back then i could only dream of traveling all 47 prefectures as i only visit Japan once a year so it might take me almost half a century to get it covered haha! Fast forward today i still can't believe i'm actually living in Japan.

Kansai region is big, and Mie is part of it but somehow it took me so long to visit this place because no.1 there isn’t much people in my usual Japan travel circle that talks about it except Cheeserland & Yuumi (Miss Universe Japan), that's how i got a glimpse of this prefecture. Can really count fingers at this point, only a handful at most which is rather sad because this prefecture deserves more love just like the rest of Japan!
I seriously can't name any place in Japan that isn't beautiful, every scenery and experience it offers is unique, i love my job because it brings me all over Japan and my mission is to spread this love to you guys!

No joke, there are literally Ninjas everywhere!

First of all Mie is the birthland of Ninjas and seriously, who doesn’t know about Ninjas? At one point of everyone’s life they would have probably seen or heard of Naruto; unless of course you are born before 1980s (our parent’s generation). And I don’t follow Naruto that closely (casual watcher) but like me most people would associate these skillful assassins to Japan and that traces back all the way to Mie prefecture!

Mie is more commonly known by the name “Ise Shima” which translates to “Ise Island” as few of the biggest main attraction are located in this area like the Married rocks (Meoto Iwa) and Ise Grand Shrine (Ise Jingu-home to 2 powerful Gods). Mie is also known to be one of the oldest and most spiritual place throughout Japan, that’s why locals call it a “power spot”.

I’m actually still brooding at the fact that I did not managed to visit the married rocks despite being so near to it lol, at least I managed to visit Ise Jinju before heading back to Kyoto! More reasons for me to plan a family trip down here one day, I’m sure lil penguin would enjoy the ninja museum and show like I did!

The Sleek Ise Shima liner

Getting Here

If you have the Kintetsu rail pass, I would highly recommend to utilize it to the max by making a 2 day 1 night trip down here. You can check out my previous entry on how i utilize various kansai passes for my recent trip and included in calculation to justify the transport costs traveling from Osaka to Mie and back again. It’s seriously worth it, in my opinion don’t spend too much time in Nara as it’s just a small area that can easily be covered within a day. Focus more on getting the most out of your tourist pass privileges lol :D

The only thing that sets you back is the 2 hour travel route from Osaka/ Kyoto, so best to spare at least 2 days here to enjoy more of Mie, but if you are on a tight schedule like me; then try out this guide i've made for a 1 day visit.

How to use the passes, i've explained in my previous entry: HERE

Things to do in Mie Prefecture 
Exchange lines at Iga Kambe station
Genki freezing lol, photo credits to Stella

You can ride on their unique Ninja trains from Iga Kambe station, it takes you on a scenic route through the valley and the skies are unbelievably blue!

Snapped while the train was moving

Visit Ninja Museum of Igaryu

Gonna share some of the places I’ve managed to cramp in during a 1 day trip down starting with The Ninja Museum of Igaryu, located in Iga! Not too far from Uenoshi station (walking distance), I didn’t have to buy any extra ticket as my Kintestu pass can be used on Iga Tetsudo line.
At one point of our lives we definitely wanted to become ninja ourselves (the duplicate technique especially) thanks to Naruto! You can now learn their tricks (actually tons of science & physics behind it lol, cheat my feelings), study techniques & history with this interactive museum.

Seriously so much fun instead of your usual exhibition which most kids wouldn’t have interest in, though their Ninja performance are only on weekends one can visit their interactive museum (so many hidden doors!) and dress like a ninja. So cute to see children and adults dress the part while exploring the museum lol.

