The two-rock formation of Meoto-iwa, the symbol of Ise. Rock formations in strange shapes attract many visitors.
Ise, located in the northwestern part of the Shima-hanto Peninsula in Mie, prospered as the shrine town of Ise-jingu. Okage-yokocho Street, lined with 43 souvenir and food shops, reproduces scenes from the late Edo Period to the early Meiji Era, and attracts a number of visitors who come to experience the traditional atmosphere of a visit to Ise and the fashions of those times.
It is said in ancient mythology that Futami-ura was so beautiful that Princess Yamato-hime-no-mikoto, daughter of 11th Emperor Suinin, looked back twice to admire its beauty. The name "Futami," or to look twice, derives from this story. At the eastern end of Ise is Meoto-iwa, or the "couple rocks." The bigger rock is O-iwa, the male rock, and the smaller is Me-iwa, the female rock. They serve as a natural 'torii' gate (shrine gate) to Okitama Jinseki, a holy rock related to the god Sarutahiko of Futami Okitama-jinja Shrine. Kuguri-shima-no-ishi-mon is a strange, naturally carved rock found under the lighthouse of Cape Kozaki. Do-mon Gate is a rock formation carved naturally by waves into the shape of a heart that is hidden under water, emerging only at low tide.
The Ise-Shima Skyline Route, which starts from the inner precinct of Ise-jingu Shrine, passes near the top of Mt. Asama-yama and goes all the way to Toba, is a very pleasant drive. Kongosho-ji Temple, an important cultural property, is on the Skyline route, and the viewing spot in Asama-Sanjo-koen Park commands a superb overlook of Toba Bay and the Chita-hanto and Atsumi-hanto peninsulas. It is certainly worth taking the time to enjoy the view.
From Tokyo :
[Rail] 1h 45 to Nagoya Station by JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line, and 1h 20 min from Kintetsu Nagoya to Iseshi Station by Kintetsu Line (limited express).
From Osaka :
[Rail] 1h 30 min from Uehonmachi to Iseshi Station by Kintetsu Line (limited express).