Mie (Tsu) Travel Guide: 44 Top Things to Do in Mie (Tsu), Japan

Tucked away on the eastern coast of the Kii Peninsula in the Kansai region of Japan, Mie Prefecture, with its capital Tsu, is a treasure trove of history, nature, and cultural experiences that are a dream for any intrepid traveler. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or a gastronome, Mie (Tsu) has something delightful to offer. This guide will walk you through the intricacies and hidden wonders of this underrated Japanese gem.

Historical Reverence

Tsu, the capital city, once played an integral role as a strategic point in connecting the east and west coasts of Japan. The city boasts a rich history that can be traced back to the early Jomon Period, making it a haven for those keen on unraveling the threads of Japan’s past. The venerable Tsu Castle, though now mostly ruins, remains a sentinel to the city’s feudal era, surrounded by a lovely park that comes alive with cherry blossoms in spring.

Mie is also home to the Grand Shrine of Ise, or Ise Jingu — Japan’s most sacred Shinto shrine. Dedicated to the sun goddess Amaterasu, this shrine has been a pilgrimage destination for centuries. Stepping onto its grounds is like being transported to another era, with its wooden architecture, pristine streams, and sacred forests.

Natural Splendors

Mie Prefecture is graced with a diverse landscape. From the verdant mountains of the inland to the rugged coastlines facing the Pacific Ocean, nature lovers will find their haven here. The Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes, a UNESCO World Heritage site, wind their way through the mountains of the peninsula, offering trekkers panoramic vistas and spiritual sites along the way.

Another must-visit is the Ago Bay, known as the Bay of Pearls due to its long-standing tradition of pearl cultivation. The bay’s intricate rias coastline is best explored by boat, where one can witness the unique ‘Ama’ divers, traditionally women, who have been free-diving for abalone, seaweed, and other sea treasures for generations.

Gastronomic Delights

Mie Prefecture, with its coastal location, promises an array of fresh seafood. Luxurious Matsusaka beef, one of the most sought-after wagyu brands, also hails from this region. The local cuisine offers a delicate balance of flavors, using ingredients from both the mountains and the sea. Dishes like ‘tekonezushi’ (a kind of fish rice bowl) and ‘Ise udon’ provide travelers with authentic flavors that linger long after the last bite.

Cultural Experiences

An immersion into Mie’s culture is to delve deep into Japan’s age-old traditions. Beyond the Ama divers, the region is also known for its traditional crafts, including Iga pottery and Kumano brushes. Festivals such as the Ninja Festival in Iga and the Osatsu Kagura Dance in Toba provide vibrant experiences of Mie’s living heritage.

Mie (Tsu) is a tapestry of experiences waiting to be unraveled. It’s a place where history, nature, and culture blend seamlessly, offering travelers a chance to see a side of Japan that’s both authentic and off the beaten track. As you journey through this guide, allow yourself to be drawn into the stories, sights, and flavors of this remarkable region. Whether you’re walking along the ancient pilgrimage routes, savoring fresh seafood by the bay, or witnessing traditional dances, Mie promises moments of wonder and reflection. Welcome to Mie – a voyage through time, nature, and the soul of Japan.

Mie Tsu Travel Guide: Things to do in Mie Tsu, Japan

Mie (Tsu) City Guide: A Brief History Of Mie (Tsu), Japan

Nestled on the eastern shores of the Kii Peninsula, Mie Prefecture and its capital, Tsu, encapsulate a rich tapestry of historical narratives that have shaped Japan’s cultural and political landscape. From early settlements to the rise of samurai lords, to the modern urbanization, Mie has been an active participant in the unfolding drama of Japanese history.

Early Beginnings

Mie’s historical journey can be traced back to the Jomon Period (c. 14,000 – 300 BC), an era distinguished by its early pottery and sedentary communities. Numerous archeological finds, including pottery shards and primitive tools, suggest that Mie was inhabited by hunter-gatherers who slowly transitioned to an agricultural lifestyle.

Royal and Spiritual Significance

The Yayoi Period (300 BC – 300 AD) marked the introduction of rice cultivation and metallurgy to Japan. It was during this period that the roots of Mie’s spiritual significance were sown. Mie is home to the Ise Grand Shrine (Ise Jingu), arguably the most important Shinto shrine in Japan. Dedicated to the sun goddess Amaterasu, the establishment of Ise Jingu in the 3rd century signified Mie’s position as a spiritual epicenter. This shrine, rebuilt every 20 years in adherence to the Shikinen Sengu ceremony, stands as a testament to Japan’s enduring connection to its ancient traditions.

Medieval Mie and the Samurai Era

Fast forward to the medieval period, Mie, and specifically Tsu, was a prized strategic location. Being at the crossroads connecting the east and west of Japan, it became the focal point of several military campaigns. Tsu Castle, built in the 16th century, was central to these power struggles. It witnessed the rise and fall of various samurai lords and clans, most notably the Oda and the Tokugawa clans.

During the Sengoku (Warring States) period in the 16th century, Tsu was caught in the tug-of-war between ambitious daimyos (feudal lords) who sought to unify Japan under their banner. The city was, at various times, under the domain of renowned leaders such as Oda Nobunaga and later Tokugawa Ieyasu.

Edo Period to Modernization

The Edo Period (1603-1868) ushered in relative peace after Tokugawa Ieyasu’s establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate. Mie thrived in this era, with its coastal towns benefiting from trade and its inner regions seeing an expansion in arts and crafts.

Following the Meiji Restoration in 1868, which restored imperial rule, Japan rapidly modernized and industrialized. Mie was no exception. With the establishment of modern infrastructure, Tsu started to grow as an urban center. This era also marked the decline of samurai culture, with the class system being abolished in favor of modern governance.

20th Century to Present

The 20th century saw Japan’s rise as a major world power, and with it, Mie’s evolution mirrored the nation’s progress and challenges. While Mie was relatively unscathed during World War II, post-war reconstruction and the subsequent economic boom had a profound impact on the prefecture. Industries developed, and the region witnessed an urban sprawl, with Tsu becoming a key urban hub.

In the present day, while Mie and Tsu have modern amenities and infrastructure, they have retained a deep connection to their history. Efforts are continually made to preserve historic sites, traditional crafts, and cultural festivals, ensuring that the legacy of the past remains alive and vibrant.

For visitors, Mie (Tsu) offers a journey through Japan’s multifaceted history. It’s a place where ancient shrines stand amidst modern cityscapes, where tales of legendary samurai can be heard echoing in the tranquil corridors of historical sites, and where traditional festivals bring to life the stories and customs of bygone eras. To truly understand Japan’s heart and soul, a visit to Mie, with its rich historical tapestry, is indispensable.

source: Kuma Station on YouTube

Top 44 Things To Do in Mie (Tsu), Japan For Visitors

Mie Prefecture and its capital city, Tsu, brim with a blend of history, natural beauty, and cultural experiences. Here are 44 must-see and must-do things for visitors to this intriguing region:

  1. Ise Jingu: Experience the spiritual core of Japan by visiting its most sacred Shinto shrine, dedicated to the sun goddess Amaterasu.
  2. Tsu Castle: Explore the remnants of this castle, and take a leisurely walk in its serene park, especially beautiful during cherry blossom season.
  3. Ago Bay: Marvel at the beauty of the ‘Bay of Pearls’ and learn about its pearl cultivation history.
  4. Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Routes: Walk along these ancient paths that have connected sacred sites for over a millennium.
  5. Oharai-machi: Stroll down this historic street adjacent to Ise Jingu, lined with Edo-period style buildings and shops.
  6. Mikimoto Pearl Island: Learn about cultured pearls and see performances by Ama divers.
  7. Meoto Iwa: See the ‘Wedded Rocks’, which are considered sacred and represent the union of gods in Shinto belief.
  8. Iga Ueno Ninja Museum: Immerse yourself in the world of ninjas, with exhibitions, performances, and hands-on experiences.
  9. Iga Ueno Castle: Known for its tall stone walls, this castle houses samurai artifacts and provides a panoramic view of Iga City.
  10. Toba Aquarium: See an array of marine life, from local species to those from distant waters.
  11. Futami Sea Paradise: Another fantastic aquarium with unique exhibits like the jellyfish display.
  12. Ama Cultural Village: Learn about the traditions of the Ama free-divers and even dine on fresh seafood prepared by them.
  13. Yokoyama Viewing Platform: Get a panoramic view of Ago Bay from this elevated point.
  14. Maruyama Senmaida: See the mesmerizing terraced rice fields, one of Japan’s 100 best rice terraces.
  15. Mount Gozaisho: Whether hiking in summer or skiing in winter, this mountain offers outdoor fun year-round.
  16. Gozaisho Ropeway: For a more relaxed journey up Mount Gozaisho, take this scenic cable car route.
  17. Tsu Kairaku Park: A perfect spot for picnics, cherry blossom viewing, and relaxation.
  18. Sekijuku: Visit this preserved post town, reminiscent of the Edo period.
  19. Suzuka Circuit: For motorsports enthusiasts, see races or even try go-karting here.
  20. Louvre Museum of Sculpture: Witness an impressive collection of Western sculptures in the town of Shima.
  21. Mie Prefectural Art Museum: Dive into local and international art at this contemporary space in Tsu.
  22. Kannon Onsen: Soak in the rejuvenating hot spring waters at this popular onsen.
  23. Ise Azuchi Momoyama Cultural Village: Experience a theme park based on the Warring States period with a replica castle and ninja shows.
  24. Matsusaka: Indulge in Matsusaka beef, one of Japan’s top three wagyu brands.
  25. Okage Yokocho: A bustling street near Ise Jingu that captures the atmosphere of Edo and Meiji periods, offering shops, eateries, and crafts.
  26. Saiku Historical Museum: Discover the history of the Saio princesses, who served at Ise Jingu.
  27. Akame 48 Waterfalls: A scenic hiking route dotted with waterfalls, known as the birthplace of ninja training.
  28. Anou Forest: A tranquil setting for nature walks and birdwatching.
  29. Tsubaki Grand Shrine: One of Japan’s oldest Shinto shrines, dedicated to the deity of sea and industries.
  30. Sakakibara Onsen: Relax in one of Japan’s three famous ancient hot springs.
  31. Suzuka Forest Garden: Enjoy the beauty of seasonal flowers and plants.
  32. Tsu City Museum: Gain insights into the region’s history and culture.
  33. Shima Spain Village (Parque España): Experience Spanish culture, rides, and performances in this theme park.
  34. Ninja Forest Adventure Ueno: Engage in adventurous obstacle courses in a ninja-themed park.
  35. Wagu Beef Experience Center: Learn everything about the world-renowned wagyu beef.
  36. Mie Adventure Park: Get your adrenaline pumping with outdoor activities like zip-lining and climbing.
  37. Ise Sea Paradise: Interact with marine animals like sea lions and seals.
  38. Aoyama Mountain Plateau: Enjoy scenic drives, trekking, and the breathtaking view of the sunrise.
  39. Mitake Valley: Explore this picturesque valley, especially enchanting in autumn.
  40. Tsu Maritime Museum: Understand the maritime history and importance of Mie.
  41. Matsusaka Castle Ruins: Traverse the ruins of this historically significant castle.
  42. Murouji Temple: Visit this mountain temple known for its beautiful pagoda and spiritual setting.
  43. Toba Sea-Folk Museum: Dive deep into the lives of coastal communities of Japan.
  44. Kameyama Castle: Wander through this scenic castle and its surrounding park, especially picturesque during cherry blossom and autumn foliage.

