Welcome to ISE-SHIMA Journey, MIKETSUKUNI, and the home of Gastronomy in West Japan.
ISE-SHIMA has a 2000-year history, and MIKETSUKUNI is a famous phrase in this specific region. The three kuni (“countries”) of the MIKETSUKUNI – Wakasa (Southern Fukui Prefecture), Shima (Eastern Mie Prefecture), and Awaji (outer island of Eastern Kinki Region) – have, since ancient times, supplied the tables of the Imperial Court with fine delicacies from both the sea and the land. As indicated here, Shima is one of the “countries.”
Your journey to enjoy the MIKETSUKUNI Tour starts here, from ISE JINGU Shrine in ISE-SHIMA, all the way to the Shima Peninsula.
ISE JINGU SHRINE
The story of MIKETSUKUNI starts from ISE JINGU, which is divided into 2 areas, “GEKU” and “NAIKU.” “GEKU” is dedicated to Toyo’uke-no-Omikami, the god of Cloth, Food, and Land, who protects the entire land of ISE-SHIMA as well as Japan. “NAIKU” is dedicated to Amaterasu Omikami, who is an ancestor of the Imperial Family. Amaterasu Omikami is the god for prosperity of the Imperial Family, protecting world peace and a huge harvest. Let’s discover Japan’s history which starts here in ISE JINGU.
When you begin your journey from Nagoya Station, we recommend that you take the Kintetsu Express Train for a comfortable ride. It is a private railway owned by Kintetsu Group Holdings. Every day at 10:25am, the express train “SHIMAKAZE,” a first class train, will welcome you on your journey to ISE-SHIMA. You can also experience riding a normal type express train to Kashikojima during its regular service hours from 6am to 7pm. Regarding the SHIMAKAZE, each seat is automatically adjustable for your relaxation and comfort. Also, on the way to ISE-SHIMA, you can experience eating ISE-SHIMA famous dishes at a restaurant inside the train. If you are traveling with your family, Kintetsu allows you to choose between individual or private room seats for you to enjoy your journey to the fullest.
You are now arriving at Iseshi Station. It took an hour and fifty minutes from Nagoya Station. Since ISE-SHIMA lets you leave your luggage at the Iseshi Station Baggage Office in order to keep them safe, you don’t have to carry any luggage with you before you enter ISE JINGU Shrine. There is no need for you to hurry.
If you want to keep your luggage at the Baggage Office between 9:00am and 5:30pm, you will need to pay ¥500 for each piece of luggage. They also have a service to deliver your luggage directly to your hotel via Yamato Delivery Service, so you don’t have to carry any luggage until you arrive at your hotel. Each hotel has their own discounted price for delivery. For more information, please confirm with your hotel reservation desk.
The god of Ise Jingu Shrine has been enshrined there for over 2000 years, and this shrine is the holiest in Japan. Ise Jingu is the same size as the center of Paris. For Japanese people, it’s one of the places that they hope to visit at least once in their lifetimes. Each area is very large, so it will take a lot of time to pray at each of the shrines. You will require 15 minutes for the Geku Goshougu and 30 minutes for the Naiku Goshougu. If you wish to visit the other smaller shrines, please plan to walk around for at least another hour.
There is a proper route to take when praying at these shrines and you should follow the standard rule. People usually visit Geku first, and then Naigu. You might get the impression that Geku is not as important, or as popular compared to Naigu, but its enshrined god, Toyouke-no-Omikami is the god of Cloth, Food, and Land. Please show respect to Geku for the benefit of your well-being.
Naiku Shrine enshrines Shinto’s most venerated deity, the Sun Goddess (Amaterasu Omikami), and is considered Japan’s most sacred shrine. Amaterasu Omikami is a god and ancestor of the Royal Family of Japan.
A tiny town located right next to the inner shrine, NAIKU.
The shops in Okage-yokocho Street are diverse. In the town, you can try the famous Ise Udon and purchase the famous Japanese sweet “Akafuku” from the Akafuku main shop. Famous Ise Sake can be bought at “Ise Mannaikumae brewery”. Let’s check out “Meisan Aji no Yakata” for famous Ise road goods.
