A journey to Ise-Shima for extra girl power

The Ise-Shima area is becoming increasingly famous due to the summit to be held there in May 2016. Many Japanese women enjoy taking trips to Ise-Shima in Mie Prefecture to increase their attractiveness as women, which is referred to as “Extra Girl Power.” This trend is spreading to women from other countries.

An ideal power spot for the prayers of women

An answer to a woman’s prayer Shinmei Shrine/Ishigami San

Power spots such as shrines and temples are the most standard destinations on an “extra girl power” tour. Write a single request on a prayer paper, and put it in the prayer box after ringing the bell while you still have the paper in your hand. Finally, keep your prayer in mind as you bow twice, clap twice, bow once.

Since old times, female divers in this area have drawn a lattice-shaped doman or a star-shaped seman as a charm against evil on their diving suits. Lucky charms with these printed on them are popular with women (800JPY).

In the seas near Toba and Ise, with the beautiful ria coastline, women divers have been diving into the sea to gather fish and shellfish since long ago. Ishigami San, on the road to the Shinmei Shrine in Osatsu in Toba, is a small shrine where women have worshipped since ancient times as it is said to answer a woman’s prayer. The benefits of this rare blessing have become widely known, and it is now a popular location visited by women from Japan, China and Taiwan.

Address:
1385, Osatsu, Toba, Mie;
Fee:
Free;
TEL:
+81-599-33-7453 (Osatsu Ishigami Support Group)

A power spot with an amazing view where you can pray for marriage and matrimonial happiness Meoto Iwa/Futami Okitama Shrine

The wondrous view of the sun rising among the rocks can be seen between May and July.

Customarily, people cleansed themselves at the Futami coast before going to the Grand Shrine at Ise, and many people still visit this shrine before going to the Grand Shrine.

Meoto Iwa is a pair of rocks, one large, one small, that stand beside each other lovingly in the Futami coastal area, which is near the town of Ise. The Futami Okitama shrine has its origins in the worship people used to give to the sun that rises between these rocks, and to the Okitama sacred rock, which is submerged in the sea 700m from the coast. As symbolized by Meoto Iwa, this shrine is said to bless women that are concerned about marriage and matrimonial happiness. Come and pray for love at this miraculous power spot that has famously beautiful views.

Address:
575 Futamichoe, Ise, Mie;
Fee:
Free;
TEL:
+81-596-43-2020

Do not miss out on the famous gourmet foods on the road approaching the highly popular power spot, the Grand Shrine at Ise!

Ise udon noodles Okunoya

This common gourmet food of Ise is a combination of thick, soft noodles and a secret soup. One bowl at the specialist store of Okunoya in Oharai-Yokocho costs 450 yen.

Address:
18, Ujiimazaike, Ise, Mie;
Times:
11AM to 16PM;
Closed:
N/A;
TEL:
+81-596-22-2589

Tekone sushi Sushikyu

Plenty of meaty tuna soaked in a soy-based marinade is placed on top of vinegar rice. Along with two small side dishes and red miso soup, the price is 1,800 yen.

Address:
20, Ujinakanokiri, Ise, Mie (in Okage Yokocho);
Times:
10:30AM to 19:30PM (L.O. 19PM);
Closed:
N/A (closed at night on Tuesday, and first/last day of month);
TEL:
+81-596-27-0229

Akafuku mochi Akafuku

Akafuku mochi made with refined bean paste is a famous sweet dish from Ise that has fans all over Japan. One plate with three pieces costs 290 yen and is served with boncha tea.

Address:
26, Ujinakanokiri, Ise, Mie;
Times:
5AM to 17PM;
Closed:
N/A;
TEL:
+81-596-22-7000

The sacred Grand Shrine at Ise is a popular feature on women’s journeys

The Grand Shrine at Ise has been a sacred place in Japan since ancient times, and it is the most revered of the 80,000 Shinto shrines in Japan. A pure air flows throughout this spacious shrine area, which is surrounded by a thick forest. The Grand Shrine at Ise is a popular destination for women who like to travel. Many women come here repeatedly for the extraordinary experience of the austere sensation that fills you when visiting the Grand Shrine at Ise.

Address:
(Outer shrine) 279, Toyokawa, Ise, Mie, (Inner shrine) 1, Ujitachi, Ise, Mie;
Fee:
Free;
Times:
5AM to 18PM January to April and September, 5AM to 19PM May to August, 5AM to 17PM October to December;
Closed:
N/A;
TEL:
+81-596-24-1111 (Shrine Office) Koutai Shrine (Inner shrine)

Experience the role of women in the history of Mie

Make fashionable Edo items on a weaving experience Matsusaka Cotton Center Weaving Experience

This beautiful blue striped pattern is a key type of Matsusaka cotton. It is said to be the first Japanese striped pattern.

There are many people who become completely engrossed in the immersive weaving experience

Matsusaka cotton was extremely popular with common people in the Edo period, when it was forbidden by law to wear silk. It was women of Matsusaka working as weavers that created the beautiful characteristics and refined patterns. The Matsusaka Cotton Center offers a female weaving workers experience, known as orihime (female weaver). You will experience the delight of turning fine thread into a beautiful material.

