Ise-Shima – Ise Jingu and the scenic coastline-city of Shima

Ise-Shima – Ise Jingu and the scenic coastline-city of Shima

Ise-Shima

Ise Jingu and the scenic coastline-city of Shima

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Known as the sacred land of Japanese history and culture, and home to one of Japan’s most impressive Shinto shrines is none other than Ise Jingu, located in Mie Prefecture.

Words and Photography: Naoto Ijichi

Visiting Ise Jingu

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Eight million people visit Ise Jingu every year. The jinja (Shinto shrine) has become even more of a talking point lately as this year saw it host a number of special ceremonies related to the changing of the Chrysanthemum throne from the former Emperor Akihito, to his son Emperor Naruhito.

Ise Jingu, built over 2,000 years ago, refers to a jinja in the Ise-Shima region comprised of 125 smaller jinja. Of these many jinja, the most famous are the Naiku (Kotaijingu) and Geku (Toyo’uke-daijingu), which are dedicated to Amaterasu-Omikami and Toyo’uke-Omikami respectively. It is the deity Amaterasu-Omikami that the emperors of Japan are said to be direct descendants of.

A visit to Ise Jingu can be as short as an hour or span over days depending on which jinja you choose to visit and how you plan out your course. Stopping by the Naiku alone can take up to two hours as you cross the 100-metrelong, wooden Uji-bashi Bridge and wander around the atmospheric grounds to soak up the sacred air within.

“Ise Jingu, built over 2,000 years ago, refers to a jinja in the Ise-Shima region comprised of 125 smaller jinja.”

What is Shinto?

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Shinto literally translates to “the way of the kami” (the word kami refers to gods or deities in Shinto) and has no clear origins owing to the fact that it developed naturally with the country from ancient times. It is practiced in some form by the majority of Japanese people. The number of kami in Shinto is immense and they are said to take on various forms, from the elements that make up earth, to embodiments of nature, and even important concepts. Amaterasu-Omikami is considered to be the highest of them all.


The construction of Ise Jingu

The Naiku, Geku, and 14 other related jinja are a select few of the 125 jinja that are built in the exact same dimensions on adjacent sites every 20 years for sacred enshrining in a ritual known as Shikinen Sengu. A series of rituals takes eight years to complete, and was done so most recently in 2013. Drop by the nearby Sengu Museum to learn more about this ceremonial practice. Ise Jingu, known as “the most sacred construction in Japan”, may be a familiar journey into Shintoism for the average Japanese person, however, it continues to fascinate international tourists with its mystery upon every visit.


A stay on the Shima Peninsula

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Staying a night or two in the area during your travels to Ise Jingu from Osaka, Kyoto, or Nagoya is highly recommended – and not because of the distance involved. A stay on the Shima Peninsula is justified by the great experience the Shima Kanko Hotel offers. It served as the venue for the Ise-Shima G7 Summit on May 2017 (an international meeting of world leaders from the G7 and EU). Ise-Shima was chosen to host the prestigious international gathering for its great location, the view of the islands, calm inlets, peaceful atmosphere, and the food served by the hotel utilising the abundant and fresh local seafood.

Shima Kanko Hotel

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The hotel features 3 different buildings, “the Classic” featuring rooms with a cultural air; “the Baysuites” featuring suites in every room; and “the Club” which maintains remnants of the hotel’s early past. Over in “the Club” is a café and wine bar by the name of “Lien” with an interior design featuring Togo Murano’s (the hotel’s architect) take on a traditional Japanese house. Grab a seat in this bar to enjoy a drop of some rare Japanesedistilled whisky. Guests of the hotel can then enjoy the fine French cuisine that was served to the world leaders in attendance to the summit at the restaurant, La Mer, within the hotel grounds.

Shima Kanko Hotel also has a variety of facilities, such as a gym, spa, Japanese tea room (for tea ceremony experiences), and an observation deck. Gazing at the incredible Ago- Bay sunset on this deck is sure to give your mind the calm respite it deserves during your busy travels around Japan. Additionally, there are a range of activities on offer at the hotel, including: sea kayaking and cruises on Ago Bay; guided cycling tours; and traditional craft experiences. Ise-Shima has been an area for worshippers, sightseers, and people looking to escape the daily grind, to relax and enjoy themselves throughout the ages. For visitors from overseas, Ise Jingu and the Shima Peninsula offers travellers the opportunity to get up close and personal with the magical world of Shinto on their journey to Ago Bay. Discover the ancient traditions of Japan and have a unique experience at this resort locale surrounded by glorious nature.

