Strolling to Okage-yokocho starts at Iseshi station.
In Mie prefecture, Ise Jingu Shrine is too famous to ignore because it’s the grand head shrine of all 18,000 of Shinmei Shrines(神明神社) and enshrines the goddess, Amaterasu-omikami. It’s worshipped as the Honso (本宗) of Shrines all over Japan because it’s the most spiritual and noble place. TadaimaJapan had introduced Ise’s Gekū and Naikū in past articles, so please check them as well!
→Naikū(Inner Shrine) section
Let’s start the journey!
First of all, we got off at Iseshi station in order to get to Gekū.
You need to wash your hands and mouth to purify yourself before entering the Shrine.
For more detailed way to pray for God, you can also check this past article!
Let’s pass through the Torii gate!
Gekū’s size is suitable for walking and is so much fun to walk through the spreading green foliage.
It’s recommended that you go there early in the morning so that you can beat the rush.
After leaving Gekū, we went on to Naikū. It took about 10 min by bus to Naikū mae, (in front of Naikū) where you’ll find the interesting shopping area, “Okage-yokocho”(おかげ横丁)! (Ise Jingu’s other landmark)
As soon as I got here, I ate Ise’s speciality, “Ise Udon.”
It was super thick, soft, and chewy and filled me up! A little bit of sweet soy sauce “whetted my appetite” for this dish. I would say it was more of a snack than an actual meal.
There are many shops serving very appetizing food that are lined up along the street, which makes me feel like I’m on an eating tour. In addition to this, many shops gave me free samples, so I was getting full.
This is a fun, dried fish shop! The face of the ray fish scared me and it was as if he was looking at me with a grumpy face. This shop also gives people grilled fish samples, so it was very crowded!
We were already full, so we bought some Amazake, or sweet sake made from fermented rice.
Did you know that adding ginger to it makes it tastes better? It’s got a kick and tastes a little sophisticated.
After eating so much, you’ll need to take a rest….
A cat was also taking a rest because of overeating…
Buildings on Okage-yokocho were transferred or recreated here from the main and more important buildings that were used to be in Iseji(伊勢路) during the Edof to Meiji period. (1603-1867) The buildings were all built with a sense of uniformity, so you can enjoy Mie Prefecture’s specialties and taste all at once. Even the convenience store is made into a Japanese house style. Well done!
Okage-yokocho has many places to buy souvenirs! It has too many attractions to introduce in this article, so please make a visit when you have a chance to come to Ise Jingu. For more details on Naikū that I didn’t introduce this time, please check this article as well!
1 Ujitachicho, Ise, Mie Prefecture