Umi no Cho

A Day at Ise Jingu

Basho. Haiku or Ninja Master?

Eager for Iga Ninja

The ninja house! Looks like a farm house from the outside Inside, the ninja home looks like any other Shelves become stairways, and the walls are trapdoors Escape hatches and secret compartments fill the ninja house! The Ninja Museum displays all manner of real ninja items Inside the ninja museum… The ninja house! Looks like […]

Iga Ueno Castle

The elegant Iga Ueno Castle The 30m high stone walls of Iga Ueno Castle are the highest in Japan. The impressive stone walls of Iga Ueno Castle The castle features a fine collection of samurai helmets and armor The castle interior makes for an interesting museum The nearby Matsuo Basho memorial museum The elegant Iga […]

Igayaki Ceramics Class

The cafe The kilns Pottery experience Pottery workshop Iga yaki nabe Kiln You might have heard of Iga-Ueno city as the land of the ninja. It also happens to be famous for a traditional form of pottery, Iga-yaki. The Iga basin—where modern-day Lake Biwa was born—has a clay soil, suited to the thriving industries of […]

Ise Grand Shrine

Shrine of Amaterasu Isuzu River with the Ujibashi Bridge in the background Naiku forest bridge Isuzu River ablution steps Geku Tsuchi Shrine Ujibashi Bridge torii Ise Jingu is one of the most sacred places in Japan. This sprawling shrine complex, set within a primordial forest, is home to Amaterasu, goddess of the sun and ancestor […]

The Grand Ise Jingu

The bridge leading to the nations' holiest site Washing hands for purification in the cool clear river Photos are not allowed in the inner sanctum of Ise Shrine The bridge leading to the nations' holiest site (Photo: PPF) The atmosphere is different. There is a spiritual calm that pervades and prevails. The air is clear […]

Ise Katagami Museum

A wide range of techniques and decoration Shiroko harbor Katagami screen Have you ever heard of Ise katagami? t is a beautiful and artistic traditional Japanese art, closely related to stencil cutting. It has been used as an elegant way to decorate patterns on kimono and clothes, and is now most used for design and […]

Iseshima: Location 2016 G7 Summit

Meoto Iwa, also known as the “Married Couple Rocks” (Photo: Yoshiko Toyama) A large, ancient tree (Photo: Yoshiko Toyama) Along with the two main shrines of Naikuu and Gekuu, there are over 120 branch shrines nearby. It is impossible to visit them all. (Photo: Yoshiko Toyama) A photo of Isuzu River from Ujibashi bridge leading […]

Kameyama Castle

Kameyama Castle undergoing repairs Woodblock print featuring Kameyama Castle Kameyama Castle undergoing repairs. 2011 Ruins of Kameyama Castle, now a small park opposite the the castle remains. Part of the moat and former castle grounds at Kameyama Stairway to Tortoise Mountain castle Kameyama Castle undergoing repairs (Photo: PPF) Life is slow in Mie Prefecture’s Kameyama […]

Kawasaki in Ise

Many of the old merchant houses have been turned into restaurants and shops A modern-looking izakaya sits next to a traditional sweets shop A cafe in a converted warehouse Breakfast of champions Kawasaki quarter in Ise town Signage for Monna-lisa shop During the Edo period, the Kawasaki quarter of Ise town was known as “The […]

Maruyama Senmaida

Thousands of rice paddies of all shapes and sizes are carved into the hillside. Scarecrows stand guard over the terraced rice paddies Rice stalks drying over tent like poles below the Senmaida rice paddies Thousands of rice paddies of all shapes and sizes are carved into the hillside. (Photo: TagPhotoLog) Senmaida. It means “One Thousand […]

Matsusaka Castle Ruins

Massive stone walls of Matsusaka Castle This most impressive ruin has an eerie quality surrounding it. Labyrinth like walls of Matsusaka Castle ruins. Massive stone walls of Matsusaka Castle (Photo: PPF) Matsusaka, once a major commercial centre during the Tokugawa Period (1603-1868) is better known nowadays for its specially nurtured, beer fed, hand massaged beef […]

Meeting with the Legend

Meeting with the Legend Arrival at the station The train was designed by Leiji Matsumoto, in the manga Galaxy Express 999 Danjiri Kaikan -enjoy customing as a ninja ! Ninja show Ninja show Who, coming to Japan, has not heard of ninjas? Spies and mercenaries from medieval times, they became popular thanks to numerous novels, […]