After walking and learning about ISE JINGU’s history, let’s move to “SHIMA PENINSULA,” the most beautiful land in Japan. You can take a taxi or the local bus from ISE JINGU NAIKU. You’ll arrive at Iseshi Station after 10-15 minutes.
You’ve arrived at Iseshi Station. Don’t forget to pick-up your luggage at the Iseshi Station Baggage Office. Now you are ready to purchase a Kintetsu Express Train ticket and depart from Iseshi Station. A one-way reserved seat trip to Kashikojima costs ¥1,220 per adult. It will take 46 minutes from Iseshi to Kashikojima, the last stop of the Kintetsu Express Train.
Arrival at Kashikojima Station
You have now arrived at Kashikojima Station in SHIMA PENINSULA. Here, you can enjoy the excitement of discovering history and culture, experiencing something local, and eating SHIMA’s regional food.
Hotel Guest Pick-up
When guests arrive at Kashikojima Station, Shima Kanko Hotel the Bay Suites Luxury Van will welcome them by picking them up. Please inform us of your arrival time during the reservation, so that we can pick you up smoothly at the station.
Shima Kanko Hotel the Bay Suites
Upon arriving at Shima Kanko Hotel the Bay Suites, prepare to be amazed with the modern building and spacious entrance when you get off the car. After stepping inside the lobby, you’ll find that the main interior lighting is covered with 9,000 pearls, helping you come to the realization that Shima is the home of the Pearl.
With spacious suites having great views of Ago Bay, Shima Kanko Hotel was the venue of the G7 Ise-Shima Summit in 2016. The standard type suite room is 100 m2 and comprises a living room and bedroom, ensuring your privacy. It has a balcony that will allow you to feel the natural beauty of Ise-Shima National Park; it can be a space that lets you experience heartfelt relaxation as well. You can also book the 210 m2 Royal Suite, the largest room we have in the Bay Suites.
Relax at the Guest Lounge
You can now relax at and enjoy the Guest Lounge on the top floor (5F) while you wait for today’s dinner, which will be prepared by the Executive Chef, Ms. Hiroe Higuchi, who has created her own style as a Shima Local French chef. The hotel lounge offers free drinks such as wine and sparkling wine, as well as snacks.
La Mer The Bay Suites
The new “Seafood French cuisine” incorporates new techniques with traditional ones. It provides a space for you to enjoy moments of relaxation while taking in a panoramic view of the breathtaking Ago Bay sunset. The Executive Chef, Ms. Hiroe Higuchi, is the first female chef in Japanese history to be honored for her role in local gastronomy in the Japan Food Masters 2017. She practices French Cuisine in a wonderfully local way (Spiny Lobster, Abalone, etc.).
ISE-SHIMA Seafood French Cuisine
The 1st day is almost over. If you have energy left to enjoy a glass of wine or some other cocktail, please visit and enjoy our traditional building, “The Club.” You can taste over a hundred different kinds of wine from all over the world, as well as listen to original Jazz music played by Jazz musicians. If this isn’t for you, you can go back to your room to rest and get ready for the next day’s activities.
2nd Day of Shima Kanko Hotel the Bay Suites
During the fine, refreshing mornings of Shima Kanko Hotel the Bay Suites, you’ll hear nothing but the morning breeze.
For breakfast, you have the choice between having a Western style breakfast at La Mer (5F) or a Japanese style breakfast at HAMAYU (4F). If you decide to go with having a Western style breakfast, it is a good idea to drink our freshly brewed coffee to wake you up. The breakfast is prepared with our desire to let you feel the current season of Ise-Shima and the rich blessings of the land. We therefore make use of local herbs and vegetables, as well as fruits grown in the hotel garden. You can also taste egg dishes incorporating the various blessings of the sea, prepared according to your preferences. Take this time in the morning to gently fill your body with the scenery of Ago Bay.
Enjoy the Day of Activities!
Boat Cruise to Pearl Removal Experience
Let’s take a cruise from Shima Kanko Hotel to “SHINJYU NO SATO” for a Pearl Removal Experience.
