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Ise-Shima

Ise-Shima National Park, feels like a sacred place and is home to some of Japan's most ancient and revered Shinto shrines. The Kuroshio Current blesses the area with warm waters and a balmy climate, and the cliffs, caves, sandy beaches and islands along the coastline are home to cormorants, ospreys and turtles.

The heart of the area is Ise Jingu, a complex of 125 jinja (Shinto shrines) with a history stretching back 2,000 years. The shrine is dedicated to the worship of Amaterasu Omikami, the mythical sun deity. Guided tours can tell you more about the ancient architectural style of the Naiku (Kotaijingu) and the Geku (Toyo'uke-daijingu), as well as the traditional food and crafts of Oharaimachi, the street lined by attractive wooden buildings along the approach to the Naiku.
  
The Isuzu River flows to the inner shrine, while Kyuikirin, a sacred forest, stretches up into the mountains from the inner shrine. These wooded slopes provide some of the timber for rebuilding the shrine, which occurs every 20 years.
  
Further east is Mount Asama, Ise-Shima National Park's highest peak (555 m). From the viewpoint here, you can look across the glittering waters of Ise Bay toward Mount Fuji.

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