From exploring ancient rituals and traditions to indulging in modern-day luxuries and adventures, Mie (Tsu) offers a multifaceted experience to its visitors. Each attraction tells a story, and each experience adds to the rich mosaic of memories one can gather from this unique region of Japan.

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What To Eat and Drink in Mie (Tsu), Japan

In Mie (Tsu), a tapestry of history and the blessings of the sea and land converge on the plate, offering a diverse and delicious culinary experience for visitors. From succulent beef to fresh seafood delicacies, Mie’s gastronomy is a feast for the senses. Let’s delve into the mouthwatering dishes and drinks you must savor when in Mie:

1. Matsusaka Beef

  • Description: Revered as one of the top three wagyu beef varieties in Japan, Matsusaka beef is known for its incredible marbling, tenderness, and rich flavor.
  • Where to try: Upscale restaurants in Matsusaka city and across Mie.

2. Ise Udon

  • Description: These are thicker udon noodles with a deeply flavored soy-based sauce. The noodles have a distinct chewy texture.
  • Where to try: Udon shops around the Ise Jingu Shrine and throughout Mie.

3. Tekonezushi

  • Description: A local variant of sushi, tekonezushi features thinly sliced fish (often bonito) marinated in soy sauce and placed over vinegared rice.
  • Where to try: Sushi joints and traditional restaurants in the Ise and Toba areas.

4. Ise Lobster (Ise-ebi)

  • Description: A luxurious treat from the sea, Ise-ebi is known for its sweetness and succulent texture.
  • Where to try: Seafood restaurants in the Toba region.

5. Akafuku Mochi

  • Description: A sweet rice cake (mochi) covered in a sweet red bean paste. It’s shaped to resemble the Isuzu River, which flows near Ise Jingu.
  • Where to try: The Akafuku store in Oharai-machi and other sweet shops around Mie.

6. Goheimochi

  • Description: Skewered rice cakes glazed with a sweet soy or miso-based sauce and then grilled.
  • Where to try: Street food stalls, especially during festivals in the Iga and Nabari regions.

7. Anori Blowfish (Anko)

  • Description: A unique delicacy, often served as sashimi, hot pot, or deep-fried.
  • Where to try: Specialized fugu restaurants in the Ise-Shima area.

8. Chikuwa

  • Description: A fish cake with a tubular shape, often grilled or added to soups.
  • Where to try: Street vendors, particularly in the Toba region.

9. Oysters of Toba

  • Description: Fresh, juicy oysters, often enjoyed raw, grilled, or in hot pots.
  • Where to try: Seafood restaurants and oyster huts around Toba.

10. Iga BeefDescription: Another premium beef variety, it’s less fatty than Matsusaka but equally flavorful. – Where to try: Restaurants in the Iga region.

Drinks to Savor:

1. Mie Sake

  • Description: Mie Prefecture is known for producing high-quality sake thanks to its pristine waters.
  • Where to try: Sake breweries scattered across Mie, as well as izakayas (Japanese pubs) throughout the region.

2. Iga-Meicha (Iga Green Tea)

  • Description: A type of steamed green tea grown in the Iga area with a robust flavor profile.
  • Where to try: Tea houses in Iga or buy packaged tea from local stores.

3. Craft Beers

  • Description: Mie’s craft beer scene has been growing, with local breweries producing unique flavors.
  • Where to try: Bars and specialty beer shops in Tsu and other larger towns.

4. Fruit Juices and Wines

  • Description: Mie is abundant in fruits like grapes, strawberries, and pears, often used to produce refreshing juices and wines.
  • Where to try: Fruit farms, local markets, and wineries.

5. Nabari Water

  • Description: Sourced from the pristine mountains of Nabari, this water is said to be some of the purest and is bottled for sale.
  • Where to try: Supermarkets and restaurants across Mie.

In Mie (Tsu), every dish and drink comes with a tale of its origin, its significance, and its preparation. This melding of tradition with taste ensures that dining here is not merely an act of consumption but a rich, cultural experience. So, as you journey through this coastal prefecture, take the time to relish the gastronomic symphony that unfolds before you, each bite and sip encapsulating the essence of Mie.

source: World Turtle Productions, LLC on YouTube

Top Restaurants In Mie (Tsu), Japan

Mie Prefecture, with its coastline caressed by the Pacific Ocean and its vast, fertile hinterlands, promises a culinary journey like no other. Many of its restaurants do a commendable job of showcasing the region’s wealth, blending tradition with innovation. Let’s embark on a gastronomic exploration of some of the top eateries in Mie, especially in its capital, Tsu:

  1. Wadakin
    • Description: With a legacy spanning over a century, Wadakin specializes in Matsusaka beef. Diners can experience the tender, marbled beef in various preparations, from sukiyaki to steak. The traditional setting and impeccable service enhance the dining experience.
    • Location: Matsusaka city.
  2. Kappo Yama
    • Description: This elegant restaurant embodies the kappo dining style, where chefs prepare dishes in front of guests. Focusing on seasonal ingredients, it offers exquisite courses showcasing Mie’s seafood and produce.
    • Location: Tsu city.
  3. Iseya
    • Description: A revered establishment specializing in Ise-ebi (Ise lobster) dishes. The restaurant’s ambiance is traditionally Japanese, ensuring an authentic dining experience.
    • Location: Ise city.
  4. Hasshokan
    • Description: Another haven for Matsusaka beef lovers, Hasshokan is renowned for its impeccable grilling techniques and presentation. Its serene ambiance mirrors a traditional Japanese tea house.
    • Location: Matsusaka city.
  5. Mie Terrace
    • Description: Combining modern aesthetics with traditional flavors, this restaurant offers stunning views of Ago Bay. It’s a place where French culinary techniques meet Mie’s local ingredients.
    • Location: Shima city.
  6. Yoshidaya
    • Description: A hidden gem in Tsu, specializing in regional dishes. Apart from its seafood delights, the restaurant’s eel dishes stand out.
    • Location: Tsu city.
  7. Daiki
    • Description: A sushi establishment that’s a testament to Mie’s rich marine offerings. With the chef’s expertise, each sushi piece becomes a masterpiece, highlighting the freshness and flavor of the fish.
    • Location: Tsu city.
  8. Hamajaya
    • Description: Nestled in Ise-Shima, this restaurant is known for its abalone dishes, particularly the abalone porridge. The establishment offers beautiful views of the ocean, complementing the marine-themed menu.
    • Location: Toba city.
  9. Fukutatei
    • Description: This eatery champions the traditional teppanyaki style, where dishes are grilled on an iron griddle. From seafood to Matsusaka beef, the culinary performance by the chefs is as delightful as the flavors.
    • Location: Tsu city.
  10. Osteria Stefano
  • Description: A slice of Italy in Mie, this restaurant offers authentic Italian dishes with a hint of Mie’s influence. The use of local seafood and produce in classic Italian recipes is commendable.
  • Location: Ise city.
  1. Marusan Shokudo
  • Description: For those seeking a taste of everyday Japan, this diner offers delectable set meals. Their tempura and sashimi sets are particularly popular.
  • Location: Tsu city.
  1. Miyako Sushi
  • Description: Celebrating the art of sushi, this establishment offers an omakase menu where the chef chooses the day’s best offerings. The intimate setting allows diners to appreciate the skill and precision involved in sushi-making.
  • Location: Ise city.
  1. Asuka
  • Description: A haven for vegetarians and vegans, Asuka offers plant-based dishes inspired by Buddhist temple cuisine. Their tofu and seasonal vegetable dishes are soul-soothing.
  • Location: Iga city.
  1. Torisen
  • Description: Specializing in yakitori (grilled skewered chicken), Torisen is the place to go for charcoal-grilled delights. Each skewer, whether it’s chicken, vegetable, or seafood, is seasoned to perfection.
  • Location: Tsu city.
  1. Kaikatei
  • Description: Overlooking the serene waters of Ago Bay, this restaurant offers traditional kaiseki multi-course meals. Each course tells a story of Mie’s seasonal ingredients and the chef’s artistry.
  • Location: Shima city.

