Ise Things to Do

  • Senguukan
    Senguukan
    by Rabbityama
  • The Main Shrine of Naiku
    The Main Shrine of Naiku
    by Rabbityama
  • The Main Shrine of Geku
    The Main Shrine of Geku
    by Rabbityama

Best Rated Things to Do in Ise

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo

    Ise Grand Shrines - Shinto Heartland

    by SLLiew Written Aug 8, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Japan's holiest shrines

    Coming from Kyoto-Nara, I visited Ise to see the Naiku(Inner) and Gekku(Outer) Shrines.

    Interesting fact is the shrines are built from unpainted cypress wood with thatched roofs. And they are rebuilt every 20 years. So the current shrine is located next to the new one being built. As soon as the new shrine is ready, the old one is removed and rebuilding starts again.

    The shrines are dedicated to the Shinto sun goddess Ameterasu Omikami. There are three treasures - mirror, jewel and sword.

    I walked over the bridges into the wooded area of the shrines. Quite and solemn and spiritual experience. Great way to better understand Japanese psyche.

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  • SLLiew's Profile Photo

    Famous Wedded Rocks of Ise-Toba

    by SLLiew Updated Sep 3, 2007

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    I took this at sunset

    Have you heard of a wedding on the rocks?

    These are the two famous mythological rocks named "Izanagi" and "Izanami. Both rocks are
    linked by a sacred straw rope.

    The rope is changed at a special ceremony every January 5th.

    For a Japanese photographer, it is a must-take photo of these two rocks tied in matrimony with the sun rising over the sea in the background.

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  • Rabbityama's Profile Photo

    The Grand Ise Shrine

    by Rabbityama Updated Jan 7, 2009

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    The Main Shrine of Naiku
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    Ise Shrine is the holiest Shinto shrine in the world, with Naiku, the inner shrine, dedicated to the supreme goddess Amaterasu (Geku, the outer shrine is dedicated to Toyouke Omikami, the goddess of clothing, food and housing. She provided the sacred foods for Amaterasu, and sacred food is offered twice a day at Geku).

    Both shrines are located amidst forests, which are also part of the holy grounds. Originally, the trees from this forest were used in the rebuilding of the shrine, which has been done every 20 years for the past 1300 years! New trees have been planted in hopes of once again using the trees within the sacred grounds in the rebuilding of the new shrines.

    Ise Shrine is an interesting contrast to Izumo Shrine (the second holiest Shinto Shrine, located in Shimane Prefecture). Izumo Shrine is more open and visible than Ise Shrine, which is hidden both in the surrounding forests, as well as behind walls. Ise is considered to be a feminine shrine, because it is hidden and dedicated to a female goddess, while Izumo is considered to be masculine, because it is boldly visible and dedicated to a male god. I felt this was an interesting contrast, and it helps to better appreciate the asthetic value of the shrine.

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  • janchan's Profile Photo

    Meotoiwa (The Wedded-Rocks), Futami

    by janchan Written Mar 21, 2003

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    Meotoiwa, Futami

    These two large rocks in the sea, fastened together by ropes, have long symbolized marriage in Japan.
    In summertime, the scene of the sun rising between the rocks is spectacular and should not be missed.
    The frog is part of Okitama-jinja (Frog shrine).

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  • SLLiew's Profile Photo

    Ise Shrine - Strolling amongst giant trees

    by SLLiew Written Oct 19, 2006

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    When at Ise Shrine, it is serene to walk on the gravel road shaded by tall pine trees.

    Observed that part of the tree trunks are covered by a wooden bracket to protect the tree trunks from nature and damage from people.

    Pleasant introspective atmosphere adds to the holy aura of this holy site.

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  • Rabbityama's Profile Photo

    Okage Yokocho

    by Rabbityama Updated Jan 7, 2009

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    Taiko Performance in Okage Yokocho
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    The Okage Yokocho area is where the pilgrims took rest after their long journey to visit Ise Shrine after completing their visit. "Okage" is used in expressions of gratitude in Japanese, and the name was chosen, because the travellers were extremely grateful to be received by the people of Okage Yokocho. Each person was given rice and new shoes for free by the locals upon arrival and here they would rest before making their way back home.

    In the center of the area, there is a small stage where taiko drum performances are held. It is well worth a visit, if you can stay for the show. I bought the famous Ise Udon at the restaurant beside the stage and watched the taiko performance. It's quite well done!

