After living in Ise City 伊勢市 for a while, I’ve come across several maps that contain useful information. The quality is a bit uneven, but when you put them together, you get a good sense of the city and the interesting places within it. I’ve gathered together all of the English-langauge ones I know about below — they’re pretty handy if you have any plans to visit.
Digital Maps ディジタル地図
- Ise City Map (Kōgakkan University 皇學館大学). It probably isn’t the best one on this list, but it’s the one that I made, so I feel an irresistible urge to put it at the top. It attempts to emphasize how walkable Ise is and it mentions some “districts” that contain sites of interest.
- Ise City Map (Kōgakkan University 皇學館大学).
- Map of Ise City (Ise Tourist Information Center 伊勢市観光協会). It contains a lot of information in an easily accessible format including a handy list of lodgings (slightly out of date), car / bike rental business, and so forth.
- Map of Ise (Area Guide; Ise Tourist Information Center 伊勢市観光協会). This one shows the locations of convenience stores, ATMs, and other places that visitors from overseas might find handy to know.
- Map of Ise (Ise Tourist Information Center 伊勢市観光協会).This map is a little more playful, with mascots to give more visual appeal.
- Ise City Map (Commerce, Industry and Labor Policy Division, Industrial Tourism Department, Ise City 商工労政課？). This is a little different than the others, because it includes a handy map of Obata (the area just across the Miyagawa River). But, what makes it especially interesting is its inclusion of all the major confectionary shops in the area. They seem to have created this in connection with the recent National Confectionary Expo that was held in town (here is the brochure with more information to go with the map).
- Ise Tour Guide (Ise Tourist Information Center 伊勢市観光協会). It does a good job with maps of the Geku and Naiku shrines, and it provides some nice English explanations of many places.
- Futami (Ise Tourist Information Center 伊勢市観光協会). This map doesn’t seem like it’s available online anymore (I couldn’t download it at the time of this post), so I’ve hosted it on my site.
- Geku (Outer) Shrine (Ise Shrine 伊勢神宮) precinct.
- Geku (Outer Shrine) Area (Ise Tourist Information Center 伊勢市観光協会).
- Geku (Outer Shrine) Pilgrimage Road (Ise Tourist Information Center 伊勢市観光協会).
- Naiku (Inner) Shrine (Ise Shrine 伊勢神宮) precinct.
- Naiku (Inner Shrine) Area (Ise Tourist Information Center 伊勢市観光協会).
- Okage Yokocho (Ise Tourist Information Center 伊勢市観光協会). An old-style shopping district adjacent to Naiku.
- Okage Yokocho (Ise Tourist Information Center 伊勢市観光協会). There is also a list of things to do there.
- Kawasaki Area (Ise Tourist Information Center 伊勢市観光協会).
- Yamada Kawasaki pamphlet / map
- Futami Walking Map (Ise Tourist Information Center 伊勢市観光協会).
- Ise Shima (Ise Tourist Information Center 伊勢市観光協会).
- Ise Shima (Ise Tourist Information Center 伊勢市観光協会).
- Iseshima Pedia (Ise Shima Tourism and Convention Organzization 伊勢志摩観光コンベンション機構). Technically, the 105 pages of information about Ise Shima in this file have very few maps, so it doesn’t really belong in my blog post. But, that’s 105 pages! It’s definitely worth a look if you are coming to the area.
Physical Sightseeing Maps
(1) Miyagawa River Map 宮川の案内所地図 (Ise Tourist Information Center 伊勢市観光協会？)
I like this map, because it has temples, shrines, and historical sites. It is a bit odd, though, as maps targeting an English-speaking audience go, because it is pretty far off the beaten path. Actually, I should say it “was” odd, because the area is under construction now, and the map is gone. Perhaps it will turn up somewhere later, but if it doesn’t, these photos might be the only remaining record of it!
Unified Sightseeing Map 統一された観光案内図 (Ise Tourist Information Center 伊勢市観光協会？)
These are three versions of a newer map that you can find a few places in town. They list some of the most popular tourist destinations, but the content changes on each map, and the orientation of the map is also inconsistent, so it can be a little confusing and tough to get a handle on the overall layout. In addition, there are a few mistakes that still need fixing (apparently, the Japanese characters in some places were fixed after installation) such as the rendering of 五十鈴川（Isuzugawa）as “Isuz River” (missing the “u” at the end of the river name) and 伊勢古市参宮街道資料館 (Ise Furuichi Sangū-kaidō Shiryōkan) as “Ise Furuichi Sangu-kaide Museum” (writing “kaide” instead of “kaido”). Nevertheless, the maps do provide a wealth of information, so they are worth a look.
(1) Oharai-Machi (near the Inner Shrine)
This seems to be left over from before the unified map came along, but it’s just a few meters away, so I’ll mention it here. It’s located next to the bathrooms on your way into Oharai-machi from the parking lots at the end of the district. In other words, you probably won’t find it unless you drive there and have to answer the call of nature.
(2) Directly in front of Ise Station
(3) Across the street from Ise Station
(4) Furuichi Old Pilgrimage Road (at the top of the “mountain”)
(5) Furuichi Old Pilgrimage Road (by the post office)
(6) Furuichi Old Pilgrimage Road (at the end of the road near Naiku)
Ujiyamada Station Map 宇治山田駅前の地図 (Ise Tourist Information Center 伊勢市観光協会？)
Here’s a venerable old map that greets visitors in front of Ujiyamada Station. One of the nice things about it is that it contains information you don’t usually see on maps of Ise such as the location of a famous tree, or the site of an old pilgrimage facilitator’s house. Unfortunately, there aren’t any explanations, but it’s a good start to at least know these things exist.
Kawasaki Map 宇治山田駅横にある河崎の地図 (Nishimura Liquor Shop 西村酒店)
This map is located a bit off the beaten path on a side street next to Ujiyamada Station. It’s not in English, I don’t know if you could find it unless you already knew what you were looking for, and I think only locals use this road, so there is room for improvement in terms of placement and content. However, it does show you how much the locals take pride in their town (it was apparently produced by the store owner on this corner), and it does point you to an interesting part of Ise City (Kawasaki).
Here is a nice English map that ought to get you to Kawasaki without any problems. Using it, you’ll pass by the Nishimura’s Liquor Shop on your way under the JR railway (see the circular photo of a very low bridge on the map).