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GETTING TO ISE-SHIMA

By Train

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Ise City is a two-hour train ride from Osaka, a onehour 30-minute train ride from Nagoya, and two hours and ten minutes from Kyoto on the Kintetsu Railway. Hop off at Iseshi or Uji-Yamada stations for easy access.

For a more luxurious journey, take the Kintetsu Railway Shimakaze Premium Express operating to Kashikojima Station from Kintetsu Osaka Namba Station, Kyoto Station, and Nagoya Station, one round trip daily.

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ACCESSING ISE JINGU

Ise Jingu Geku

This shrine is a five-minute walk from Iseshi Station.

Ise Jingu Naiku

From Ise Jingu Geku, this shrine is ten-minute bus or taxi ride. To get to Ise Jingu Naiku from Ujiyamada Station you can hop onto a bus or taxi for a 25-minute ride over.


ACCOMMODATION

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Shima Kanko HotelThe hotel is easily accessible from Kashikojima Station. A two-minute long Shuttle Bus ride will take you straight to Shima Kanko Hotel the Classic, the Club, and the Baysuites.

+81-599-43-1211

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OMOSHIROI BLOCK – Flip through to reveal the beautiful creations

OMOSHIROI BLOCK – Flip through to reveal the beautiful creations

OMOSHIROI BLOCK

Flip through to reveal the beautiful creations

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Garnering attention around the world as a top ten trending topic in the United States, given coverage on the Euro News, and various other outlets, is a piece of Japanese stationery that received the Grand Award with Special Mention at the 2018 DFA Design for Asia Awards – the OMOSHIROI BLOCK memo pad.

TRIAD Inc. is the Japanese design company behind these memo pads created under the premise of “building on moments to carve out memories” and “continuing your journeys from on top of your desk”. This “memory x moment x sculpture” concept is brought to life by making memo pads with delicate craftsmanship using pieces of high-quality paper. What make these memo pads so unique is the sight of a detailed piece of art being uncovered every time you take a piece of paper from the block. Once you have completely used the block, the masterpiece revealed will either be a beautiful piece of architecture or a typically Japanese design as selected by the company’s designers.

As we walk you through the various OMOSHIROI BLOCK designs, you will see that they can be customised to suit your needs, much like the pieces created in collaboration with local governments. The company is looking forward to working with various international companies and governments, so if you’re thinking about getting some regional branding or tourism promotion done then feel free to drop them a line. For those curious, the word “OMOSHIROI” in Japanese means “interesting” or “fun”, which makes it the perfect name for a memo pad that offers endless fun for everyone.

Have a look at the following creations to get a sense of the types of OMOSHIROI BLOCKS available.


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Tokyo Tower

A famous symbol of Tokyo – Tokyo Tower. This tower was once known as a radio tower, but it no longer serves this purpose after the construction of Tokyo Sky Tree. It is now a popular tourist facility visited by many.


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Asakusa

Asakusa is a local town of Tokyo that is considered a must-go by international visitors. The Kaminarimon serves as the entry to Asakusa temple and is a symbolic landmark of the locale. A closer look at the final product will reveal just how detailed the creation is.


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Takoyaki

Takoyaki, octopus balls that can be eaten at food stalls and are quite popular in Australia, happen to be the soul food of Osaka. There are many famous and wellknown takoyaki establishments in Osaka, so make sure you drop by one if you find yourself there.


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One of OMOSHIROI BLOCKS’ most iconic creations. This piece is based on the most renowned and visited temple in Kyoto – Kiyomizudera. You can tell just how accurate and detailed this BLOCK is when compared to the actual temple.


Clay figurine with clasping hands

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This new creation is a particularly unique one made in collaboration with Aomori prefecture in the northern-most region of Honshu (the main island of Japan). The clay figurine was found in the city of Hachinohe, Aomori and is estimated to be 3,500 years old (late Jomon period). It was recognised as a national treasure in 2009. It appears to be sitting down with its hands clasped in its lap in prayer, hence the name “praying clay figurine”. Other than the ruins where the clay figurine was found, Hachinohe is also home to various other places such as the Sanriku Fukko National Park, where visitors can spot approximately 600 different species of plants (spring to autumn), as well as the beautiful sight of the grass in the park in collaboration with the Tanesashi coast. Drop by Hachinohe for a visit and have a profound moment with the ancient ruins.

