Mie Prefecture, originally made of four different provinces, is situated in the area of Japan most notable for its older architecture and history. It is home to the Ise Shrine, a site considered one of the most holy Shinto shrines of Japan. Not only does it have a deep historical background, Mie Prefecture is home to many National Parks and a World Heritage site.
Its landscapes and coastal views are just as magnificent as its attention to cuisine. While it may not be as busy as its Kansai neighbors, Mie offers a quiet sanctuary while still having many things to do.
Be enlightened at Ise Grand Shrine and More
The Ise Shrine is a site considered to be one of the most holy Shinto shrines of Japan. The shrine itself is known to hold the “Yata no Kagami”, a holy mirror that is said to be forged by a Shinto God, and is one of the three imperial regalia of Japan (including the holy sword and jewel). Ise Shrine is dedicated to Amaterasu, the Shinto Goddess of the Sun.
20 minutes from the Ise Grand Shrine are two rocky outcroppings bound by a large rope in the sea, known as Meoto-iwa, or Married-couple rocks. It celebrates the union of marriage, and is a part of the Futami Okitama Shrine. Coming to the Ise Grand Shrine, there is a 800-meter long street known as Oharaimachi, lined with Edo-style buildings, some of which have been serving visitors and pilgrims for hundreds of years.
While not exactly in Mie, the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage routes are one of only two pilgrimage sites registered as World Heritage Sites. Experience what many people, nobles and peasants alike, experienced when taking the arduous task of traveling to the Grand Kumano Shrines.
Eat the Best Japan has to offer
Mie is also famous for its wide variety of high-quality and fresh foods. A whole variation of high-class Lobster is named after a location in Mie, as well as a type of expensive beef, and a type of perfect chicken. Mie prides itself on quality, and it truly shows in its cuisine. Matsusaka Beef is available in Matsusaka, Ise Lobster in Ise-Shima, Kumano Chicken in Kumano, and Akafuku Mochi in Ise City.
Become a Ninja at Iga-ryu Ninja Museum
Supposedly, Mie is the birthplace of the ninja, and is also the home of the Iga-ryu Ninja Museum. The museum showcases many traditional weapons, tools, and clothes of the ninja, as well as a live ninja fighting show for entertainment, all in an old-fashioned Edo-era town. You can even dress up as a ninja and live out your fantasies as a deadly assassin, while learning about their histories and traditions.