Dining in Mie (Tsu) is a journey through time, traditions, and techniques. From the meticulousness of sushi chefs to the age-old practices of Matsusaka beef preparation, each restaurant offers not just a meal but an experience, a narrative of Mie’s culinary heritage interwoven with innovative flavors. As you indulge in these eateries, you’ll come to appreciate the prefecture’s respect for ingredients, the art of presentation, and the deep-rooted customs that make every dish a masterpiece.

source: Japan Travel “Mie” on YouTube

Tours For Visitors To Mie (Tsu), Japan

Exploring Mie (Tsu) with the guidance of local experts can elevate one’s travel experience. Organized tours provide visitors with in-depth knowledge, anecdotes, and access to some places that might be challenging to explore independently. Here’s a detailed guide to some of the finest tours you can embark upon in this culturally rich and naturally diverse region:

1. Ise Jingu Shrine Pilgrimage Tour

  • Description: Delve deep into the spiritual heart of Japan with a guided tour to Ise Jingu, the nation’s most sacred Shinto shrine. Learn about the rituals, history, and significance of this ancient shrine, which is dedicated to the Sun Goddess Amaterasu.
  • Highlights: Naiku (Inner Shrine), Geku (Outer Shrine), and the old pilgrimage route.

2. Matsusaka Beef Culinary Experience

  • Description: Experience the world-famous Matsusaka beef through a culinary journey. Visit cattle farms, learn about the meticulous care given to the cattle, and then savor a sumptuous meal showcasing the beef in various preparations.
  • Highlights: Farm visits, butchery demonstrations, and a gourmet meal.

3. Ninja Adventure in Iga

  • Description: Explore the birthplace of the ninja in Iga. This tour delves into the secretive world of these ancient spies and warriors.
  • Highlights: Iga Ninja Museum, ninja house with its many traps, and a live ninja performance.

4. Mikimoto Pearl Island Exploration

  • Description: Discover the fascinating world of pearl cultivation. Learn about Kokichi Mikimoto, the pioneer of cultured pearls, and the intricate process involved.
  • Highlights: Pearl Museum, ama (female free-diver) demonstration, and pearl jewelry showrooms.

5. Ago Bay Cruise and Seafood Delight

  • Description: Explore the scenic beauty of Ago Bay with its many islets. Follow this with a seafood feast featuring the bay’s rich marine offerings.
  • Highlights: Boat cruise, visit to fishing villages, and a seafood meal.

6. Traditional Crafts Workshop Tour

  • Description: Mie is home to various traditional crafts, from pottery to textiles. Engage in workshops to get hands-on experience and create your own masterpieces.
  • Highlights: Pottery making in Iga, Kumihimo (braided cord) workshop, and Ise Washi (Japanese paper) making.

7. Historic Tsu City Walk

  • Description: Walk through Tsu city’s historic sites, exploring its rich past and vibrant present.
  • Highlights: Tsu Castle ruins, Kairaku-en Garden, and local marketplaces.

8. Toba’s Ama Diver Experience

  • Description: Witness the ama divers, women who have practiced free-diving for seafood for centuries. Engage with them, learn their tales, and savor a meal they prepare.
  • Highlights: Ama hut visit, seafood barbecue, and cultural interactions.

9. Sacred Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Route Trek

  • Description: Experience a section of the ancient Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route, which stretches into Mie. It’s a spiritual journey through serene landscapes.
  • Highlights: Ancient trails, stone paths, and visits to small shrines along the route.

10. Mie Coastal Cycling Tour

  • Description: Cycle along Mie’s scenic coastlines, passing through quaint villages, serene beaches, and enjoying panoramic views.
  • Highlights: Coastal trails, local interactions, and beach picnics.

11. Saké Brewery and Tasting Tour

  • Description: Delve into the world of Japanese saké in Mie. Visit traditional breweries, understand the brewing process, and indulge in tastings.
  • Highlights: Brewery visits, saké tastings, and pairing meals.

12. Suigo Waterways Boat Tour

  • Description: Navigate the intricate network of waterways in Matsusaka’s Suigo region. These historic canals were vital for transportation and trade.
  • Highlights: Traditional boat rides, scenic views, and stories of historic trade.

Each tour in Mie (Tsu) encapsulates an aspect of the prefecture’s multifaceted charm. Whether it’s the spiritual allure of ancient shrines, the culinary wizardry of renowned beef, or the natural splendor of its coastlines, Mie offers an immersive journey into Japan’s heart. It’s a prefecture where tradition intertwines with modernity, and every tour is a narrative waiting to be explored, experienced, and cherished.

Mie bridge during sunset hour in Japan

Mie (Tsu) Accommodations Guide: Hotels, Guesthouses and Hostels

The scenic landscapes and rich cultural history of Mie (Tsu) make it a must-visit in Japan. Whether you’re here for a pilgrimage, a culinary expedition, or just to breathe in the serene beauty, there’s an array of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference. From opulent hotels that define luxury to cozy guesthouses that exude traditional charm, and budget-friendly hostels for the backpacker – Mie’s hospitality landscape is as diverse as its attractions.

Luxury Hotels

  1. Toba International Hotel
  2. Shima Kanko Hotel The Classic
    • Description: Overlooking Ago Bay, this iconic hotel is known for its luxurious rooms and impeccable service.
    • Amenities: Spa, golf course, gourmet dining options, and bay views.
    • Location: Shima city.

Boutique and Traditional Ryokans

  1. Geikosou Ryokan
    • Description: A traditional Japanese inn, offering a genuine experience with tatami-matted rooms, onsen (hot spring baths), and kaiseki meals.
    • Amenities: Private and public onsen, seasonal cuisine, and serene gardens.
    • Location: Ise city.
  2. Ryoso Uminocho
    • Description: This seaside ryokan offers beautiful views and an immersive Japanese experience, from the architecture to the cuisine.
    • Amenities: Sea views, traditional dining, and onsen facilities.
    • Location: Ise-Shima National Park.

Mid-range Hotels

  1. Hotel Route-Inn Tsu
    • Description: Convenient for business and leisure travelers, this hotel provides modern amenities and comfortable rooms.
    • Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, restaurant, and laundry facilities.
    • Location: Tsu city.
  2. Dormy Inn Tsu
    • Description: Known for its comfort and affordability, it’s perfect for travelers seeking quality without the luxury price tag.
    • Amenities: On-site onsen, complimentary breakfast, and sauna.
    • Location: Tsu city.


  1. Guesthouse Kazami
    • Description: A cozy guesthouse with a homey feel, offering both private rooms and dormitory-style accommodations.
    • Amenities: Shared kitchen, lounge area, and bicycle rentals.
    • Location: Ise city.
  2. Ise Guest House Kazami
    • Description: A traditional wooden guesthouse with a laid-back vibe, perfect for backpackers and solo travelers.
    • Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, communal spaces, and close proximity to shrines.
    • Location: Ise city.

Hostels and Budget Stays

  1. Ise Guest House Sora
    • Description: A backpacker’s haven with dormitory-style rooms, it’s a sociable space where travelers can exchange stories.
    • Amenities: Shared kitchen, free Wi-Fi, and cultural events.
    • Location: Ise city.
  2. Tsu Guesthouse Tsumugiya
  • Description: A budget-friendly option with a blend of modern and traditional aesthetics. It offers a taste of Japanese living at affordable rates.
  • Amenities: Communal lounge, bicycle rental, and free Wi-Fi.
  • Location: Tsu city.

Unique Stays

  1. Ama Hut Stay in Toba
  • Description: Experience life in an Ama hut, where you can interact with the ama divers, understanding their traditions and enjoying seafood feasts.
  • Amenities: Seafood barbecues, traditional settings, and cultural interactions.
  • Location: Toba city.

Accommodations in Mie (Tsu) not only offer a place to rest but also reflect the prefecture’s soul. Whether it’s the luxury of a seaside hotel, the warmth of a ryokan, the sociability of a guesthouse, or the affordability of a hostel, each establishment adds to the tapestry of experiences in Mie. They offer a glimpse into the region’s architectural heritage, culinary traditions, and the renowned Japanese sense of hospitality.

source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Day Trips From Mie (Tsu), Japan

Day trips from Mie (Tsu) offer a delightful mix of cultural experiences, natural wonders, and historical significance. The prefecture’s central location means it’s relatively easy to access various iconic places in Japan. Here are some of the top day trips you can embark upon:

1. Kyoto

  • Description: As the ancient capital of Japan, Kyoto boasts temples, shrines, and preserved traditional districts. From the famous Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion) to the bustling streets of Gion, there’s plenty to explore.
  • Travel Time: Approximately 2 hours by train.
  • Highlights: Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, and Gion district.

2. Nara

  • Description: Known for its expansive park with friendly deer, Nara was also once Japan’s capital. It houses Todai-ji, a massive temple featuring a giant Buddha statue.
  • Travel Time: Roughly 1.5 hours by train.
  • Highlights: Nara Park, Todai-ji Temple, Kasuga-taisha Shrine, and Naramachi historic district.

3. Osaka

  • Description: A modern metropolis with a historic core, Osaka offers a blend of contemporary attractions and historical sites.
  • Travel Time: About 2 hours by train.
  • Highlights: Osaka Castle, Dotonbori entertainment district, Universal Studios Japan, and Shinsaibashi shopping street.

4. Nagoya

  • Description: Japan’s fourth-largest city, Nagoya offers a mix of history and modernity with its castle, museums, and shopping centers.
  • Travel Time: Approximately 1 hour by train.
  • Highlights: Nagoya Castle, Osu Kannon Temple, Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology, and Atsuta Shrine.

