Ise-Shima National Park in Mie
Ise-Shima National Park boasts graceful vistas formed by islets and a row of deep coves stretching from Toba Bay to Matoya Bay, Ago Bay, and Gokasho Bay. Ise-Jingu Shrine is an important site in religious, historical, and cultural terms. Behind the shrine are natural forests comprising a mix of Japanese chinquapin, cedar, and red pine trees.
◆Yokoyama Observatory (Shima City)
Yokoyama Observatory commands a panoramic view of Ago Bay, famous for pearl culturing. An intricately indented sawtooth coastline and pearl-culture rafts on the water combine to form a landscape that depicts the harmony of human activity incorporated effectively into the natural environment.
◆Toba Observatory (Toba City)
Toba Observatory is an observatory situated on Mt. Hakoda just off of Pearl Road and affords views of the remote islands of Toba (including Toshi Island, Suga Island, and Kami Island), Atsumi Peninsula across the bay, and a coastal area where women divers famously ply their trade to catch seafood.
◆Asamayama Observatory (Ise City)
The view from Mt. Asama (555 meters above sea level), the highest peak in Ise-Shima National Park, is spectacular. Ascend either via the skyline road or on foot from the base. From a vantage point in the woods located on the premises of Ise-Jingu Shrine, you will be able to see Shima, Atsumi Peninsula, and Chita Peninsula in the distance as well as Mt. Fuji in winter.
◆Nankai Observatory (Minami-Ise Town)
Situated on a summit facing the Pacific Ocean, Nankai Observatory affords views of deeply indented inlets in Gokasho bay, an inland sea-lake (Oike) in Oukaura, and the Odai Mountain Range in the distance. Enjoy the exquisite balance that is maintained between the rough waves of the Pacific and the sublime serenity of the inner bay.
◆Ise Jingu Shrine (Ise City)
Ise Jingu Shrine is the collective name given to 125 different shrines, including KotaiJingu (Inner Shrine) in Uji, ToyoukeDaijingu (Outer Shrine) in Yamada, and numerous betsugu (annex shrines), sessha (attached shrines), massha (branch shrines), and other sanctuaries. Most of these shrines lie within Ise-Shima National Park. Visitors to the precincts of these shrines and the woods that grow in them will be treated to sights of flora and giant trees that have remained relatively unaffected by human contact. A process called shikinen-sengu, whereby the shrine buildings at Ise Jingu are rebuilt and rededicated to the enshrined goddesses every 20 years, will be undertaken next in 2013.
- sobecho, Iihama, Shima, Mie