A trip with delicious foods through the home of pearls

Ise Area, Toba Area

Ago Bay in Mie Prefecture's Iseshima has been known for ages as a production area of pearls. The production of pearls with cultured Akoya oysters was successful in the bay, and so it is now the famous home to Akoya pearls. Ise also has many local specialties including seafood products, and is known as the "Land of Delicious Foods". It is a place that you must visit at least once with its popular sites such as Ise-jingu Shrine.

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Day 1 - Ise

Osaka -- <5 mins. by walk> -- Nishi-Umeda -- <Osaka Municipal Subway Yotsubashi Line 7 mins.> -- Nanba/Osaka Nanba -- <Kintetsu Limited Express110 mins.> -- Iseshi -- <15 mins. by bus> -- Jingu Kaikan-mae -- [Okage Yokocho Street] -- <16 mins. by walk> -- [Ise-jingu Shrine (inner shrine)] -- <Kintetsu Toba Line Limited Express 33 mins.> -- Iseshi

Okage Yokocho Street

It is like a small town filled with shops offering local Ise specialties. The Ise people’s spirit of “Omotenashi”, which has served travelers with hospitality for ages, still lives on here. The establishments are replicas of representative structures that were built 200 to 300 years ago. Here you can enjoy local foods as well as the area’s history and culture.

Ise-jingu Shrine (inner shrine)

Ise Cuisine

The city of Ise in Mie Prefecture, which faces Ise Bay, is a treasure chest of seafood including the “Ise lobster (Japanese spiny lobster)”, which is so delicious that it was named after area. It is also famous for its local dishes such as udon noodles and Japanese sweets as well. Please be sure to try out Japan’s food culture here.


A simple Japanese confectionary where bean paste has been spread over rice cake. It is a representative confectionary of Ise and has been served for over three hundred years.


A type of scattered sushi where strips of lean fish meat are marinated in a soy sauce-based sauce and scattered over vinegared rice. It can also be enjoyed by those who do not like raw fish as the meat is flavored. The dishes are different in appearance according to the shops that serve them so there are various kinds to choose from.

Saury Sushi

Oshizushi (a dish where sushi is pressed together with fish in a frame) made with saury. Saury caught in Ise is characterized by its lean and firm meat, and makes you want to eat a full oshizushi by yourself, even if it is made with an entire fish.

Ise Lobster

Ise lobster is a famous luxury food ingredient in Japan. As its name suggests, those that are caught in the waters of Ise are considered to be of prime quality. The period between October and April when the winter seas are rough, by the way, is the best season for Ise lobster.

Grilled Clams

Ninety percent of the clams eaten in Japan are imported, but the clams from the waters of Ise are all natural. The thick flesh contains saltwater, but the excess salt is let out when grilled and the remaining saltwater provides a rich flavor.

Ise Udon Noodles

Udon noodles are some of the most popular foods in Japan. The most distinct feature of Ise udon noodles is its rich sauce. It looks quite spicy but is not as strong in flavor as it appears, and its sweet and smooth flavor stands out.

Day 2 - Toba

Ise City -- <5 mins. by walk> -- [Ise-jingu Shrine (outer shrine)] -- <5 mins. by walk> -- Iseshi -- <Sangu Line 10 mins.> -- Futamiura -- [Meoto Iwa Rocks] -- <Sangu Line 10 mins.> -- Toba -- <10 mins. by walk> -- [Mikimoto Pearl Island] -- Toba -- <Kinki Railway 120 mins.> -- Tsuruhashi -- <JR 15 mins.> -- Osaka

Ise-jingu Shrine (outer shrine)

Dedicated to Toyouke Omikami – the goddess of food and grain. The inner shrine mentioned above together with the outer shrine is known as Ise-jingu Shrine (broadly defined, they consist of a total of a hundred and twenty-five shrines.)

Meoto Iwa Rocks

They have been named “Meoto Iwa (husband and wife rocks)” as they look like a married couple standing next to each other. The place where they stand is said to be a sacred spot that the gods visit. Located seven hundred meters offshore, they serve as the gateway for offering prayers to Amaterasu Omikami. The rising sun can be seen between these wedded rocks from May to July, and the full moon can be seen in the background from autumn to winter.

Mikimoto Pearl Island

At the cradle of pearl cultivation facilities, Mikimoto Founder Kokichi Mikimoto was the first to successfully culture a pearl. Here, visitors can experience history surrounding pearls at facilities such as Japan’s first pearl museum and the Kokichi Mikimoto Memorial Hall, which is dedicated to the Pearl King.