5. Iga

  • Description: The birthplace of the ninja, Iga offers an immersive experience into the secretive world of these ancient spies and warriors.
  • Travel Time: About 1 hour by car or train.
  • Highlights: Iga Ninja Museum, Ueno Castle, and Basho Memorial Museum.

6. Mount Gozaisho

  • Description: A great place for nature lovers, Mount Gozaisho offers stunning panoramas, especially during autumn when the leaves change colors.
  • Travel Time: Roughly 1-1.5 hours by car.
  • Highlights: Gozaisho Ropeway, hiking trails, and Yunoyama Onsen (hot spring).

7. Lake Biwa

  • Description: The largest freshwater lake in Japan, Lake Biwa is perfect for lakeside relaxation, water activities, and enjoying nature.
  • Travel Time: Approximately 2 hours by train.
  • Highlights: Cruises on the lake, Otsu city, and the historic town of Omihachiman.

8. Ise-Shima National Park

  • Description: Though parts of this park are in Mie Prefecture itself, it’s vast enough to warrant day trips to explore specific areas.
  • Travel Time: Varies depending on the specific location.
  • Highlights: Ago Bay, Meoto Iwa (Wedded Rocks), and the pearl cultivation farms.

9. Wakayama

  • Description: A coastal city offering various attractions, including the famous Wakayama Castle and serene temples.
  • Travel Time: Roughly 2 hours by train.
  • Highlights: Wakayama Castle, Kimiidera Temple, and the marina city.

10. Suzuka Circuit

  • Description: If you’re a motorsport enthusiast, a day trip to Suzuka Circuit, home to the Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix, might be a thrill.
  • Travel Time: About 30 minutes by train from Tsu.
  • Highlights: Race events, driving experiences, and Motopia amusement park.

11. Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Trails

  • Description: Part of the UNESCO World Heritage, the Kumano Kodo is a network of ancient pilgrimage routes that crisscross the Kii Hantō peninsula. These trails were used for over a millennium by people from all levels of society.
  • Travel Time: Approximately 3 hours by car.
  • Highlights: Kumano Hongū Taisha, Kumano Nachi Taisha, stunning landscapes, and historical trail routes.

12. Shima Spain Village (Parque España)

  • Description: A unique theme park that brings Spain’s culture, cuisine, and architecture to Japan. Enjoy flamenco shows, roller coasters, and Spanish gastronomy.
  • Travel Time: Around 1.5 hours by car from Tsu.
  • Highlights: Thrilling rides, live performances, and replica Spanish landmarks.

13. Sakushima

  • Description: Often referred to as the “Island of Art”, Sakushima offers a blend of natural beauty and modern art installations.
  • Travel Time: Roughly 2 hours by car and ferry.
  • Highlights: Beaches, hiking, and open-air art installations.

14. Yokkaichi

  • Description: An industrial city with its port and complexes, but also home to various parks, temples, and shrines.
  • Travel Time: About 30 minutes by train.
  • Highlights: Yokkaichi Port Building, Tarusaka Park, and the Yokkaichi City Museum.

15. Uji

  • Description: Located between Kyoto and Nara, Uji is famous for its high-quality green tea and the magnificent Byodoin Temple.
  • Travel Time: Approximately 2 hours by train.
  • Highlights: Byodoin Temple, Uji River, and tea shops offering matcha-infused treats.

16. Nabana no Sato

  • Description: A flower park known for its vast flower fields and the spectacular winter illumination which is among the largest in Japan.
  • Travel Time: About 1 hour by car.
  • Highlights: Seasonal flower displays, illumination events, and the island in the middle of the pond.

17. Mount Koya (Koyasan)

  • Description: A sacred mountain and the center of Shingon Buddhism. A secluded temple town has grown around the sect’s headquarters, offering a peek into monastic life.
  • Travel Time: Roughly 3-4 hours by train and cable car.
  • Highlights: Okunoin Cemetery, Kongobuji Temple, and overnight temple stays.

18. Tsukigase

  • Description: Renowned for its plum groves. In spring, the area becomes a painter’s palette of white and pink plum blossoms.
  • Travel Time: Around 2 hours by train and bus.
  • Highlights: Plum orchards, scenic views especially during plum blossom season, and traditional tea houses.

19. Asuka

  • Description: A village known for its historical significance. It was the center of the Asuka period, during which the foundations of the Japanese state were laid.
  • Travel Time: Approximately 2 hours by train.
  • Highlights: Asuka-dera temple, Ishibutai Tomb, and the terraced rice paddies.

20. Totsukawa Village

  • Description: Japan’s largest village by area, it’s a haven for nature lovers with its hot springs, waterfalls, and the Odaigahara Mountain.
  • Travel Time: Around 3.5 hours by car.
  • Highlights: Mitarai Valley, Tamaki Shrine, and Odaigahara viewpoint.

21. Hikone

  • Description: Hikone is most celebrated for its original hilltop castle, one of only five castle keeps designated as national treasures of Japan.
  • Travel Time: Approximately 2 hours by train.
  • Highlights: Hikone Castle, Genkyu-en Garden, and Lake Biwa views.

22. Lake Hamana (Hamana-ko)

  • Description: A large brackish lagoon that offers various recreational activities, including boating and fishing.
  • Travel Time: Roughly 2 hours by car.
  • Highlights: Kanzanji Onsen, Hamanako Palpal amusement park, and the Eel (Unagi) delicacies.

23. Awaji Island

  • Description: Located in the Seto Inland Sea, Awaji Island boasts beautiful landscapes, hot springs, and cultural landmarks.
  • Travel Time: About 3 hours by car.
  • Highlights: Awaji Yumebutai, Nojima Fault Preservation Museum, and the Naruto Whirlpools.

24. Sekigahara

  • Description: A historic town known for the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, which paved the way for the Tokugawa shogunate’s establishment.
  • Travel Time: Around 1.5 hours by train.
  • Highlights: Sekigahara War Land, Mt. Ibuki, and battlefield tours.

25. Kashikojima

  • Description: The largest island in Ago Bay and a popular resort area with scenic beauty and luxury ryokans.
  • Travel Time: Approximately 2 hours by train.
  • Highlights: Ago Bay cruises, Shima Marineland, and pearl farms.

26. Mount Yoshino

  • Description: Best known as Japan’s most famous cherry blossom viewing spot with over 30,000 cherry trees planted around its slopes.
  • Travel Time: Roughly 2 hours by car.
  • Highlights: Hanayagura Viewpoint, Kinpusenji Temple, and cherry blossom festivals.

27. Kanazawa

  • Description: A historical city that offers districts, museums, and attractions reminiscent of the samurai era.
  • Travel Time: About 3 hours by train.
  • Highlights: Kenrokuen Garden, Nagamachi samurai district, and 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art.

28. Gujo Hachiman

  • Description: Known for its pristine waterways and traditional dance festivals. Often referred to as “The Water City”.
  • Travel Time: Approximately 2 hours by car.
  • Highlights: Gujo Odori Dance Festival, Sample Food Making experience, and the historic cityscape.

29. Okayama

  • Description: A significant transit hub, its most famous attraction is Korakuen, one of Japan’s three best landscape gardens.
  • Travel Time: Around 3 hours by train.
  • Highlights: Korakuen Garden, Kurashiki’s historic district, and Okayama Castle.

30. Mount Rokko

  • Description: Offering panoramic views of Kobe, Osaka, and sometimes even as far as Wakayama.
  • Travel Time: Roughly 3 hours by car.
  • Highlights: Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden, Rokko Garden Terrace, and the night views.

31. Toyohashi

  • Description: Known for its historic parks, zoos, and a popular festival featuring hand-drawn fireworks.
  • Travel Time: About 2 hours by train.
  • Highlights: Toyohashi Park, Non-hoi Park, and Toyohashi Fire Festival.

32. Mino

  • Description: Famous for its traditional Japanese paper, called Washi, and a picturesque waterfall.
  • Travel Time: Around 2 hours by car.
  • Highlights: Mino Washi Museum, Udatsu Old Street, and Minokamo City Museum.

These destinations each present a facet of Japan’s diverse culture, history, and natural beauty. When based in Mie (Tsu), one has the luxury of exploring the heart of Japan, making it a strategically perfect base for those looking to experience the multifaceted charms of the country.

Mie sunflower scenic views in Japan

Mie (Tsu) Transportation Guide

Mie Prefecture, with Tsu as its capital, is an integral part of Japan’s Honshu Island. Serving as a bridge between the Kansai and Tokai regions, its strategic location warrants an efficient transport system. Here’s an extensive guide for navigating Mie, focusing primarily on Tsu:


  • Kintetsu Railway: The most prominent railway line in Mie, Kintetsu connects major cities in the prefecture with Osaka, Kyoto, and Nagoya. Notable lines include the Osaka Line and the Nagoya Line.Stations in Tsu: Tsu Station (main), Hisai, Geinō, etc.
  • JR (Japan Railways) Central: Useful for inter-prefecture travel. The Kisei Main Line and Sangu Line connect Tsu with cities like Nagoya and Wakayama.Stations in Tsu: Tsu, Ise-Wakamatsu, Hisai.
  • Ise Railway: A local railway primarily for intra-prefecture travel. It runs between Tsu and the city of Suzuka.


  • Mie Kotsu: The main bus company serving Tsu and other parts of Mie. They offer routes that cover areas not accessible by train.
  • Long-Distance Buses: Buses operate between Tsu and major cities like Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka. These are ideal for travelers who prefer road journeys over trains.

Roads & Highways

  • Ise Expressway: This connects the Ise and Toba region with the Nagoya metropolitan area. Tsu Interchange is the main access point in Tsu.
  • Meihan National Highway: A critical highway connecting the Kansai and Chubu regions, passing through Tsu.
  • Car Rentals: Major rental companies like Toyota Rent a Car, Nippon Rent-a-Car, and Orix Rent-A-Car have outlets in Tsu. Renting a car offers flexibility, especially if you’re venturing into the more rural parts of Mie.

