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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

Nature

Ago Bay 英虞湾

Emerald islands dot a sapphire sea, rich with pearls

Ago Bay, situated southeast of Ise Grand Shrine, draws visitors with its majestic meandering coast, rich with verdant islands and peninsulas.

Don't Miss

  • Visit an Ama Diver's hut and enjoy a seafood feast with these feisty female divers
  • See where beautiful pearl jewelry comes from
  • Enjoy breathtaking views of the jewel-like coastline

Quick Facts

There are around 60 islands in the bay

The G7 Summit was held here in 2016

How to Get There

Ago Bay is accessible by train.

The only rail link in the area is Kashikojima Station, the last stop on the Kintetsu Ise Shima Line. The journey on Kintetsu lines takes about one hour from Iseshi, two hours from Nagoya, and two hours 30 minutes from Osaka-Namba.

Spanish influence

To make a grand entrance into Ago Bay, ride the Esperanza, a Spanish pirate ship, on the Kashikojima Espana Cruise.

Why is a Spanish galleon here? Mie Prefecture has a sister state relationship with the Spanish region of Valencia, and the first European vessels to visit the area were said to look somewhat like the Esperanza.

Pearl culture

Pearls are another important part of Ago Bay's history and culture. In 1892, local pearl farmer and merchant Kokichi Mikimoto invented a way to culture perfectly round pearls here.

A ride on the Esperanza includes a visit to a pearl factory.

A mountaintop view

For a wider view of the bay and its 60-something small islands, head to the Yokoyama Observation Deck. If you don't have a car, you can take a taxi for 10 minutes from Kintetsu Ugata Station or walk 40 minutes from Kintetsu Shima-Yokoyama Station.

Legendary divers

The bay is famous for Ama Divers, women who free-dive for abalone, sea urchins, and pearls. Women are believed to have better stamina for deep divin,g and though there are only a handful of traditional divers left, you can visit their bay-side huts and enjoy a fresh seafood meal.

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