Enjoy Traveling in Iseshima!

ATT.JAPAN × JapanUp! magazine

MARCH 2022 (vol. 173)


Iseshima is home to Ise, an area with Ise Jingu Shrine, Kashikojima, which is a base of sightseeing around Oku-Shima, Toba, which is a birthplace of pearl culture, and other places of interest.

We will introduce you to Iseshima and its various attractive features, including beautiful views of Ise Bay and delicious local seafood.


Ise Jingu Shrine

Ise Jingu Shrine, the most sacred Shinto shrine in Japan, is a must-visit holy place when you visit Iseshima. Ise Jingu is the official name but some Japanese affectionately call it Oise-san. The shrine consists of 125 jinja (Shinto shrines), including Naiku (Inner Shrine), which enshrines Amaterasu Omikami (the Sun Goddess), and Geku (Outer Shrine), which enshrines Toyouke no Omikami, the goddess of offering sacred food to Amaterasu Omikami.

Ise Jingu has stood in stately magnificence in its Japanese natural setting for more than 2,000 years. *The areas that enshrine gods are holy spaces. Keep in mind that taking photos is prohibited in some areas.


Okage-yokocho Street and Oharai-machi Area


After visiting the shrine, a visit to the bustling area in front of Naiku, called Oharai-machi, and Okage-yokocho street is recommended.

The area has streets that look like those of the Edo period. You can enjoy Ise local food and buy souvenirs.

Ise Udon Noodles

Ise udon is characterized by its unique fluffy soft udon noodles and salty-sweet soup based on soy sauce.

Tekone Sushi

Local specialty originally created and enjoyed by local fishermen on their boats.

Mochi (sticky rice cake)

In Ise, you can enjoy various kinds of mochi. The photo is of famous “Akafuku” mochi.


Find a favorite souvenir, from Maneki-neko (beckoning cat) statues that invite good fortune.


Places for Enjoying Magnificent Views of Iseshima


Futamigaura Beach and Meotoiwa Rocks

Long ago, Futamigaura was a place where people purified themselves before visiting Ise Jingu. Meotoiwa (a pair of large rocks – “husband and wife” – sticking out from the ocean), which can be seen from Futami Okitama-jinja Shrine, is a popular place as a symbol of marriage ties. Between May and July, you can see the rising sun between the rocks.


Bindama Road & Ago Bay (Kirigaki Viewpoint)

Bindama, large hollow glass balls fishermen use as fishing buoys, are used as decorations on this street. Stay at one of the Japanese-style inns in this area and enjoy strolling around wearing a yukata cotton kimono.

Famous as a ria coast with beautiful views, Ago Bay can be seen from several viewpoints and bridges in the Iseshima Area. From Kirigaki Viewpoint, you can enjoy a gorgeous view of Ago Bay shining in red against the sunset.


Hands-on Activities in Iseshima!

Walking in a Water Ball

Have a fantastic experience in a 2.5-meter clear ball! You will feel like you are floating on the water. Available all year round.

Feeding Sea Bream

Enjoy feeding large-sized mature sea bream.

Cooking Salt-covered Sea Bream

Apply a thick layer of salt to tightly wrap a whole sea bream, cook it, and enjoy! The umami of the fish is condensed in the salt cover, creating an excellent dish. It comes with rice and soup. It takes about 2 hours. Reservations are available for groups of 5 and over.


Sites to Visit in Toba

The whole area of Toba is located in Iseshima National Park. This area is filled with attractive sites to visit, including the beautiful ocean where the first pearl culture in the world was carried out and numerous islands where the unique lifestyle has been preserved.


Toba Aquarium

Home to the highest number of different species of fish and animals in Japan, Toba Aquarium offers visitors an opportunity to encounter rare creatures, such as giant isopods, frogfish, and sea pen, as well as dugongs and African manatees.


Ama’s Kakigoya (oyster hut)

At an ama hut (female divers’ hut) near a fishing place, you can enjoy various kinds of freshly caught seafood grilled by the ama themselves.


Mikimoto Pearl Island

Mikimoto Pearl Island is the place where the world’s first cultured pearls were born. You can learn the history of Mikimoto’s founder, Kokichi Mikimoto, and join a tour observing culturing techniques. The island also has a shop selling various pearl products.


Visiting Matsusaka City, Located in the Northwest of the Iseshima Area

Matsusaka City is famous for Matsusaka beef, one of Japan’s three top brands of beef, often described as “the art of meat.” You can rent a kimono made with traditional Matsusaka cotton and enjoy strolling around this castle town with Japanese-style streets and precious historic sites.


Seeing Iseshima from a Cruise Ship on the Ocean!

It is highly recommended to see Iseshima from an excursion boat. Offering a tour in dark blue Ago Bay watching pearl rafts and the ria coast, Kashikojima Espana Cruise starts from the boarding site that is located near the Kashikojima Station, the terminal station of The Kintetsu Shima Line. If you would like a gorgeous cruise, you can take the sightseeing boat, Esperanza.

“Toba Bay Cruise and Dolphin Island” course offers a set consisting of a sightseeing tour going around beautiful Toba Bay, seeing Toba’s picturesque Mitsushima islands, and a visit to Dolphin Island, where you can enjoy shows by dolphins and sea lions. You can join the tour from Toba Aquarium or Toba Marine Terminal.


Go out to Iseshima’s Islands!


Iseshima has many inhabited islands. On Toushi Island, which is 12 minutes away from Toba Port, you can enjoy strolling along back alleys, playing at the shore, and eating seafood at an ama hut. Located 10 minutes away from Ago Bay by a regular liner, Masaki Island has nice views of village streets and pearl rafts.


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The magazine att.JAPAN is for non-Japanese visiting from overseas and those residing in Japan. This quarterly magazine written in English, Mandarin, and Korean offers a wide range of information about Japan—from travel and sightseeing to various aspects of traditional culture and the latest trends. The magazine is distributed at major airports, hotels, and tourist information centers throughout Japan.  

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