Ports & Ferries

  • Tsu Port: While it’s mainly a cargo port, there are passenger ferry services connecting to Toba and the Chubu Centrair International Airport.


  • Taxis are easily available and can be hailed directly from the street or booked via phone. Major taxi operators in Tsu include Tsu Taxi and Mie Kotsu Taxi.


  • Mie, with its scenic coastal and rural routes, is fantastic for cycling. Tsu City promotes cycling by offering rental services around key train stations.


  • While Mie doesn’t have its own major airport, the closest ones are Chubu Centrair International Airport in Aichi Prefecture and Kansai International Airport in Osaka. From these airports, one can easily reach Tsu by train or bus.

Tips for Travelers:

  • Mie Kotsu Bus & Train Pass: This is a valuable pass for tourists allowing unlimited travel on Mie Kotsu buses and Ise Railway for a specific duration.
  • Japan Rail (JR) Pass: For those visiting multiple regions in Japan, this pass offers unlimited travel on JR lines and is cost-effective.
  • Navigation Apps: Japanese navigation apps like Navitime or the global Google Maps are beneficial for real-time train and bus schedules.
  • Etiquette: When using public transport in Tsu and Mie, always queue in lines, and keep silence on trains and buses. During rush hours, trains might get crowded; it’s polite to give up seats for the elderly or pregnant women.

Mie (Tsu) has a comprehensive transportation network, making it convenient for both residents and tourists to navigate the region. The blend of modern transportation with the region’s historical and natural beauty offers a travel experience that is both comfortable and picturesque. Whether you’re a local commuter or a global traveler, the transport options in Mie ensure that your journey remains seamless and enjoyable.

source: Japan Travel “Mie” on YouTube

Mie (Tsu) 1 Day Travel Itinerary

If you’re in Mie for just a day, prioritizing is key. This itinerary covers a blend of cultural, historical, natural, and gastronomic experiences, offering a holistic introduction to the heart of Mie, with Tsu as the focal point.


7:30 AM – Breakfast at a Local Café

  • Start your day with a traditional Japanese breakfast or choose a more familiar Western option at cafes near Tsu Station. Consider trying a dish with Mie’s famed seafood or the regional specialty, “Ise Udon.”

8:30 AM – Tsu Castle Park

  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Begin your cultural journey at Tsu Castle Park. Though the original castle no longer stands, the park is beautiful, especially during cherry blossom season. The site offers a tranquil environment and is a great place for a morning walk.

9:30 AM – Mie Prefectural Museum

  • Duration: 1.5 hours
  • Dive into the history and culture of Mie at this comprehensive museum. With exhibits ranging from ancient artifacts to modern art, it offers an insight into the region’s multifaceted heritage.

Late Morning to Afternoon:

11:00 AM – Yuki Shrine

  • Duration: 1 hour
  • A peaceful shrine located near the museum. Its serene ambiance and beautiful architecture offer a spiritual retreat.

12:00 PM – Lunch at a Local Restaurant

  • Mie’s coastal location promises delicious seafood. Choose a restaurant that offers specialties like Matsusaka beef or spiny lobster. Don’t forget to try regional sake if you drink alcohol.

1:30 PM – Tsu Marina

  • Duration: 1.5 hours
  • Stroll around the marina while enjoying views of the sea and surrounding cityscape. If you’re keen on shopping, there are several shops and boutiques in the vicinity.

Afternoon to Evening:

3:00 PM – Senju-ji Temple

  • Duration: 1 hour
  • This historic temple, established in the 8th century, boasts beautiful architecture and gardens. It’s a place of both cultural and spiritual significance.

4:00 PM – Shopping at Tsu Kairaku Road

  • Duration: 1.5 hours
  • This shopping arcade near Tsu Station offers a mix of traditional shops and modern boutiques. Whether you’re looking for souvenirs or the latest fashion, this is the place to be.

5:30 PM – Sunset at the Tsu Seacoast Promenade

  • Duration: 1 hour
  • The Seacoast Promenade is a perfect location to catch the setting sun. The sea breeze, combined with the mesmerizing hues of the sunset, provides a romantic setting.


7:00 PM – Dinner at a Traditional Izakaya

9:00 PM – Take a Night Walk at River Park Tsu

  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Conclude your day by taking a relaxing walk along the river. The illuminated pathways and the gentle sounds of the river make for a calming end to a packed day.

While this itinerary is packed, it’s designed to offer a comprehensive experience. Depending on personal preferences, you might want to spend more time at certain spots or even swap out places. Do ensure you check opening hours and any seasonal variations in advance.

Traveling through Tsu in Mie offers a compelling mix of nature and culture, all underscored by the hospitality unique to Japan. This day promises to be one of immersion, relaxation, and delightful discoveries. Safe travels!

source: Tokyo Creative Travel on YouTube

Mie (Tsu) 3-4 Days Travel Itinerary

Spanning a period of 3 to 4 days in Mie, this itinerary will take you through an eclectic blend of natural wonders, historical treasures, and culinary delights. Let’s dive in:

Day 1: Introduction to Tsu and Its Surroundings


8:00 AM – Traditional Breakfast

  • Kick off your adventure with a hearty traditional Japanese breakfast at a local café or eatery near your accommodation.

9:00 AM – Tsu Castle Park

  • Begin with Tsu Castle Park to absorb the city’s history. The surrounding gardens provide a peaceful introduction to Tsu.

10:30 AM – Mie Prefectural Museum

  • Understand Mie’s culture and history through interactive exhibits and artifacts.


  • Sample some of Mie’s specialties: Matsusaka beef or seafood dishes at a local restaurant.


1:30 PM – Senju-ji Temple

  • Explore this ancient temple, letting its spiritual ambiance seep in.

3:00 PM – Tsu Marina

  • Enjoy the coastal vibes, and perhaps indulge in some shopping or coffee by the sea.


6:00 PM – Dinner at a local Izakaya in Tsu

  • Experience the nightlife of Tsu and savor local dishes.

Day 2: Spirituality and Nature


8:00 AM – Breakfast at your hotel

9:00 AM – Travel to Ise

  • It’s a must-visit when in Mie. Take a train to Ise, home to the Ise Grand Shrine.

10:30 AM – Ise Grand Shrine

  • Visit the most sacred Shinto shrine in Japan. Allow the spirituality and historical significance to wash over you.


  • Try the local Akafuku mochi in Ise, paired with some green tea.


2:00 PM – Meoto Iwa (Wedded Rocks)

  • Revel in the natural beauty of the famous rocks that represent the union of creator gods in Shinto belief.

4:00 PM – Okage Yokocho

  • A nostalgic street showcasing the Edo to Meiji period architecture. It’s a great place for souvenirs and snacks.


7:00 PM – Return to Tsu and dine at a seaside restaurant

  • Relish Mie’s fresh seafood.

Day 3: Adventure and Exploration


8:00 AM – Breakfast

9:00 AM – Head to Ago Bay

  • Enjoy the picturesque bay known for its rias coastline and pearl cultivation.

11:00 AM – Mikimoto Pearl Island

  • Learn about the history of pearl cultivation and witness a traditional ama diver demonstration.


  • Dine at a local eatery offering dishes made with fresh pearls, like pearl rice.


2:00 PM – Toba Aquarium

  • Explore one of Japan’s best aquariums with marine life from around the world.

4:00 PM – Travel back to Tsu


7:00 PM – Kairaku Road shopping

  • Wind down with some shopping and snacks.

Day 4: Relaxation and Farewell


8:00 AM – Breakfast

9:00 AM – River Park Tsu

  • Take a relaxing walk, enjoying the riverside views.

11:00 AM – Local Onsen


  • A farewell meal at a traditional Japanese restaurant, perhaps one offering kaiseki (multi-course) dining.


2:00 PM – Souvenir shopping

  • Last-minute shopping to pick up mementos or gifts.

4:00 PM – Reflect at Yuki Shrine

  • A quiet moment to reflect on your journey.


7:00 PM – Farewell dinner at a top restaurant in Tsu

  • A final culinary experience in Mie.

This itinerary for Mie (Tsu) offers a balance of spiritual, historical, natural, and gastronomic experiences. Depending on your pace and interests, you might want to adjust timings or swap places. Do check for seasonal events or festivals that could enhance your experience. Safe and happy travels!

source: Planetyze – Japan Best Spots Travel Guide on YouTube

Mie (Tsu) 1 Week Travel Itinerary

A week in Mie offers the opportunity to truly immerse oneself in the prefecture’s vast offerings, encompassing cultural, natural, historical, and gastronomic experiences. Let’s dive into a comprehensive week-long journey in Mie, with Tsu as the starting point.

Day 1: Immersing in Tsu


  • Traditional Japanese Breakfast at a local café.
  • Explore the serene Tsu Castle Park.
  • Visit the Mie Prefectural Museum to understand the region’s rich history and culture.


  • Lunch at a local eatery featuring Matsusaka beef.
  • Walk around Tsu Marina, soaking in the coastal views.
  • Shopping and exploration on Tsu Kairaku Road.


  • Dine at an authentic Izakaya in Tsu.
  • Night walk at River Park Tsu.

Day 2: Ise – Spiritual Heart of Japan


  • Breakfast at your accommodation.
  • Travel to Ise and visit the revered Ise Grand Shrine.


  • Lunch with a taste of Akafuku mochi.
  • Stroll in Okage Yokocho.
  • Visit Meoto Iwa (Wedded Rocks).


  • Return to Tsu and dine at a seaside restaurant.

Day 3: Pearls, Oceans, and Coastal Beauty


  • Breakfast.
  • Set off for Ago Bay.
  • Explore Mikimoto Pearl Island.