Mikimoto Pearls

Mikimoto Pearl Island, Toba The overhead causeway leading to the Mikimoto Pearl Island Mikimoto Pearl Island, home of Mikimoto Pearls. Mikimoto Pearl Island, Toba (Photo: PPF) Cross the causeway known as Pearl Bridge to be transported to a theme park for adults, the Mikimoto Pearl Island! Just off the coast of Toba City in Mie […]

Muslim-friendly Tour in Ise-Shima

Costum playing in Ama costume Enjoying the fresh seafood grilled by Ama-san Ise-Shima is improving their Muslim-friendly tourism facilities to attract more Muslim tourists coming to this Japanese national park. Muslim-friendly tourism is fairly new in Japan but on the rise. Answering to the rising number of foreign tourists, Mie Prefecture, especially Ise-Shima, is hoping […]

Osatsu Ama San, Woman Diver Museum

The full carpark in front of the Osatsu Ama san museum An Ama San clothed mannequin “dives” from the ceiling Displays of Ama San items in the museum The small Ishigami Shrine just above the museum was long worshipped by the Ama The Ishigami Shrine is popular amongst tourists who come to pray for protection. […]

East is West, and West is East at Rokkaen

The stunning blend of East and West that is Rokkaen Western technology meets eastern sensibility Inside Rokkaen, western influence, with tatami mats and paper screens. The stunning blend of East and West that is Rokkaen (Photo: tsuda) From the east, it is western, from the west, it is eastern. What is it? It’s a Tokai […]

The Sacred Rocks of Meoto Iwa

The wedded rocks at Futami Splashing water on the frogs… Some of the many frog effigies at the frog shrine. The wedded rocks at Futami (Photo: PPF) An often seen typical view of Japan is the one where two large rocks, islands in a swirling surf, are connected by a straw rope. This is the sight […]

Samurai Tenements & Merchant Houses

The 2 remaining rows of samurai tenement housing Looking towards the castle ruins, between the tenements Entering the samurai home Inside, the tenements are quite spacious The rear courtyard of the samurai tenement home. Old storehouse at the head of the samurai tenements The 2 remaining rows of samurai tenement housing (Photo: PPF) Matsusaka City […]

Senjuji in Tsu City

The great Sanmon gate, dating from 1704. The Senjuji’s Meido, main worship hall Built in the 1740’s, the twin roofed Nyorai-Do worship hall. The great Sanmon gate, dating from 1704. (Photo: PPF) Just 5 minutes walk from the JR Isshinda Station in Tsu City, and directly east of the Kintetsu Takadahonzan Station is the largest […]

Spring at Miyagawa-Tsutsumi Park

A message of hope from just the sight of this lovely cherry blossom! Strolling through the sakura park on a bright day The view from the northern area of Watarai Bridge Bazaars lined along the park, best for housewives Spectators of the live performance. A Spanish dance from Spainish performers Enjoying this friendship day underneath […]

Suda Kokuta Exhibition

Oct 2nd Nov 29th The event flyer Venue: Paramita Museum, Mie When: Oct 2nd – Nov 29th 2020, 9:30am – 5:30pm A special event taking place at the Paramita Museum in Mie looks at works from the Japanese artist Suda Kokuta, 30 years after his passing. Saitama-born Suda was known for his paintings and calligraphy, […]

Tado Ageuma: Horse Jumping Festival

Riders push their horses to jump the earthen wall. Tado Shrine at more peaceful times. Early May Riders push their horses to jump the earthen wall. (Photo: Mie Prefecture) Venue: Tado City When: Early May 2022 Notice: The dates for this event are not yet confirmed. This page will be updated once the official date(s) […]

The Grandness of Ise Jingu

Holiest of the Holy Shrines at Naiku Sacred River Isuzu at Naiku At the entrance to Geku Garden entrance to Naiku Forest path at Geku Do not enter : white pebbles at Geku Holiest of the Holy Shrines at Naiku Ise Jingu is ranked Japan’s Number One Grand Shrine, the most venerated shrine in Japan. […]

The Holy Shinto Shrine Ise Jingu

Gateway at the entrance to Naiku Shrine A closer look at the buildings; you can see that they look very new. Okage street, approaching Naiku Shrine, is lined with shops and restaurants. A beckoning cat in one of the souvenir shops Nice little rest area and an outdoor stall selling Ise Udon in the background […]