Address:
2176, Honmachi, Matsusaka, Mie;
Experience fee (reservation required):
Short textile experience (approx. 1 hour) 1,300 JPY, 1-day textile experience (4-5 hours) 6,000 JPY;
Times:
9AM to 17PM;
Closed:
Tuesdays (or following day if Tuesday is a national holiday);
TEL:
+81-598-26-6355

This historical setting brings orihime to mind Gojoban Yashiki

The atmosphere of this samurai house is that of the Edo Period in which Matsusaka cotton weavers worked. This yashiki (mansion) comprises two main buildings with 17 entrances, one of which can is open for an inside tour. The largest Edo Period samurai houses that are still in existence continue to support people even today.

Address:
1385, Tonomachi, Matsusaka, Mie;
Fee:
Free;
Times:
10AM to 16M;
Closed (open to public inside):
Mondays (or following day if Monday is a national holiday);
TEL:
+81-598-26-5174

It has to be this when you come to Matsusaka!

The original Matsusaka beef at Wadakin

This Matsusaka beef specialist store has a history spanning approximately 140 years. The Matsusaka beef fattened on their own farms is a top quality product with a finely textured meatiness. We hope you will savor the umami taste of the superior marble fat of the traditional sukiyaki prepared by the waitress in an iron pot heated over charcoals.

Address:
1878, Nakamachi, Matsusaka, Mie;
Times:
11:30AM to 20PM;
Closed:
Tuesdays (open for business on national holidays);
TEL:
+81-598-21-1188

The traditional sukiyaki costs 9,570 yen or above.

Traditional refined hospitality is another attractive feature.

Dress as a woman diver! Diving hut experience and meal Hachiman Kamado/Asarihama

The vigorous women divers cook fresh seafood around the fireplace.

You can try turbo shells, large clams, spiny lobsters and abalone.

An optional women divers costume experience (300 yen; reservation required)

Diving and fishing has long been known as a job for independent women. Hachiman Kamado/Asarihama in Osatsu, Toba City, is a divers hut where actual women divers cook up the best seafood. The divers hut was originally the work space of women divers where they would warm up after fishing, and take their meals. You can also try dressing as a woman diver, which adds to the good feeling of the company when spending time with these famously vigorous women divers.

Address:
Asarihama, Osatsu, Toba, Mie;
Fee (reservation required at least two days in advance):
3,780 JPY (fee per person for more than four people; 5,400 JPY per person for 2-3 people);
Times:
12PM to 16:30PM;
Closed:
N/A;
TEL:
+81-599-33-6145

A desirable jewelry experience at a pearl village

An absorbing pearl experience with sights and learning Mikimoto Pearl Island

In the pearl cultivation museum, of which there are very few in the whole world, precious antique jewelry and objects are on display

You can also enjoy a performance that recreates the work that women divers wearing white diving clothes used to do to collect pearl oysters

The Toba/Shima area is the location of the village of pearls where the world’s first pearl culture industry was founded. Mikimoto Pearl Island is the island where Kokichi Mikimoto, the King of Pearls, successfully cultivated pearls for the first time in the world. Everything on the island will absorb you in the world of pearls, from the displays of antique jewelry, the museum about pearl cultivating pioneers, and the shop that sells pearl articles at prices ranging from moderate through to expensive. You can also enjoy a diving performance of women divers who were once used for pearl cultivation.

Address:
1-7-1, Toba, Mie;
Fee:
Adults 1,500 JPY, School children 750 JPY;
Times:
8:30AM to 17PM (depending on the season);
Closed:
A period of three days from the second Tuesday in December;
TEL:
+81-599-25-2028

Mikimoto pearl spa
PEARL SPA by MIKIMOTO COSMETICS

Mikimoto Cosmetics is the cosmetics brand developed from the pearl research carried out by Mikimoto. The spa in the Toba International Hotel that uses the techniques from this research offers a popular by-hand treatment that makes luxurious use of pearl components.

This luxurious treatment by hand uses precious components from pearls and pearl oysters

Another secret to the popularity is relaxing effect of the pearl sea

Address:
1-23-1, Toba, Mie;
Fee:
Facial treatment from 17,280 JPY, Body treatment from 19,440 JPY;
Times:
14PM to 23PM (admissions up to 21:30PM);
Closed:
N/A;
TEL:
+81-599-25-3121 (Toba International Hotel)

Remove the pearl from the shell to make original accessories Shinju no Sato pearl workshop

The pearls can be made into original accessories

The moment when you take the pearl from the body of the shellfish is astounding!

Examples of original accessories

This workshop offers experiences in which you remove pearls from pearl oysters. There are various sizes, colors and shapes, and only the shellfish knows what type of pearl it has created, which makes it an exciting experience. There are many people who shout with joy when they first see the pearl. You can choose your preferred metal to combine with the pearl to make an original accessory.

Address:
1125-88, Shimacho Koshika, Shima, Mie;
Fee:
1 piece 1000 JPY;
Times:
9:30AM to 17PM (admissions up to 16:30PM);
Closed:
Tuesdays;
TEL:
+81-599-85-0515

Chubu Airport

From Tokyo Haneda Airport

65 minutes

Number of departures per day: Approx. 1※

From Tokyo Narita Airport

70 minutes

Number of departures per day: Approx. 2※

*Information correct as of January 22 2016

Details correct as of the end of December, 2015.

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