  • Savor a pearl-infused lunch.
  • Dive into marine wonders at Toba Aquarium.


  • Return to Tsu for a laid-back evening at a local café.

Day 4: Mountain Trails and Waterfalls


  • Early breakfast.
  • Head to the Osugidani Valley, an untouched paradise perfect for hiking and nature enthusiasts.


  • Picnic lunch amidst nature.
  • Visit the Nabana no Sato, a flower park renowned for its seasonal blooms and light displays.


  • Relish a dinner back in Tsu, perhaps exploring a new Izakaya.

Day 5: Historical Dive and Traditional Crafts


  • Breakfast.
  • Travel to the Seki Ninja Museum in Iga, a museum dedicated to the art of ninja.


  • Lunch in Iga.
  • Explore the art of Japanese pottery at Suzuka’s Pottery Village.


Day 6: Tsu’s Surroundings and Leisure


  • Breakfast.
  • Visit Yuki Shrine for a spiritual start.
  • Explore Senju-ji Temple.



Day 7: Farewell Journey and Reflections


  • Breakfast.
  • Stroll and shop for souvenirs on Tsu Kairaku Road.


  • Lunch at a café overlooking Tsu Marina.
  • Visit a local art gallery or workshop to understand the contemporary culture of Mie.


  • Farewell dinner at a speciality restaurant in Tsu.
  • Reflective walk at River Park Tsu.

Traveling through Mie for a week gives an incredible opportunity to experience the depth of its offerings. This itinerary blends iconic sights with off-the-beaten-path experiences, ensuring a rich and memorable journey. Always remember to check the operational hours of attractions, consider local events or festivals, and adjust your schedule based on your interests. Enjoy your week in Mie (Tsu)!

source: GaijinPot on YouTube

Is Mie (Tsu) A Safe Place To Visit?

Mie Prefecture, with its capital city Tsu, is one of the many beautiful and culturally-rich regions of Japan. When considering safety for travelers, various factors come into play, from crime rates to environmental considerations and health infrastructure. Let’s delve deep into understanding the safety of visiting Mie (Tsu).

1. Crime and Personal Safety:

  • Low Crime Rate: As with most of Japan, Mie (Tsu) has a comparatively low crime rate, especially when juxtaposed with major cities worldwide. Violent crimes are rare, and petty crimes like pickpocketing are not as prevalent as in some other tourist-heavy areas globally.
  • Police Presence: The koban (police box) system in Japan ensures that police officers are easily accessible in most urban areas. These koban also serve as information centers for tourists, providing directions or general assistance.
  • Respectful Culture: Japanese society is known for its respect towards others, and this cultural aspect is palpable in Mie (Tsu) as well. Tourists often remark on the politeness and helpfulness of locals.

2. Health and Medical Safety:

  • Medical Facilities: Mie (Tsu) boasts good medical facilities, with hospitals and clinics equipped to handle emergencies. While English-speaking staff might be limited, some hospitals cater specifically to foreigners or have translation services.
  • Cleanliness: Japanese cities are renowned for their cleanliness, and Tsu is no exception. This reduces the risk of diseases that might result from poor sanitation.

3. Natural Disasters:

  • Earthquakes: Japan is located in an earthquake-prone region. While Mie (Tsu) is not immune to this, buildings and infrastructure are designed to be earthquake-resistant, following strict construction codes.
  • Tsunamis: Coastal areas might be at risk, but Japan has advanced early warning systems, and evacuation routes are clearly marked in vulnerable areas.

4. Transportation Safety:

  • Public Transport: The public transport system in Mie (Tsu) is efficient, clean, and safe. There are regular inspections to ensure the safety of buses, trains, and other public transport vehicles.
  • Traffic Safety: Road conditions in and around Tsu are excellent, and traffic rules are strictly followed. Pedestrian crossings and pathways are designed with safety in mind.

5. Cultural Considerations:

  • Etiquette: While Japan has specific social etiquettes, locals are often understanding towards tourists who might not be familiar with all cultural norms. However, a basic understanding and respect for local customs will enhance your experience and interactions.
  • Nightlife: Tsu’s nightlife is generally safe. However, as with any city, it’s wise to be cautious and avoid poorly lit or secluded areas late at night.

6. General Precautions:

  • Travel Insurance: It’s always recommended to have travel insurance when visiting a foreign country, covering not only health emergencies but also unexpected events like trip cancellations or lost luggage.
  • Stay Informed: While Mie (Tsu) is generally safe, it’s always a good practice for travelers to stay updated on local news, especially if there are weather advisories or other important announcements.

Mie (Tsu) is a safe destination for travelers. The combination of low crime rates, a respectful culture, efficient public services, and a reliable healthcare system makes it a secure place to explore. However, as with any travel, being vigilant, respectful, and informed will ensure your trip remains not only memorable but also trouble-free. Safe travels!

Mie foliage colors in Japan

When Is The Best Time To Visit Mie (Tsu)?

Choosing the best time to visit Mie Prefecture, with its capital Tsu, depends on various factors, ranging from the region’s climate and seasonal attractions to personal preferences regarding crowd sizes and activities. Let’s explore Mie’s seasonal dynamics in-depth to help you determine the most optimal time for your trip.

1. Climate Overview:

Mie, being on the Pacific coast of Japan, experiences a humid subtropical climate. This results in hot, humid summers and mild winters, punctuated by the seasonal beauty of spring cherry blossoms and autumn leaves.

2. Seasonal Breakdown:

  • Spring (March to May):
    • Climate: Mild temperatures and clear skies. This period sees the transition from cooler temperatures of late winter to the warmth of early summer.
    • Highlights: The cherry blossoms (sakura) bloom, with peak season typically in early April. This spectacle transforms landscapes and draws many visitors.
    • Considerations: While the cherry blossom season is undoubtedly beautiful, it also attracts both domestic and international tourists, making popular spots more crowded.
  • Summer (June to August):
    • Climate: Hot and humid, with temperatures often exceeding 30°C (86°F). The early part of summer experiences the rainy season (tsuyu).
    • Highlights: Green landscapes and various summer festivals. Coastal areas in Mie, like Toba and Shima, are popular for beach activities.
    • Considerations: The humidity might be overwhelming for some visitors. It’s essential to stay hydrated and use sun protection.
  • Autumn (September to November):
    • Climate: Cool and comfortable. Temperatures gradually decrease, and conditions are generally dry.
    • Highlights: Fall foliage. Mie has numerous spots where you can witness the vibrant hues of autumn leaves, especially in mountainous regions.
    • Considerations: Like the cherry blossom season, the peak autumn foliage period can be crowded, especially in famous viewing spots.
  • Winter (December to February):
    • Climate: Mild compared to the northern regions of Japan. Snowfall is rare but possible.
    • Highlights: Fewer tourists, serene landscapes, and the chance to enjoy winter-specific delicacies.
    • Considerations: While Mie doesn’t offer snow sports like other regions in Japan, its calm and less crowded atmosphere can be a boon for those seeking tranquility.

3. Special Events and Festivals:

Each season in Mie (Tsu) offers various festivals and events. From spring’s flower festivals to summer’s firework displays, autumn’s harvest festivals, and winter illuminations, there’s always something unique to experience.

4. Personal Preferences:

  • Crowds: If you prefer avoiding large tourist crowds, consider visiting Mie during the off-peak periods, typically the start or end of a season.
  • Activities: Your planned activities can influence your decision. For beach activities, summer is ideal. For hiking amidst fall foliage, autumn is perfect.

The best time to visit Mie (Tsu) hinges on your preferences. Spring and autumn are traditionally favored for their natural beauty and favorable climates. However, summer offers beach excursions, while winter provides a more relaxed atmosphere. Given Mie’s relatively mild climate, any time of the year can offer a fulfilling experience, as long as you align it with your interests and comfort.

Mie meandering stream with mossy rocks on the side in Japan

Top Festivals and Events in Mie (Tsu)

Mie Prefecture, with its capital Tsu, is steeped in a rich tapestry of traditions, culture, and natural beauty. Throughout the year, the region hosts a myriad of festivals and events, each celebrating different facets of its heritage and community spirit. Let’s explore some of the most prominent festivals and events that have placed Mie (Tsu) on the cultural map of Japan.

1. Ise Shrine Festivals:

  • Kagura-sai (April): Held at the Ise Grand Shrine, one of the most sacred Shinto shrines in Japan, this festival is a spiritual event where traditional dances and rituals are performed to pray for a good harvest and the nation’s prosperity.
  • Kanname-sai (October): Another significant festival at the Ise Grand Shrine, it involves offering the first harvest to the deities. This event attracts many pilgrims and tourists alike.

2. Tsu Festival (October):

Held in Tsu City, this festival showcases splendid floats paraded through the city streets. Highlighted by traditional music, dance performances, and vibrant decorations, it’s a grand spectacle that celebrates the region’s cultural heritage.

3. Suzuka Autumn Festival (October):

Located in the city of Suzuka, this event is famous for its Yatai (float) procession, accompanied by traditional music. The intricately designed floats are a testament to the city’s craftsmanship and artistry.

4. Ago Bay Fireworks Festival (August):

A spectacular display of fireworks illuminates Ago Bay during this summer festival. The reflections of the vibrant pyrotechnics on the water create a mesmerizing visual experience.

5. Nabana no Sato Winter Illumination (November to March):

One of Japan’s largest illumination events, Nabana no Sato’s botanical garden is transformed into a luminous wonderland. Themes change annually, with millions of LED lights creating intricate displays, including the famous light tunnels.

6. Kumano Fireworks Festival (August):

Held on the shores of the Kumano River, this event is a visual treat with a massive firework display. The sound, colors, and reflections on the river make it an unforgettable experience.