You can relax until 10:00am; you will then walk down to the pier at Shima Kanko Hotel the Classic.
Pearl Removal Experience at Shinjyu No Sato
Today’s first experience will be Pearl Removal at Shinjyu No Sato. After a 30-minute boat ride towards the Pacific Ocean, you’ll find an entire Pearl Farm owned by Shinjyu No Sato in a small bay area.
Shinjyu No Sato will teach you how to remove pearls from oysters, and how to use those pearls to make accessories of your own. You’ll be surprised at yourself for making pearl accessories by your own hand.
Ama Goya Experience “Satoumian”
After the Pearl Removal Experience, a private van will take you to “AMA GOYA SATOUMIAN” for your next destination. Your travel agent will arrange your transportation to the place. After a 6-minute drive from Pearl Miki, you will be arriving at Ama Goya “SATOUMIAN.” A woman diver who catches seafood in the morning will be there to cook for you at the BBQ grill. You’ll learn a lot from her as she tells you about the story of AMA and about Shima culture.
Visit a Beautiful Temple, “HOUZAN DAIJIJI TEMPLE”
Daijiji Temple is also known as the ajisai-dera (hydrangea temple) of Shima. In June, 1500 bushes of hydrangea will be at their best. Cherry blossoms called “Tenrei-zakura” can also be enjoyed in late February to early March.
So much for Daijiji; let’s move to Katsuobushi Bonito Smokehouse.
Katsuobushi Bonito Smokehouse
Katsuobushi Bonito Smokehouse is known for its bonito flakes, which form the base of soup stocks for Japanese WASHOKU. Katsuobushi is, in fact, a major part of traditional Japanese cuisine. Also, it has a fascinating history and a rather painstaking method of production.
Katsuo No Tenpaku has a very long history of making katsuobushi. It is one of the few remaining brands that produce bonito flakes. Mr. Tenpaku and his staff will explain the history of katsuobushi, so you can learn more about it.
Back to the Hotel
The all-day tour is almost over. Are you ready to relax back at the hotel? Before you are ready to have a wonderful dinner at Shima Kanko Hotel the Bay Suites, you can refresh your body with the special SPA facility called “eau SPA by CLARINS” on the 2F. We are the first hotel to open a CLARINS Resort SPA here at Shima.
We received the “World Luxury SPA Award, Luxury Historical Hotel SPA in Asia” two years in a row. Enjoy!
After refreshing your body with the Bay Suite SPA, you can again relax at the 5F Guest Lounge and watch the beautiful sunset of Ago Bay.
Dinner at Japanese Restaurant “HAMAYU”
Using techniques that bring out the best in seasonal Ise-Shima ingredients, Japanese restaurant Hamayu serves traditional kaiseki cuisine using such seasonal ingredients in a serene Japanese-style interior setting. The delicious dishes resemble works of art, and the menu features a lineup of local Mie sake.
Japanese Executive Chef Kyoji Tsukahara has created his own technique for the kaiseki style. At the heart of kaiseki dining is the Japanese principle of shun (seasonal dishes), or utilizing ingredients at the peak of their freshness; that is what he believes in his work. He uses several Ise-Shima local food products in his own way. You’ll be excited to see what he can create on a plate.
Enjoy your dinner for the 2nd Day at HAMAYU.
3rd Day of ISE-SHIMA
A bright sunny sky, a quiet morning, and a calm ocean. Are you ready for an exciting day today? But before that, let’s enjoy a relaxing Japanese style breakfast at “HAMAYU” on the 4F. You’ll enjoy various local Japanese traditional dishes here along with a nice view of Ago Bay.
We have prepared a Japanese food set which lets you choose from different types of rice (white rice, five grain rice, brown rice). It also includes a variety of side dishes, grilled fish, Yonezawa rice cake, and sea herb porridge, allowing you to enjoy Mie’s rich ingredients.
