Naiku Shrine in Ise (1/5)
Naiku Shrine in Ise (2/5)
Oharaimachi in Ise (3/5)
Uji bridge in Ise (4/5)
Mikimoto Pearl Island (5/5)

IN A FEW WORDS

Home of Japan's most sacred shrine

DESCRIPTION

Ise Grand Shrine

Free 5:00 - 18:00

The Ise Grand Shrine, also known simply as Jingu, is Japan's most sacred Shinto shrine and is considered to be the spiritual home of Japanese people. The shrine consists of a huge complex formed by a total of 125 sanctuaries located in Ise city, including Naiku and Geku, the two main shrines which are usually visited, 14 auxiliary shrines and 109 lesser sanctuaries.

Jingu was founded as early as the 3rd century and is built in an architectural style known as shinmei-zukuri, which is characterized by its extreme simplicity. Following ancient tradition, all of the constructions in the shrine are dismantled every 20 years and new ones are rebuilt next to the old ones following the same exact specifications. This tradition represents the Shinto belief of the death and renewal of nature and keeps the buildings forever new as well as ancient and original.

Geku, also known as the outer shrine, is located a few steps away from Iseshi station and, according to tradition, should be visited before worshipping at Naiku. It's the smaller of the two main shrines and is dedicated to Toyouke-o-mikami, the Shinto deity of food and industry. The shrine dates from the 5th century and lies inside a deep forest of ancient trees, but access to the buildings is heavily restricted.

Naiku, also known as the inner Shrine, is the oldest, most important and biggest of the main shrines and it's located around 5 Km away from Geku. It dates form the 3rd century and enshrines Amaterasu, which is regarded as the sun goddess and is the most venerated Shinto deity. The main shrine is surrounded by the Isuzugawa river, deep in a huge forest full of ancient cedar and cypress trees. The entrance to Naiku is provided by the wooden 100 meter long Uji bridge, which crosses the river and is one of the structures rebuilt every 20 years.

Oharaimachi

Free All day

Oharaimachi is a pleasant 800 meter long pedestrian street which leads the way to the Inner Shrine. The street is lined with dozens of old style wooden buildings housing traditional souvenir shops, tea houses and restaurants, some of which have been serving pilgrims for centuries. At the heart of Oharaimachi lies the Okage Yokocho, an area which successfully replicates the atmosphere of a typical Japanese town in the Edo period, when pilgrimage to Ise was very popular.

Mikimoto Pearl Island

1500¥ 8:30 - 17:30

The Mikimoto Pearl island is a small and picturesque island connected to the Toba bay by an elevated bridge, which essentially houses a museum about pearls centered in the figure of Mikimoto Kokichi, the first man who succeeded in producing cultivated pearls in 1893.

Aside from the museum, which contains detailed explanations about the pearl cultivation process, a treasure exhibition and a pearl shop, Mikimoto Pearl Island also offers visitors hourly performances of female pearl divers known as Ama. Women were traditionally in charge of planting and harvesting oysters and, even if nowadays diving is not required anymore, the original gear and technique are used in this demonstrations in order to commemorate their important role in pearl cultivation.

HOW TO GET THERE

Option 1


JR Nagoya Station

JR Rapid Mie
90 min. 1940¥ Railpass

Iseshi Station



Option 2


Kintetsu Nagoya Station

Kintetsu Ltd. Express
80 min. 1410¥

Iseshi Station



aroundMOVE AROUND

Geku can be reached on a 5 minute walk from Iseshi station, whereas Naiku and Oharaimachi are located a few km away from Geku and can be reached on a 15min bus ride or a 10 minute taxi ride.

Mikimoto Pearl Island is a short walk from Toba station, which can be reached on a 15min train ride from Iseshi station.

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