7. Iga Ueno Ninja Festival (April):

In the city of Iga, renowned for its ninja heritage, this festival celebrates the mystique and skills of the ancient art of ninja. Demonstrations, performances, and interactive sessions provide an immersive experience.

8. Toba Sea-Folk Museum’s Ship Festival (May):

Showcasing Toba’s maritime culture, this event sees traditional ship races, marine rituals, and other celebrations centered around the city’s fishing heritage.

9. Tsu Matsuri (October):

A vibrant celebration in Tsu City, this festival features traditional dance performances, drumming, and colorful processions on the streets, celebrating the city’s unique cultural identity.

10. Goza Ritual at the Aekuni Shrine (January):

An important annual event in the Tsu region, this ritual involves burning old talismans and charms to thank them for the protection provided in the previous year and to pray for safety in the upcoming year.

Mie (Tsu) is a treasure trove of cultural events that provide visitors with a glimpse into its rich history, traditions, and community spirit. Each festival, whether deeply spiritual or vibrantly celebratory, offers a unique experience, making Mie a year-round destination for cultural enthusiasts. When planning a visit, aligning your trip with one of these festivals can significantly enrich your travel experience.

Mie (Tsu) Shopping Guide and Souvenir List

Mie Prefecture, with its capital city Tsu, is not just a hub for culture and natural beauty, but it’s also a shopping haven that boasts an array of unique products and souvenirs. From time-honored traditional crafts to delicious local specialties, Mie offers something for every kind of shopper.

1. Shopping Districts & Places:

  • Tsu Yonago Street: This bustling shopping street in the heart of Tsu is lined with a mix of contemporary shops and traditional vendors. It’s an ideal spot to buy both modern goods and classic souvenirs.
  • Aeon Mall Tsu Minami: A large shopping mall with a plethora of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options, catering to a wide range of shopping needs.
  • Okage Yokocho: Near the Ise Grand Shrine, this traditional shopping street offers a nostalgic ambiance, with shops selling crafts, snacks, and other local products.

2. Traditional Crafts & Souvenirs:

  • Iga Kumihimo: Originating from Iga, these are intricate braided cords used in various ways, from tea ceremony accessories to kimono sashes.
  • Iga Pottery: Known for its rustic appearance and durability, Iga pottery is ideal for those who appreciate traditional Japanese ceramics.
  • Suzuka Sumi Ink: Esteemed for its quality, this ink from Suzuka is a must-buy for calligraphy enthusiasts.
  • Mikimoto Pearls: Originating from the islands of Toba in Mie, Mikimoto is credited for developing the first cultured pearls. These pearls make for exquisite jewelry.

3. Food & Drink Souvenirs:

  • Matsusaka Beef Products: Recognized as one of the top grades of beef in Japan, even if you can’t enjoy a steak in Tsu, you can buy various Matsusaka beef products like jerky or croquettes.
  • Ise Udon: A distinct type of udon noodle, thicker and softer than regular udon. It’s available in dried form, perfect for gifting.
  • Ise Tea: A local variety of green tea cultivated in Mie, it has a unique flavor profile that stands out from other Japanese teas.
  • Akafuku Mochi: A popular sweet treat from Ise, it consists of a soft rice cake (mochi) covered with sweet red bean paste.
  • Seafood Products: Given its coastal location, Mie offers a range of dried seafood products like dried bonito, seaweed, and more.

4. Contemporary Goods & Brands:

  • Fashion Boutiques: In Tsu’s urban centers, you’ll find a range of fashion stores offering contemporary wear, both local and international brands.
  • Tech & Gadgets: Like much of Japan, Mie has its share of electronic stores where you can get the latest gadgets.

5. Tips for Shopping in Mie (Tsu):

  • Tax-free Shopping: For tourists, many stores offer tax-free shopping. Ensure you carry your passport to avail of this.
  • Local Markets: For a more authentic shopping experience, explore local markets or seasonal fairs where artisans sell their crafts.
  • Bargaining: Unlike many other countries, bargaining isn’t customary in Japan. Prices are generally fixed, especially in established stores.

Mie (Tsu) offers a diverse shopping experience that marries tradition with modernity. Whether you’re hunting for traditional Japanese crafts, seeking gourmet delicacies, or simply wish to indulge in some retail therapy, Mie ensures your bags are full and your heart content.

source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Where To Visit After Your Trip To Mie (Tsu)?

After soaking in the rich cultural, historical, and natural beauty of Mie (Tsu), you might be wondering where to head next. Luckily, Japan offers a plethora of destinations that cater to various interests. Here’s a curated list to guide your onward journey from Mie, with each destination offering a distinct flavor of the Land of the Rising Sun.

1. Kyoto:

  • Why? Often termed the cultural heart of Japan, Kyoto was the capital for over a thousand years and is home to historic temples, traditional teahouses, and stunning gardens.
  • Highlights: Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion), Fushimi Inari Shrine, Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, and Gion District.
  • Getting There: From Mie, take the Kintetsu Limited Express to reach Kyoto in under two hours.

2. Nara:

  • Why? As the first permanent capital of Japan, Nara is steeped in history and is known for its giant Buddha statue and friendly free-roaming deer.
  • Highlights: Tōdai-ji Temple, Nara Park, Kasuga-taisha Shrine, and Isuien Garden.
  • Getting There: A direct train on the Kintetsu line will get you from Tsu to Nara in approximately 1.5 hours.

3. Osaka:

  • Why? Japan’s kitchen and a modern metropolis, Osaka offers a vibrant nightlife, fantastic street food, and a lively urban energy.
  • Highlights: Dotonbori, Osaka Castle, Universal Studios Japan, and Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine.
  • Getting There: From Tsu, the Kintetsu Limited Express connects directly to Osaka in about 90 minutes.

4. Nagoya:

  • Why? As Japan’s fourth-largest city, Nagoya is a blend of modernity and tradition, boasting historical sites, shopping streets, and a unique local cuisine.
  • Highlights: Nagoya Castle, Osu Shopping Street, Atsuta Shrine, and the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology.
  • Getting There: Regular trains connect Tsu with Nagoya, and the journey takes about an hour.

5. Ise-Shima National Park:

  • Why? Although part of Mie Prefecture, it deserves a separate mention due to its stunning landscapes and cultural significance.
  • Highlights: Ise Grand Shrine, Ago Bay’s “ria” coastline, and pearl cultivation.
  • Getting There: Direct trains and buses run from Tsu to various parts of Ise-Shima.

6. Kobe:

  • Why? Known for its signature beef and as a cosmopolitan port city, Kobe offers a mix of cultural experiences and scenic beauty.
  • Highlights: Kobe Harborland, Arima Onsen (hot spring), Nankinmachi (Chinatown), and Meriken Park.
  • Getting There: Take a train from Tsu to Osaka, then transfer to a direct train to Kobe. The total journey is around 2 to 2.5 hours.

7. Wakayama:

  • Why? Blessed with both mountainous terrains and a beautiful coastline, Wakayama offers spiritual journeys, hot springs, and pristine nature.
  • Highlights: Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes, Shirahama Onsen, and Wakayama Castle.
  • Getting There: Direct trains from Tsu will get you to Wakayama in under two hours.

8. Mount Koya (Koyasan):

  • Why? As the center of Shingon Buddhism, this secluded temple town is ideal for spiritual rejuvenation.
  • Highlights: Okunoin Cemetery, Kongobu-ji Temple, and staying in a temple lodging (shukubo) for a unique experience.
  • Getting There: From Tsu, head to Osaka and then take the Nankai Railway to Gokurakubashi, followed by a cable car to Koyasan.

9. Shizuoka:

  • Why? Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Shizuoka is a stunning blend of Mt. Fuji views, green tea plantations, and deep-rooted history.
  • Highlights: Views of Mt. Fuji from Miho no Matsubara, Nihondaira Plateau, Shizuoka Sengen Shrine, and Suruga Bay.
  • Getting There: From Tsu, take the train to Nagoya and then transfer to a Shinkansen (bullet train) bound for Shizuoka.

10. Kanazawa:

  • Why? Often referred to as “Little Kyoto,” Kanazawa offers historical districts, beautiful gardens, and traditional crafts minus the crowds.
  • Highlights: Kenrokuen Garden, Kanazawa Castle, the historic samurai and geisha districts, and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art.
  • Getting There: While there isn’t a direct connection, one can reach Kanazawa by taking a train from Tsu to Nagoya and then a Shinkansen to Kanazawa.

11. Hiroshima:

  • Why? Beyond its tragic history, Hiroshima is a city of resilience and peace, offering various attractions for visitors.
  • Highlights: Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima Castle, Shukkeien Garden, and the nearby Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island.
  • Getting There: The journey involves a train ride from Tsu to Osaka and then a Shinkansen to Hiroshima.

12. Okayama:

  • Why? Known as the “Land of Sunshine,” Okayama boasts beautiful gardens, historic castles, and delicious fruits.
  • Highlights: Korakuen Garden, Kurashiki’s historic district, and Okayama Castle.
  • Getting There: Tsu to Osaka by train and then a Shinkansen to Okayama.

13. Tottori:

  • Why? Famed for its vast sand dunes, Tottori offers a unique landscape that is a stark contrast to Japan’s usual mountainous terrains.
  • Highlights: Tottori Sand Dunes, The Sand Museum, and Uradome Coast.
  • Getting There: Direct trains or a combination of train rides through Osaka will lead you to Tottori.

14. Toyama:

  • Why? With its scenic beauty comprising deep gorges, traditional houses, and alpine views, Toyama is a nature lover’s paradise.
  • Highlights: Kurobe Gorge, Gokayama Historic Village, and the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route.
  • Getting There: Take a train from Tsu to Nagoya and then a Shinkansen to Toyama.

