Travel Reports

My Journey: Discovering Mie Prefecture

By Ria Anastasya Wulandari. Posted on March 1, 2013

February 16th, 2013

This was the first time I had gone on a trip since I came to Japan. I was looking forward to the trip, since I had been chosen to be a trip ambassador for the trip in Mie. I arrived at the Golden Clock at Nagoya Station at 8:30 am. Our tour guide and attendants were there, and after a few minutes Ellen and Jason came. We headed to Mie Prefecture by Kintetsu Train, and my trip partner told me that only for that day it’d be really cold, about 5 degrees Celsius! I was surprised - it was supposed to be warmer than Nagoya since we were going south! Afterwards, it snowed. But that didn’t diminish our excitement for the trip.

First, all of us headed to Ise Jingu. It is a Shinto shrine where Amaterasu Omikami, a goddess of the Shinto religion, dwells. Every 20 years, the main shrine moves to another shrine, and this October the main shrine will be moving, so it was really crowded.

Afterwards, we visited Okage Yokocho, which is designed just like in the Edo era: ancient and unique.

There, we ate super-delicious tempura for lunch and watched an ancient anime performance called kamishibai, but the one that really caught my attention was the taiko performance! It was traditional drum performance dedicated to Amaterasu Omikami, and it was extremely awesome!
I didn’t even realize that my mouth was open because I was too fascinated by it!

After lunch, Ellen left us and headed to Dolphin Island, while Jason and I headed to Ise Azuchi Momoyama Bunkamura. We visited the castle and saw many wax figures of Oda Nobunaga. My trip partner kindly told me the story of Oda Nobunaga and Japan’s civil war. She showed me wax figures of Nobunaga being attacked by his own subordinate. It was really awesome, because the room also had sound effects, making the place perfect!

Afterwards, we visited the haunted house, and I couldn’t help laughing at the “Bijin na Obake, the Beautiful Ghost” who kept saying “Konnichi wa” to the other ghost. But the funny thing was that I couldn’t keep my balance and stand up at Ninja House, because the floor was sloped. Everybody could see how easily I fall down.

At Ise Azuchi Momoyama Bunkamura, the most exciting thing was meeting ninja and samurai!
We talked using old Japanese like “de gozaru,” and they say “500 ryo” instead of “500 yen.”
They even kneel down just like the real samurai, and they have real topknots! That was really interesting. At last, I made my dream to meet ninja and samurai come true.

I was really so sad to leave Ise Azuchi Momoyama Bunkamura, but we had to go to Nemu no Sato Hotel and Resort.

The staff welcomed us very warmly, and we had a buffet-style dinner together in the dining area.
The food was really delicious! I ate Ise udon, a famous type of udon from Mie Prefecture.

We talked about many things, such as our goals, why three of us chose to go to Japan, and about Nemu no Sato itself. I was surprised when they told me that the rooms we stayed in were standard rooms! The rooms were so big and had tatami rooms!

This hotel and resort was fantastic! It had its own onsen, music studio, a port and many other facilities.

I also loved the scenery of Ago Bay near Nemu no Sato, which was so quiet and calm. It was really great to spend time there relaxing my mind and body. The most surprising thing was that Nemu no Sato Hotel and Resort is 62 times bigger than Tokyo Dome! It’s really worth visiting!

February 17th, 2013

The next day, our next destination was Mikimoto Pearl Island (Shinju Shima). It’s not an ordinary museum. This museum has a history. The founder, Kokichi Mikimoto, was born to an udon noodle restaurant family, but he had strong determination. He tried and tried his best to find a method of making round cultured pearls. At last, he achieved this, and many people came from overseas to learn this methods from him. He was really a genius! I watched an anime that told the story about Kokichi Mikimoto.

At the museum, I saw a miniature castle and globe that were made with pearls, and they were so beautiful and artistic!

After visiting many places and having a great time, we ate lunch. The lunch was so delicious!
Eating lunch while enjoying the Toba Bay scenery was so relaxing!

At the Pearl Museum garden, there is the “Rabu Rabu No Ishi” - a heart-shaped stone. The museum staff said that it’s quite well-known.

This museum also displays the biggest pearl in the world, and has woman divers called “Amasan” who give diving performances! Wow! I really enjoyed sightseeing at the Pearl Museum!

Afterwards, we headed to the Toba Aquarium. I learned many things about sea animals and enjoyed watching them. There was a finless porpoise that was beautiful and always kept smiling.
She wouldn’t let us take pictures of her. But whenever my male trip partner wanted to take pictures, she struck poses! Can you believe that? I think she really likes him!
At the Toba Aquarium, there was also a sea lion called Nana who gave a performance at the aquarium! The performance was wonderful, and I hope I can see her again.

Ellen said that Toba Aquarium is one of the best aquariums she had ever visited. There are many wonderful animals there. There are animals who can go without eating for several years, beautiful blue fish, and so much more. You can enjoy seeing them all at the Toba Aquarium.
Unfortunately, our trip had ended, and we had to come back to Nagoya.

We took a train from Toba Station to Nagoya Station. We had Akafuku in the train and felt a bit sad because we had to leave Mie. Mie Prefecture is really amazing. It should be your first choice for traveling abroad.

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Ria Anastasya Wulandari

Ria Anastasya Wulandari is a student of Nagoya Fukutoku Japanese Academy. She enjoys watching anime and reading manga—that’s why she loves Japan’s culture and its language. She comes from Sinjai, Indonesia, and now she lives in Nagoya, Japan.

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