At 10:00am, your car will be waiting to bring you to yet another exciting experience tour in Shima. This time, you’ll be visiting the southern side of Ise-Shima for the “Local Fisherman Experience”. This is a traditional local activity in Shima, and you’ll learn more about the local style of fishing in the south ocean bay area. The ride from the hotel will take around 24 minutes (16.8 km). Your car will be arranged by your travel agent.
Fisherman Experience in South Ise
30 minutes away from the hotel. In the quiet bay of Minami-Ise Town, new fisheries such as aquaculture utilizing the terrain are thriving, while traditional fisheries are also operating. Please experience the present state of the fisheries in southern Ise.
After you have enjoyed fishing in the bay area, a boat will take you back to the pier. Fisherman Guest House will be ready to welcome you for a BBQ lunch. Depending on the season, Fisherman Guest House may serve you fresh Sashimi, a fish-of-the-day BBQ grill, and shellfish such as abalone. Afterwards, you can walk down the pier and meet the people at the port.
That concludes the experience tour in South Ise. Let’s return to the hotel and relax. Your car is waiting at the port to pick you up.
Relax at the Guest Lounge of Shima Kanko Hotel the Classic
Are you ready to see one of the most beautiful sunsets in Japan visible from the Classic’s guest lounge? You can sit back and relax at the terrace sofa with a glass of wine.
Teppanyaki Restaurant “Yamabuki”: To enjoy the local brand beef Matsuzaka
Chefs will grill Ise-Shima seafood and Matsuzaka beef in front of your eyes. Fresh ingredients are even more delicious in this restaurant’s timeless atmosphere.
For your last day at Shima Kanko Hotel, why don’t you spend a memorable night at ISE-SHIMA “Lien?”
Lien is located in a building called “The Club” to the south of Shima Kanko Hotel the Classic. Before explaining about Lien, allow us to provide an explanation for our traditional building, “The Club.” The Club opened as the first Resort Hotel in Japan in 1951. The Club is a classic wooden hotel designed by Togo Murano, one of the most well-known architects in Japan. At that time, the building was used as a guesthouse in Ise-Shima, and is still being used for the Imperial Family’s accommodation today. Right before the G7 ISE-SHIMA SUMMIT was held, the inside of this building was completely renovated. There are two restaurants (Teppanyaki and Wine Restaurant), two small conference rooms, and a Japanese Tea Arrangement Room. We of course have a special corner where we set up a gallery dedicated to the G7 Summit, which was held here in May 2016. If you would like a tour of the building, please let us know and our staff will be happy to show you around with a walking tour.
Now, let us introduce you to one of the nicest restaurants in the facility, “Café & Wine Bar Lien.”
Relaxing Wine Drinking at Café & Wine Bar LIEN
Whether it is the nighttime or the daytime, why don’t you come visit and relax at Lien during your stay in Shima Kanko Hotel? In the nighttime, after enjoying a delicious Teppanyaki dinner, Lien is the best place to visit.
During the Bar Time at night between 5:30pm and 11:00pm, guests can enjoy select wines and light meals with a view of the illuminated garden.
During the 1st and 2nd stage Jazz hours which occur around 8:30pm and 9:30pm, respectively, we offer a wide repertoire of music including pop, Latin, screen, and of course, standard jazz. Enjoy the rest of your evening.
Today is the day you will be departing. Before your departure, why don’t you change your mood and enjoy a breakfast buffet at Shima Kanko Hotel La Mer the Classic? You’ll experience a La Mer Buffet Style Breakfast with your choice of egg style. La Mer uses local products, from dairy produce to eggs, fresh vegetables, and so on.
Check-out from Shima Kanko Hotel the Bay Suites
You are now departing from the hotel. You have a choice between taking an express train to Tokyo via Nagoya, which will be a nice finish to your visit in Ise-Shima. If you still have the energy to see more of Ise-Shima, you can arrange a private car for either Nagoya or Kyoto. On the way to Nagoya or Kyoto, you can visit the Ninja Museum at Iga and/or the Matsuzaka Brand Beef Farm at Matsuzaka. You can plan various types of stopovers along the way. Please let us know so that we can give you some suggestions. Have a great stay in Japan!!