15. Fukuoka:

  • Why? As a gateway to Kyushu, Fukuoka is a vibrant city blending history, modernity, and delicious cuisine.
  • Highlights: Ohori Park, Fukuoka Castle ruins, Hakata Ramen, and Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine.
  • Getting There: Journey from Tsu to Osaka by train, then catch a Shinkansen bound for Fukuoka.

16. Sendai:

  • Why? Known as the “City of Trees,” Sendai combines urban sophistication with nature’s beauty, making it an ideal stop for those wanting to experience Tohoku’s charm.
  • Highlights: Aoba Castle, Osaki Hachimangu Shrine, Sendai Mediatheque, and the vibrant Jozenji-dori Avenue.
  • Getting There: Take the train from Tsu to Tokyo and then hop on the Tohoku Shinkansen to Sendai.

17. Sapporo, Hokkaido:

  • Why? The capital of the northernmost island, Sapporo boasts an array of seasonal festivals, vast parks, and renowned seafood.
  • Highlights: Odori Park, Sapporo Clock Tower, Moerenuma Park, and the yearly Snow Festival.
  • Getting There: Fly from Chubu Centrair International Airport near Nagoya to New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido. Alternatively, train to Tokyo then fly or take the Shinkansen to Hakodate and connect by train to Sapporo.

18. Takayama, Gifu:

  • Why? Nestled in the Japanese Alps, Takayama is a beautifully preserved old town filled with traditional inns, sake breweries, and a rich heritage.
  • Highlights: Sanmachi Suji historic district, Hida Folk Village, Takayama Jinya, and the biannual Takayama Festivals.
  • Getting There: Trains from Tsu to Nagoya, followed by a train journey on the Hida Limited Express to Takayama.

19. Kumamoto:

  • Why? With its iconic castle, beautiful gardens, and serene surroundings, Kumamoto offers a slice of Kyushu’s vibrant history and culture.
  • Highlights: Kumamoto Castle, Suizenji Jojuen Garden, Sakuranobaba Johsaien, and nearby Mt. Aso.
  • Getting There: Train from Tsu to Osaka, then Shinkansen to Fukuoka, followed by a local train or Shinkansen to Kumamoto.

20. Matsuyama, Ehime:

  • Why? Located on Shikoku Island, Matsuyama presents a relaxed atmosphere, with an ancient onsen, a majestic castle, and scenic coastal views.
  • Highlights: Dogo Onsen, Matsuyama Castle, and Ishite-ji Temple.
  • Getting There: Flights from Chubu Centrair International Airport to Matsuyama Airport or take trains through Osaka and then a ferry ride.

21. Ishigaki, Okinawa:

  • Why? A paradise for beach lovers, Ishigaki offers turquoise waters, coral reefs, and a unique Okinawan culture.
  • Highlights: Kabira Bay, Yonehara Beach, and Ishigaki Yaima Village.
  • Getting There: Flights are available from major Japanese airports, including Chubu Centrair International Airport, to Ishigaki.

22. Yokohama:

  • Why? Just south of Tokyo, Yokohama is a bustling port city known for its iconic skyline, Chinatown, and historical buildings.
  • Highlights: Minato Mirai, Sankeien Garden, Yokohama Chinatown, and Landmark Tower.
  • Getting There: Take the train from Tsu to Nagoya, then the Shinkansen to Shin-Yokohama or Tokyo followed by a local train to Yokohama.

23. Nagasaki:

  • Why? A port city with a complex history, Nagasaki is a testament to resilience, peace, and international influences.
  • Highlights: Nagasaki Peace Park, Atomic Bomb Museum, Oura Church, and Glover Garden.
  • Getting There: From Tsu, you can reach Nagasaki by taking a train to Osaka and then a Shinkansen to Hakata/Fukuoka, followed by an express train to Nagasaki.

24. Kobe:

  • Why? Famous for its beef, Kobe is a harbor city blending modernity, nature, and a rich maritime history.
  • Highlights: Kobe Port Tower, Nunobiki Herb Gardens, Meriken Park, and the sake breweries in Nada district.
  • Getting There: Direct trains from Tsu can get you to Kobe in a few hours.

25. Nara:

  • Why? Once the ancient capital of Japan, Nara is a compact city brimming with significant temples, shrines, and freely roaming deer.
  • Highlights: Tōdai-ji Temple, Nara Park, Kasuga Taisha Shrine, and Isui-en Garden.
  • Getting There: It’s relatively straightforward with a combination of trains via Osaka.

26. Beppu, Oita:

  • Why? Japan’s onsen (hot spring) capital, Beppu offers a plethora of hot spring varieties set against a coastal backdrop.
  • Highlights: The “Hells” of Beppu, Beppu Tower, Takegawara Onsen, and the Beppu Ropeway.
  • Getting There: Trains from Tsu to Osaka, then a Shinkansen to Hakata, followed by a local train to Beppu.

27. Nikko, Tochigi:

  • Why? A UNESCO World Heritage site, Nikko is a haven for history enthusiasts, boasting shrines, temples, and a national park.
  • Highlights: Toshogu Shrine, Kegon Falls, Lake Chuzenji, and the scenic Nikko National Park.
  • Getting There: Train from Tsu to Tokyo, then a direct train to Nikko.

28. Hakone, Kanagawa:

  • Why? A popular hot spring destination, Hakone provides striking views of Mt. Fuji, serene landscapes, and cultural attractions.
  • Highlights: Lake Ashinoko, Hakone Open-Air Museum, Hakone Shrine, and the Hakone Ropeway.
  • Getting There: From Tsu, head to Nagoya and take the Shinkansen to Odawara, then a local train/bus into Hakone.

29. Kagoshima:

  • Why? The “Naples of the Eastern world,” Kagoshima boasts active volcanoes, historical landmarks, and a subtropical climate.
  • Highlights: Sakurajima volcano, Sengan-en Garden, Shiroyama Observatory, and the Satsuma Kiriko Cut Glass.
  • Getting There: Train from Tsu to Osaka, then Shinkansen to Kagoshima.

30. Aomori:

  • Why? The northernmost tip of Honshu, Aomori is known for its apple orchards, festivals, and unique archaeological sites.
  • Highlights: Nebuta Festival, Aomori Bay Bridge, Sannai-Maruyama ruins, and the Hakkoda Mountains.
  • Getting There: Train from Tsu to Tokyo, followed by the Shinkansen to Aomori.

Japan is a country of contrasts and diverse experiences. Whether you’re seeking spiritual enlightenment, cultural immersion, culinary adventures, or just the hustle and bustle of urban life, the country offers it all. After Mie (Tsu), each of the mentioned destinations promises a unique and enriching experience, ensuring your Japanese journey remains unforgettable.

Mie green forest trees standing tall in Japan

Mie (Tsu) Travel Guide: Final Thoughts

Mie Prefecture, with its capital Tsu at its heart, remains one of Japan’s best-kept secrets, an oasis of calm that blends the country’s rich past with its innovative present. It’s not just a destination; it’s an experience, one that unfolds like the delicate petals of a blooming cherry blossom, revealing its charms slowly, yet alluringly.

Landscape and Natural Beauty:

Nestled between the serene shores of the Ise Bay and the undulating landscapes of the Suzuka Mountain Range, Mie is an embodiment of Japan’s diverse topography. The prefecture effortlessly marries its mountainous interiors with its coastal expanses. Tsu, positioned strategically, acts as a gateway to this spectacle, allowing travelers to embark on scenic journeys, whether it’s the rugged coastlines, pristine beaches, or verdant valleys.

Historical and Cultural Tapestry:

Mie’s significance isn’t merely geographical. The region has played a pivotal role in Japan’s intricate history. From ancient pilgrimage routes that lead to the venerable Ise Grand Shrine to the streets of Tsu that have echoed with tales of samurais, shoguns, and merchants, the prefecture is a living museum. Every temple, shrine, and even the festivals, like the Ageuma Shinji, are threads in the rich tapestry of Mie’s cultural narrative.

Culinary Delights:

Japanese cuisine is celebrated worldwide, but Mie offers a distinct flavor palette that reflects its bounteous seas and fertile lands. Tsu, being the capital, becomes a focal point for this culinary adventure. From Matsusaka beef, celebrated for its marbling and flavor, to the freshest seafood from Ise Bay, and the delightful Iga ware pottery in which this food is often served, Mie’s gastronomical offerings are as varied as they are delicious.

Stay and Hospitality:

Whether you’re seeking the modern comforts of a luxury hotel, the traditional embrace of a ryokan, or the humble touch of a guesthouse, Mie offers accommodations that cater to every traveler’s preference. The Omotenashi or Japanese spirit of hospitality is evident everywhere, ensuring that visitors not only explore Mie but live it.

Ease of Travel:

Despite its somewhat off-the-beaten-path aura, Mie is incredibly accessible. Tsu, being a significant urban center, acts as a hub from where myriad transportation options spider-web across the prefecture. Whether it’s the efficient rail network, the extensive roadways, or the local buses, moving around Mie is both convenient and pleasurable.

Seasonal Wonders:

Every season paints Mie in a different hue. The cherry blossoms of spring transform the prefecture into a pastel wonderland, summers bring with them the vivacity of festivals, autumn drapes the landscapes in a golden glow, and winters, while mild, offer their own subtle charm.

Final Reflection:

A journey to Mie (Tsu) is akin to reading a multi-layered novel. With each chapter, you delve deeper into its essence, understanding its nuances, and appreciating its depth. It’s a place where every stone, stream, and structure has a story, waiting to be heard, felt, and cherished. As you leave, it’s not just memories you carry back but a piece of Mie’s soul, a lingering feeling that beckons you to return, to explore, and to immerse once more. If Japan is a poetic symphony, Mie is one of its most evocative verses.

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