    There is a museum at Okage Yokocho where you can learn more about the significance of the area. The museum costs 300 yen to enter, and the video and tour are in Japanese, but there is a brochure in English. The video is difficult even for the Japanese, because they use speech from the Edo Period. The museum recreates Okage Yokocho using mechanical dolls. It's a small tour, but it's well put together and fun to walk around. One point of interest is the woman standing on the bridge. She was created to show the average height of Japanese people back in the Edo Period. Although the Japanese are known today for being short, but this woman is about 2/3 the height of modern Japanese! I think this museum is worth a visit, even if you don't know Japanese.

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  • Rabbityama's Profile Photo

    Meoto Iwa

    by Rabbityama Written Jan 7, 2009

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    Meoto Iwa
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    Meoto Iwa is known as the Wedded rocks, and these rocks represent union between Izanami and Izanagi, the two Shinto gods who are said to have given birth to the Japanese archipelago. Meoto Iwa is not simply simbolic; It is a Shinto holy site.

    Pictures of the rocks are often deceiving, making it looks as though they are huge, towering boulders however, in actuality, they are large but certainly not immense. I say this so that visitors do not become disappointed when they visit, because I personally feel that Meoto Iwa is quite beautiful! Although there are many stones and trees in Japan considered to be sacred, none of them are quite like Meoto Iwa. It's a truly unique sight. Meoto Iwa is a strong iconic sight with great spiritual meaning. It's well worth the visit!

    Visiting Meoto Iwa is free.

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  • Rabbityama's Profile Photo

    Ujiyamada Station

    by Rabbityama Written Jan 7, 2009

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    Ujiyamada Station

    Ujiyamada Station is the closest station to Naiku, Ise Shrine's inner shrine however, it is also a point of interest in Ise City. Ujiyamada Station is known as one of the oldest train stations in Japan, dating back to the Meiji period, and shows Western architectural influences. Also, during that time, it was used by many people making their pilgrimages to Ise Shrine, since trains had become the fastest form of transportation. Perhaps foreign tourists are less able to appreciate this station than the Japanese, and it's certainly not a place to hang around as a tourist, but it's not a very well-known fact, especially among foreign visitors, and if you pass by the station or use it, it's worth noting.

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  • KevinMichael's Profile Photo

    Ise's Outer Shrine (Gekū(外宮))

    by KevinMichael Updated Jan 6, 2009

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    Japanese praying at Gekū Shrine in Ise City,
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    Ise Shrine (Jinguu) is made up of 2 separate parts each being 6 kilometers or so from each other. The outer main shrine of Ise Jingu is known as Gekū(外宮) shrine or Toyoukedaijingu. Overall, the shrine is situated within forest and this provides for it a great feeling of serenity and connection with nature. Shinto often seems to have reverence for nature and Gekū shrine is no exception to this concept.

    Gekū shrine is usually the staring point for any Japanese who are making their at least once in a lifetime pilgrimage to Ise, Japan's Shinto cultural/historical religious center.

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  • KevinMichael's Profile Photo

    Indule in Okage Yokochou

    by KevinMichael Updated Feb 24, 2011

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    Okage Yokochou
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    I have to rank this as my favorite part of going to Ise. When I travel, one of the biggest things that I enjoy is good food and Ise has lots of it. It's just fun strolling through here looking at one souvenir shop after another enjoying lots of different food stuff. It is best to visit during less busier times (like not New Year's) so as to avoid the crowds. While roaming around, I recommend the following indulgences:

    -try the Mango soft ice cream.

    -go for Ise ebi (ÒÁ„ݺ£ÀÏ) these are either shrimp and I heard from one of my students lobster, too. Anyway, I had it and it was delicious. The tempera fried shrimp, rice, miso-soup and radishes weren't so expensive (700 yen or so) but, they were very delicious.

    - Ise udon - white thick noodles with a sauce & onion. Cheap

    -**super favorite**: akafuku (³à¸££© mochi (pounded rice) covered with anko (purple bean paste). Very delicious when served with a nice Japanese cup of green tea. It's best here on the spot, nice & fresh.

