Yes, of course there is. Who wouldn’t want to see the scenery in that photo? In this post, I’ve collected together a bunch of links to English information (some official, some not) about a few of the things you can see and do here in Mie.
- Japan Travel, Mie
- Mie Prefectural Site
- Mie Travel Guide
- Mie Guidebook: a wiki site put together by ex-pats living in Mie.
- Kintetsu Rail Pass: Convenient to have if you are taveling in this part of Japan — it will connect you to Osaka, Kyoto, and Nara as well.
- Mie Kotsu Unlimited Bus Pass (Michikusa): Handy for bus travel in the area.
- Mie Barrier Free Website: Unfortunately, this is not in English, but I think they would probably be able to provide information if contacted.
- Mie “Tour Guide” (PDF): a pamphlet emphasizing Mie’s central location, saying “Mie is surrounded by alluring destinations.”
- “Discover Mie” brochure (PDF)
- Traveler’s Map of Mie: It is actually a bunch of maps stuffed into a two-page PDF along with lots of information about sites in Mie — highly recommended.
(Map of Mie, Mie Guidebook)
- NHK World special on Kameyama (archive)
- Kuwana Sightseeing Pamphlet: a nice, glossy pamphlet with a lot more useful information about culture and history than you generally find in tourist literature.
- Japan Travel, Yokkaichi
EASTERN MIE (Overview)
- Ise-Shima Travel Guide, Shima City’s Site
- Ise-Shima Guide
- Journeys in Japan Video, Ise-Shima (YouTube)
- Ise-Shima Promotional Video (YouTube)
- National Parks Foundation, Ise Shima
- Ise-Shima Park Instagram Account
- Ministry of the Environment, Ise-Shima Park
- Japan National Tourist Organization, Ise-Shima Practical Guide: A handy PDF with practical information about the sites and how to get around when you visit.
- Bicycle Tour, Ise-Shima: I don’t know if they are still doing the tours, but this is a really lovely place to ride a bike.
- NHK World special on Ise Shima (archive)
Eastern Mie: Ise
- Ise Overview
- Ise Shrine
- Ise Shrine: Ise Shrine’s official site.
- Sengūkan Museum
- Ise Jingu Video/Interview (YouTube)
- Japan Pics: A blog with some photos from a trip to Ise Shrine that the author took before the ritual rebuilding of the shrine in 2013.
- Ise Shrine (Jinja Honchō; Association of Shinto Shrines)
- GaijinPot, Ise Shrine
- Japan Travel, Kawasaki
- Museum of Ise Kawasaki Merchants, Map (PDF): A great map with English explanations of a “living historical town” within Ise — close to the stations and a great way to see how people today maintain and live in a town with hundreds of years of history.
- The Kawasaki Merchant’s House
- Japan Timeline, Kawasaki: Some photos.
- Theme Parks / Museums / Entertainment
- Shima Spain Village
- Ise Azuchi Momoyama Cultural Village: I haven’t been yet, but it looks like a great place to take kids.
- Futami Sea Paradise Aquarium: It is a few decades old now, so it doesn’t have the polish of a new place, but I like it better for its age and cozy atmosphere. Highly recommended if you are visiting the wedded rocks, which are just out the window.
- Sengūkan Museum
- Ise Shrine Museums
- The Museum of Shinto and Japanese Culture, Kogakkan University
- The Kawasaki Merchant’s House
Eastern Mie: Toba
- Is Japan Cool? Kumano Kodo (ANA site): All Nippon Airways has this “cool” site that introduces people, places, food, and Japanese culture.
- Kumano City Tourist Association
- Kumano Kodo site: PDFs, videos, and other detailed information on the World Heritage Site.
- Japan Guide, Kumano
- “Old Road of Kumano” (Kumano Kodo) Video by NHK World (YouTube)
- Hana no Iwaya Shrine
Didn’t I Just See Mie in the News?
Probably. The region has been a major tourist destination for centuries now (one of the country’s most sacred sites is located here). However, there’s been a particularly large amount of big stuff going on here lately. Last year we had the G7 Summit in Mie and it was the 70th anniversary of the Ise-Shima National Park. This year Ise hosted the 27th National Confectionary Exhibition 第27回全国菓子大博覧会. A lot of effort has been put into making the region even more accessible and welcoming to visitors from other countries, so this would be a great time to come for a visit if you are headed to Japan.
Why This Page?
I’m a historian teaching in Mie at Kōgakkan University 皇学館大学 and, besides being on the board of directors for a center connected with the “Old Road of Kumano” World Heritage Site 熊野古道センター, I’ve recently been involved as an advisor for some activities to help improve the Ise-Shima National Park 伊勢志摩国立公園 — part of Japan’s “Step Up” program that aims to “support the future of Japan through tourism.”
Naturally, the subject of tourism often comes up in discussions about the park, and it occurred to me that there’s a lot of information in English out there these days, but it’s not so easy to wade through, especially if you are unfamiliar with the area. The English isn’t always perfect, and I don’t necessarily agree with all of the content, but there are a lot of different perspectives out there, and I think you can get a sense from it that people here are eager to welcome visitors.
At one of the meetings for the park the other day, I suggested that someone ought to pull together all of the English information into a single location. Though it started out as a quick comment made to a few people (according to faculty and students at school, it was broadcast later that evening on television), I feel like I can’t be all talk, and I need to back up what I said with a little bit of my effort.
Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone with more time and skill does something official later, but maybe this will get the ball rolling — the photo at the top of this post, for example, is from a nice Instagram account started for the Ise-Shima National Park.