Begin the journey by heading to Toba Station in Mie. The rural Mie Prefecture is famous for its forested landscapes and Mediterranean looking coastlines. The area is also known for producing some of the freshest seafood in Japan and, in its waters, pearl cultivation has become an important activity.
Suggested self-guided itinerary:
Get off at Ise Station, which lies on the way to the hotel in Toba. Hop on one of the CAN busses and pay a visit to the famous Ise Shrine, one of the most sacred areas for the Shinto religion and a favorite pilgrimage destination for Japanese people.
Just a short walk away, the picturesque district of Okage-Yokocho offers a great outlook on the traditional side of the area with its quaint shops selling local arts and crafts as well as food.
Stop for lunch at one of the elegant Japanese-style restaurants offering refined specialties, such as freshly prepared tofu or grilled eel, and a variety of other local products.
After lunch, have tea or a dessert at one of the local food stalls or Japanese-style cafés in Okage-Yokocho.
After indulging in all the delicious specialities Mie has to offer, hop on one of the CAN busses and continue the journey to Meoto-Iwa, which literally means “the married couple rocks.” These two stones are joined by an impressive Shinto shimenawa, a rope made of rice straw, and represent the union in marriage of man and woman.
After this visit, continue the journey to the accommodation in Toba, either by CAN Bus or by train.
Note: 1-/2-Day Michikusa Bus passes are available for unlimited transport with CAN busses within the Ise area (pay on spot). If travelling with large luggage, it’s advised to send it ahead to accommodation.
Tonight’s stay will be in a traditional Japanese ryokan. For dinner, experience a traditional Japanese kaiseki (multi-course) meal prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients. After indulging in these culinary pleasures, it is time for a bath in the hotel’s own onsen bath, before turning in for the night.
Today after breakfast, learn all about the life of Ama divers – the women who made the prefecture famous by diving for centuries in the local waters to catch the best marine products. Still today, Ama divers practice fishing, although their activity is strictly regulated.
Meet the knowledgeable guide at Toba Station and head to Mikimoto Pearl Island. Here there will be an opportunity to witness an Ama diver fishing demonstration. Afterwards, head to the town of Osatsu, a village known for their Ama divers. Visit the hut of an Ama, who will prepare a beautiful grilled seafood meal.
After eating, the journey continues to the Ama Culture Museum and the Ishigami Shrine. The museum portraits Ama’s culture and lifestyle as well as their cultural heritage, while at the Ishigami Shrine, the Ama divers usually prayed for safety and a good catch while fishing.
The last stop of the day will be the Toba Observatory for some final views of the magnificent coastline, before returning to the night’s accommodation.
Overnight in Toba
Note: The experience is a small-group join-in tour. Meeting point is at Toba Station, within walking distance from Toda-ya and connected by shuttle bus from Hanashinsui.
Today after breakfast, head back to Nagoya Station by train to continue on to the next destination
Japan experiences dramatic pricing fluctuations based on Festivals, Domestic holidays and in some instances on weekends. Please consult with your Travel Consultant for exact pricing over a specific date. Reservations during weekends, peak season, and Japanese public holidays will be subject to supplementary charges.
Please note that accommodation may be on futon-style flat beds.
Accommodation based on the below or similar
First Class - Toda-ya Ryokan (Japanese-Style Room)
Superior First Class - Hanashinsui (Japanese-Style Room)
Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however all offers are subject to reconfirmation at the time of booking. Note prices usually display available discounted rates if any, (eg. Early Bird Deals if applicable). All featured tour itineraries and offers maybe subject to change due to seasonal variations without notice, or due to local conditions or other conditions. Please confirm all details at time of booking. Travel insurance is mandatory for all Innovative Travel bookings. All passports must be valid for 6 months prior to your return to your home country. Visas are the responsibility of the traveller. Special VIP meet and assist offers are valid for New Zealand passport holders, for other nationalities please check at the time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.
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