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.