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  • KevinMichael's Profile Photo

    Jingu Chokokan (Ise Shrine Museum)

    by KevinMichael Updated Jan 13, 2009

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    Jinguchokokan
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    This museum is houses artifacts and relics historically relevant to Shinto. To name just a few of the objects on display, there are drawings, written scrolls, paintings, weapons (old katanas), Shinto priest uniforms, and a large old Ise Shrine model that can be viewed overhead from the second floor or horizontally on the first floor.

    Pros:
    -Big Pro! Visitors can pick up a very high quality photographically illustrated book near the front entrance for FREE. A good portion of the book is in English and helps provide non-Japanese readers with information pertaining to what they are looking at.

    Cons:
    -Note for foreigners, this museum is really for Japanese history and Shinto buffs. The museum could be highly improved by providing more explanations for exhibits in English (there were none). Without knowledge of Japanese history, culture, and Shinto, visitors could be at a loss for any meaning behind what they are looking at.
    -Absolutely no photography is permitted inside the museum.

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  • 123Sophie's Profile Photo

    Ise Jingu

    by 123Sophie Written Feb 28, 2005

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    Shrine

    Ise Jingu are the main attractions of Ise City, Shima Peninsula and perhaps the most important shrines in entire Japan. Traditionally worshipers visit Gekku shrine first and then contiue their prayers in Naiku, where ancestral goddess of the Imperial Family is enshrined.

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  • Straymute's Profile Photo

    Naiku Main Temple

    by Straymute Written Jan 9, 2004

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    Naiku Main Shrine

    Naiku is an amazing place, but don't expect to tromp around too much or get any incredible pictures inside the shrines/temples. I highly recommend reading up on the place prior to visiting, or else you will miss much of the background and history of this sacred land. The picture is of the main shrine, just about as close as you can get to the artifact.

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  • flyingkiwi's Profile Photo

    visit the NAIKU INNER SHRINE. ...

    by flyingkiwi Written Sep 7, 2002

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    visit the NAIKU INNER SHRINE. This is the most important of the two and honours goddess Amaterasu, the highest diety in the Shinto pantheon. To enter the main area of the shrine, cross the Uji Bridge over the rushing Isuzu River. Crossing the bridge is an act of purification. After crossing the bridge turn to the left and you will soon enter the main sanctuary. Passing two sacred torii gates you will notice the branches of the sacred sakaki bushes and strips of folded paper adorning the pillars. These branches and paper are replaced every ten days. The concept of renewal is an important aspect of the Shinto religion.

    The Goshoden (main sanctuary) contains Amaterasu's sacred mirror, one of the three treasures of the imperial family. Four fences surround the sanctuary; pilgrims can go as far as the second fence. Behind the Goshoden are two treasuries. The pristine buildings are on white raked gravel. The structures themselves derive from early storehouses; they are raised on pillars and have thick thatched roofs. Next to the Goshoden is an identical space where the new sanctuary will be constucted. When finished, the two sit side by side until the sacred mirror is transferred during a nightime ceremony. Then the old building is disassembled. Since the buildings are constucted without nails, they can be moved to another shrine.

    The photo shows the steps leading up to the Goshoden. This is as close as I could get taking photographs for once inside the shrine photography is forbidden.

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  • KevinMichael's Profile Photo

    Ise's Inner Shrine (Naikū (内宮))

    by KevinMichael Updated Jan 7, 2009

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    the first gate of Ise Inner Shrine
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    Ise Shrine (Ise-jingū 伊勢神宮) is made up of 2 separate parts each being 6 kilometers or so from each other. The inner main shrine of Ise Jingu is known as Naikū (内宮) shrine or Kotaijingu. Like the otter shrine, the inner shrine is also situated within forest.

    It is also said that the shrine houses the spirit of Amateresu Omikami and one of the artifacts of the Shinto and the Japanese Royal family (the sacred mirror).

    At Naikū, there is a large main gate (torri) from which as of December 26th, 2 bridges, The Uji Bridge and the new one, cross over the Isuzu river. We were lucky enough to be at the opening of the new bridge on December 26, 2008.

    Visitors to this Isuzu river ritually cleanse their hands at the steps of the river bank below.

    Note: Only the best dressed can get accessed to the most holiest of portions of the shrine. If you wish to do so then dress your best (in other words, men need to wear a suit). Women need to dress appropriately as well and not to be showing too much (i.e. skin).

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Ise Things to Do

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