Ise (伊勢)  is a city in Mie prefecture, Japan. Ise is primarily known for the eponymous Ise Shrine, arguably the holiest and most important Shinto site and the reputed home of the Emperor's Sacred Mirror.
According to the official chronology, Ise Shrine  (伊勢神宮 Ise-jingū) was originally constructed in the year 4 BC. Most historians date the shrines from several hundred years later, with 690 AD widely considered the date when the shrines were first built in their current form. They are mentioned in the annals of the Kojiki and Nihonshoki, dating from 712. Sacred objects of the royal family reside within, including a covered mirror which has reportedly not been looked into for over a thousand years. The shrines are famously dismantled and rebuilt to exacting specifications every 20 years at exorbitant expense.
The present buildings, dating from 1993, are the 61st iteration to date and are scheduled for rebuilding in 2013. Preparation work started in 2005 and many festivals will be held in the years to come; alas, the most impressive of these, the "tree-pulling" festival Okihiki (御木曳) in which lumber is ceremoniously carted to the shrine, was already held in 2007 and you'll have to wait until 2027 for the next one.
Many other annual events are held around Ise, most of which are related to the shrine:
 Get in
 By train
From Osaka, Ise is serviced by Kintetsu trains. Kintetsu's Limited Express depart every 30 minutes, taking 1hr 40 mins. It costs 3030 yen for a comfortable reserved seat. Kintetsu also runs Limited Express trains directly from Kyoto.
From Nagoya, Ise is serviced by JR and Kintetsu trains. Kintetsu's Limited Express is the fastest option, taking 1hr 20 mins. It costs 2690 yen for a comfortable reserved seat. By JR line it costs 1940 yen 1hr 30 mins.
Be aware that Ujiyamada station only services Kintetsu trains, while Ise-shi station is serviced by Kintetsu and JR lines.
 By bus
The cheapest option for travel between Ise and Tokyo is the overnight bus operated by Sanco, (Japanese only). It's a long trip and the comfort level is possibly below an economy class air flight but at ¥7850 (return trip ¥14130) it's around half the price of the shinkansen and train option.
 By boat
Ise has no ferry terminal but from Chubu Centrair International Airport one option is to take the ferry to Tsu then a bus to Tsu Station There's one ferry every hour, it takes 40 mins and costs ¥1890. There's also a ferry to Toba. With many hotel options in the seaside town of Toba this could be a good way to start a holiday. Ise and Toba are linked by Kintetsu and JR.
 Get around
A regular bus service operates between Ise Station and Naiku. Another option for those who want to explore the area further is the CAN Bus day pass. This provides unlimited travel around the Ise, the Futami area, and Toba. A 1 day pass is 1000 Yen for adults, 500 Yen for children. A 2 day pass is 1600 Yen and 800 Yen. More bus and railway ticket information online .
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Shop and enjoy the atmosphere in Oharai Machi. Between Jingukaikan Mae（神宮会館前） Bus Stop and Naiku this stretch of shops and restaurants retains a real historical feel. The restaurants on the left offer a nice view over Isuzu River. Half way up the road on the right is Okage Yokochou, a relatively new addition, it offers more eateries and a variety of souvenir shops. The best time to visit is in the weekend. Often you can enjoy a free performance such as a Taiko(Japanese Drumming). Avoid this area in the weeks after New Year. The massive crowds of people visiting Naiku make it hard to enjoy. If you go in the height of summer take your swimwear and you can enjoy a dip in Isuzu river. Swimming above the stonework near the bridge is strictly prohibited but swimming in the deeper spot adjacent to the car park is fine. Not many people swim there, mostly local school kids, but the water is clean and clear, take your goggles for a good view of the massive carp.
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The local specialty is Japanese spiny lobster, known as Ise-ebi (伊勢海老, lit. "Ise shrimp") in Japanese. Fresh lobster sashimi in particular is sublime, but as you might expect such pleasures don't come cheap.
Other local specialities include Ise udon, a very simple dish of thick noodles in a strong flavoured sauce, garnished with spring onion. It can be ordered from the restaurants around Naiku for 300-400 yen.
Those with a sweet tooth will enjoy akafuku (赤福）, a mochi rice cake wrapped in red bean jam. With complimentary green tea akafuku costs 280yen (for three) at stalls around Naiku. You can also buy it boxed at the main stations, Iseshi Station and Ujiyamada Station.
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 Get out