The collaboration between the grass and the Tanesashi coast in Hachinohe is unforgettable.


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CAMPTON

CAMPTON

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CAMPTON

A new style of accommodation
harmonising history and modernity

CAMPTON offers ultimate levels of comfort through “machiya” (townhouses) located in the historicalcity of Kyoto that have been renovated and had new life breathed into them as accommodation establishments. Make your stay a stylish and relaxing one in the machiya sharing their history with the surrounding buildings and temples of the former capital city of Japan – Kyoto.

Words: Yuriko Ishii

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Kyoto is not only known for its traditional, historic sites, but also for the old machiya lining the streets. Both local and international tourists come flocking to the city to see these beautiful buildings. The increase in restaurants utilising these machiya also comes as a welcome movement. Spearheading this machiya craze are the particularly popular buildings found in Kyoto.


RENOVATING THE MACHIYA AND PRESERVING THE TRADITIONAL TOWN FEEL

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The vision of Masao Ono, CEO of CAMPTON, was to renovate and protect the machiya with his policy to preserve the Kyoto townscape. He has always loved old architecture, and his attention was drawn to the method of preserving old architectural structures in order to build modern establishments and maintain ageing buildings. CAMPTON is a modern example of preserving the charming township of the old capital through the renovation of traditional structures to create lodging facilities.

Within the walls of these historical buildings are establishments with new life breathed into themas parts of CAMPTON. This accommodation facility provides an atmosphere, facilities, service, and comfort at a price point to offer luxury. Machiya, while charming, tend to have a reputation of lacking comfort or functionality, with sometimes cold floors or draughty rooms. This is not the case at CAMPTON with all potential defects addressed to create a hotellike establishment at the peak of comfort. In fact, of the many machiya accommodation facilities found all over Kyoto, it would not be an exaggeration to say that CAMPTON has created the perfect combination of a machiya and hotel to suit all of the needs of potential guests. This establishment is also unique in that it offers a number of rooms on the premises, whereas many other machiya only offer the whole building to be booked for one or a number of guests.


EXPERIENCE THE CHARMS OF KYOTO IN THIS LUXURIOUS AND CALMING SPACE

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CAMPTON is spread out amongst the popular locations in Kyoto with a total of 11 rooms in and around Kiyomizu, Kyoto station, and Nishijin for guests to choose according to where they wish to visit. One of the many drawcards of this establishment is the spacious rooms constructed using high-quality solid wood selected from the best Japanese timber available. All suites have sitting rooms with tatami floors for guests to stretch their legs and relax, with baths made of umbrella pines to soak in and soothe the tired and weary. Rooms are also fitted with kitchens stocked with not only dining ware, but also a fridge, microwave, coffee machine, kettle, and other utensils for those who wish to cook. The addition of a washing machine also makes longer stays a breeze. A TV, air conditioner, heated floors, and Wi-Fi also comes standard so that guests with families or friends can feel at home all throughout the year.

Meals are not generally included, but breakfast or dinner services or restaurant bookings can be arranged for. A number of restaurants utilising seasonal produce can also be found in the surrounds with a wide variety to suit all cravings and add to the joy of travelling. CAMPTON also works in collaboration with various specialist facilities to provide guests with Japanese cultural experiences such as tea ceremonies, flower arrangement, kimono fitting, Zen meditation, origami, and cooking classes.

Many large-scale hotels and hot spring inns provide guests with rooms topped with facilities such as restaurants, gift shops, and other places to undertake activities. While this provides guests with comfort and convenience, it also adds to the growing number of travellers spending less time exploring the streets and more time indoors. CAMPTON’s policy is to focus on providing comfortable accommodation, whilst also helping to spur on the revitalisation of the city through collaborating with other businesses and encouraging guests to visit local restaurants and shops, and participate in cultural activities.

The number of international visitors flocking to Japan continues to increase over the years, as do the number of returning visitors to Kyoto and other locations across the country. For returning guests, there is nothing more comforting or freeing than staying at an establishment that combines the best aspects of longter accommodation options and hotels. CAMPTON gives returning visitors the opportunity to take a step further into the charms Japan has to offer, and provides first-time visitors and their families a space with superior comfort.

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