Ninja showing us how they hide their valuables 

Museum filled with hidden rooms and trap doors

You can even try them out for yourself

You know how anime always show that Ninja are able to walk on water?
They ain't Jesus lol, it's just some basic physics.
These is what they use on their feet to walk on moats/ marshes, it helps distribute their weight allowing them to stay afloat while moving 

Really, please plan your trip and go on a weekend to catch the ninja performance, It’s surprisingly not so packed which is a good thing and the performers make such convincing ninjas! If I was a kid watching them do all those cool stunts, definitely I would want to grow up to be a ninja too haha and I heard that they are lacking of Ninjas in Japan these days so the pay is quite good to attract applicants. Not sure how true but sign me up please haha!

Welcome to Ninja Museum of Igaryu

Shuriken allows them to hit their targets from a distance, don't be fooled by their size because
it weighs quite abit and takes some skills to aim it right.

Demonstrating on how fast they can slice 

That female ninja's fighting skills is seriously bad-a**, i definitely want to be her haha!

When Ninjas are on assignments they often pose as entertainers hence they have a few neat tricks up their sleeves! Look at how they spin a 500yen coin on the umbrella!

Ise Jingu

After the show we quickly headed to Ise Jingu and upon arriving at the entrance, I can finally understand why people describe this place as “surreal”. The huge bridge leading into the shrine grounds feels as if one is being whisked away into another realm!

This shrine is fondly known as the “Heart & soul of Japan” and many locals (and tourists) come here either to pray or to just visit the home of Goddess Amaterasu and Toyouke; within the shrine everything seems rather tranquil despite the overwhelming sight of people on the bridge earlier, it’s like suddenly everyone disappeared lol or maybe the shrine grounds is just very big haha.

Just before entering the main temple one usually bows at the tori gate as a sign of respect because they are entering the home of a deity. Even if you don’t believe in them, it’s always good to be respectful of other people’s culture and practices like the saying goes “when in Rome, do what Romans do”.

The view from the bridge is breathtaking!

Sake barrels makes a very good photo background!

The shrines here are rebuilt once in every 20 years to keep the traditional architectural skills alive, so don’t be surprised to find it glistening and new during your visit! Not all shrines are old and preserved looking if that’s what you are expecting from one of the oldest and holiest place in Japan lol.

I’ve only managed to visit Kotaijingu (Naiku) where Goddess Amaterasu resides in before having to head back as we had a 5pm express train to catch back to Osaka and during this period (late autumn/ winter) the sun sets pretty fast too. One wouldn’t want to get lost within the shrine after dark lol, who knows you might get stuck in another realm ;)

Weird super fluffy residential chickens lol

Look at the tail length!

Can easily predict how crowded this place is going to be during new years!
More information about Ise Jingu and their annual rituals can be found on their website: https://www.isejingu.or.jp (English)


Right outside of Ise Jingu, there is a quaint street filled with food and shops which I also wished I had more time to explore. Okage-yokocho reminds me very much of Kurashiki Bikan because of its well preserved old styled machiya and you can shop for souvenirs to bring home! Seriously if I had more time, I would walk into every shop just to see what they have to offer and heck I was lucky enough to find my collectible shobon phone strap in one of the stores which is actually quite hard to find due to low demand compared to gotochikitty or rilakkuma!

Who else collects these? 

 Beautiful well persevered atmosphere 

These are real dried fishes

Fried Oysters can be found left & right on this street, some even have a beer set to go with it!

Lobster flavored ramen anyone?

You definitely need to eat some fresh oysters with beer, grab some ramen or other street food and don’t forget to bring home ise ebi (lobster) flavored snacks as it’s a local specialty! For someone has seafood allergy, I would say heck it and just eat because it’s too delicious!! Kinda regret not bringing back more of it because the danna and I finished 1 packet in less than a day haha.

Must get these crackers, super yummy and addictive!

They even have a Snoopy Tea shop here!

This photogenic Manekineko is often featured in travel magazine, you can find it at the end of the street on your left.

Sending a postcard home!

That pretty much sums up my 1 day trip to Mie, definitely will come back for round 2!

Feel free to check out my other related Kansai posts here:

Yours Truly,

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