Samurai Gardens of Kitabatake

Amongst Japan’s three best Samurai Gardens Lush green as far as the eye can see. Relaxing all year round, Kitabatake Gardens Memorial statue to the Kitabatake Clan Memorial to the 14th Century noble Kitabatake Clan. The stone Torii to Kitabatake Shrine Amongst Japan’s three best Samurai Gardens (Photo: John Fowler) It’s hard to believe that […]

Tranquility at Tsu’s Shitennouji

Entrance way to tranquility, Shitennouji, Tsu. The ancient inner gate, an Important Cultural Asset Grave of Tsuchida Gozen, mother of Oda Nobunaga Entrance way to tranquility, Shitennouji, Tsu. (Photo: PPF) Just off a quiet side street in the center of bustling Tsu City, capital of Mie Prefecture, is a small but beautiful temple called Shitennouji. […]

Exploring Tsu Castle

Tsu Castle. Tsu Castle as it looked about 140 years ago Tsu Castles impressive stone walls The fine statue of samurai and castle builder Todo Takatora Exploring the Tsu Castle ruins is most enjoyable! The castle gardens at Tsu. Tsu Castle. (Photo: PPF) Situated between Mie Prefecture’s Route 23 and the Tsu City Hall are […]

Tsubaki Taisho, an Unearthly Shrine

Welcome to Power Spot, Tsubaki Taisha. The main worship hall of Tsubaki Taisha The main worship hall of Tsubaki Taisha Shrine The main worship hall of Tsubaki Taisha Shrine The holy waterfall of purification Tsubaki Grand Shrine Welcome to Power Spot, Tsubaki Taisha. (Photo: Mie Prefecture) The Tsubaki Taisha, as it is known to the […]

Tōshi Island, Miketsu-Kuni

Toshijima from above Pulling into the port on Tōshi Island Wakame harvest on the docks Nets for drying shirasu, tiny white fish Turning drying shirasu by hand New observation deck built on a ley line between Ise Shrine and Mount Fuji Islands in Japan have a special atmosphere that I love. Something about the isolation […]

Tōshi Island, Miketsu-Kuni

Toshijima from above Pulling into the port on Tōshi Island Wakame harvest on the docks Nets for drying shirasu, tiny white fish Turning drying shirasu by hand New observation deck built on a ley line between Ise Shrine and Mount Fuji Islands in Japan have a special atmosphere that I love. Something about the isolation […]

Visit Ise Shima Toba

Ise Jingu 伊勢神宮 For over 2000 years, Japanese pilgrims have made the journey to Ise Jingu. Cross the famous wooden Uji bridge and enter Shinto’s most sacred location “Naiku” (the inner shrine). The sound of footsteps over the loose stone paths can be heard in stark contrast to the serenity and peacefulness of the ancient […]

Visiting an Ama Diver Hut in Toba

Fresh seafood read for the grill Costumed Ama diver cooking lunch in the Ama hut The food is looking good!   Large clams, scallops and turban shells Delicious spiny lobster Sashimi of sea bream ('tai' in Japanese) One really interesting thing to do in the Toba, Ise and Shima area is to visit an Amagoya, […]

Wandering in Iga Ueno

Basho memorial The way to the castle Up the moat The castle Ceiling View from the castle Basho memorial Iga-Ueno City, Mie prefecture, is well-known for being the historical center of ninjas clans, and is nowadays a place where you can discover more about the history of these legendary spies. Not only that, for all […]

Welcome the New Year at Ise Jingu

Visitors to Ise Jingu pass food vendors in the shopping streets near the shrine. Clerks sell a sweet style of rice wine — called amazake — often served with ginger. The drink is a new year’s speciality. This photo, taken with a cell phone just before the point where photos are forbidden, was taken with […]

Yokkaichi’s Platypus Pavilion

A Great Big Platypus! The EXPO 1970 Australian Pavilion, now in Yokkaichi The futuristic Australian Pavilion at Osaka EXPO 1970 Architectural model for the Australian Pavilion EXPO 1970 Poster within the Australia Memorial Hall showing the designers’ inspiration Australian indigenous articfacts on display A Great Big Platypus! (Photo: PPF) You can almost hear Sylvester the […]

Banko Pottery Center

Yokkaichi’s Banko Pottery Center Nationally, and now world famous, Banko ware pottery Banko ware pottery classes and visitor day classes can be arranged Banko wares’ distinct dark brown color is admired by Tea Ceremony practitioners Elegant, functional and improves with age and use, Yokkaichi’s famed Banko ware Tea Ceremony impliments and cooking items, on sale […]

1 2