My next trip was towards the Ise area in the Mie Prefecture. Here in Ise, you can visit many shrines and old themed towns. One in particular was the Ise Grand Shrine 伊勢神宮（いせじんぐう）. Now, what I did not know was that the Ise Grand Shrine was actually a large number of Shinto shrines centered upon two main shrines named Naiku 内宮（ないくう） and Geku 外宮（げくう）. Luckily for me, I have a friend who is originally for this area; therefore, I had a perfect hostess and tour guide during this trip. A one way ticket is quite pricey, but if you purchase in a group the price is about 1700 yen(16.40 USD).
The first site I visited was which is located directly in front of the Iseshi station. Over 60 mini shrines were in between these two major shrines. Imagine how long it would take to visit each one of them! The feeling I received from this shrine was one of the utmost respect.
Before entering through any tori gates within the shrine area, you must bow your body about a 45 degree angle to show your respect. The first tori gate is the entrance for the shrine trail; however, at the end there is another tori gate which leads to the main shrine where the sun goddess inhabits. Only the priests and certain people are allowed entrance past those gates. Just a warning, taking pictures past the gate is forbidden.
My friend’s parents took us through town for a bit of sightseeing and food eating. As you may all know, I am a huge fan of food; however, there are some areas where cards are not accepted as a way of payment. This means cash ONLY. Well, this would be no issue, except for the fact many international cards can only withdraw money from 7/11 convenience stores.
This area of Ise did not have such a place so I was limited to what food I could buy.
This for me was an issue, but within Ise there are plenty of places to dine without having to spend more than 5USD. Deal deshou? (Note: deshou is just another way of saying, ‘right?’) For example, this lovely bowl of Ise Udon. How about a meat bun?
I mean, sure you could go for the more finer things in life, but do you really want to eat this?
Once this image as been engraved into your head, here are some lovely photos of the surrounding area where we walked around.
After the long day of walking we all went to the grocery store to get ingredients for dinner. I was not expecting much for tonight, mainly because I had thought everyone else was sleepy. Well, looks like a long day of walking calls for a large dinner. Turns out the dinner was a Temaki Party (てまき) which is you pretty much making your own hand rolled sushi. Look at all the delicious food! Thank you Kobayashi family for the lovely day!
Just to end it on an even more appetizing feeling, here is a photo of my favorite (probably only sweet dessert I actually love) matcha shaved ice. That is all for this Ise trip and again thank you to the Kobayashi family for hosting! Until next time ~