Ise Jingu (Ise Grand Shrine) is at the seat of Japanese religion and spirituality. Explore beyond Ise Jingu and you will find a striking coast—at times a haven of rolling sands, at others buzzing with activity—local fishermen going about their time-honored practices and the fruits of their efforts that are yours to enjoy. Read more about Ise-Shima National Park.
Ise-Shima National Park, like all of Japan's national parks, has no entrance fees, no opening and closing hours, and no permit is required to enter or stay in the park. The national parks of Japan differ from national parks worldwide in that the land within the national parks is not exclusively designated for national park use and is made up of private property as well as public and protected areas. Visitors are free to enter and leave at any time.
Ise-Shima National Park is on a peninsula stretching out into the sea in southern Mie Prefecture. There are numerous inlets, roughly 60 small and large islands and a network of pearl culturing rafts in Ise-Shima’s Ago Bay.
The coastal area of Ise-Shima National Park faces the Pacific Ocean, with rugged cliffs carved by the waves and sandy beaches where sea turtles come ashore to lay eggs. Fishing villages rich in history and culture exist nearly unchanged and produce delectable seafood.
The land on the coast of the Shima Peninsula has been reshaped repeatedly over time. A complex ria coastline of capes and inlets has been created by seawater entering the areas that were previously rivers and valleys.
The Ria Coast in Ise-Shima National Park is made up of small bays such as Ago Bay, Matoya Bay and Gokasho Bay, and many large and small islands. The karst landscape on Kamishima Island is a unique landform created by the erosion of limestone by rainwater and groundwater.
Yokoyama Observatory commands a panoramic view of Ago Bay, famous for pearl cultivation. Look out at the intricately carved inlets of the ria coastline and the pearl-harvesting rafts on the water.
This area along the Pacific Ocean provides insight into a way of living that is in harmony with nature. This walking trail extends from Cape Anorisaki to Cape Mugisaki, with stops at lighthouses, beaches and ancient burial mounds along the way.
The south of Koushirahama is the Ago-no-Matsubara Beach, famous for its beautiful stretch of sandy seashore dotted with pine trees. Ruins and ancient burial mounds dot the route from Kouka to Azena. Loggerhead turtles spawn on the stretch of sandy beach, and locals are heavily engaged in conservation efforts.
Nearly 1,300 years ago, timber used for builing Ise Jingu began to be sourced from this forest. So far, about 850 species of flora have been confirmed here. Ongoing silvicultural management not only maintains the rich forest ecosystems for living creatures but also plays a role in preventing floods and other natural disasters.