Ise-shi is the main gateway to the Shima Peninsula. Upon arriving at Ise-shi station, walk along the main avenue towards Outer Shrine.
The Outer Shrine has many buildings spread within a forest covering almost 90 hectares. Dedicated to industry, food, clothing, and shelter, its history dates back some 1500 years.
Buses take visitors from the Outer Shrine to the Inner Shrine across town. However, it is also possible to take the train if you have the pass, but it will require a lot more walking to/from the stations. Before hopping on the train, I decided to try out a local snack to refuel.
Get off at Isuzugawa station and walk a good 20 minutes or so to reach the Inner Shrine's market street.
Like most major temples in Japan, there is a market street leading to the grounds. Although the rest of town looked empty, this street was bustling with activity.
Akafuku mochi has a history of 300 years. It was first served in 1707 at a tea house to visitors of the shrine. The mochi is made of sweet bean paste and its shape resembles the local river.
There is no shortage of food snacks here. Shop-keepers are kind to remind you of the expiry date as some need to be eaten within days of purchase.
The Inner Shrine has been worshipped by the imperial family for some 2000 years and is believed to be the country's guardian. Similar to the Outer Shrine, the various buildings are scattered around the forest.
Back outside past the bridge into the shrine, look for the bus station on the main street 1 block further out from the market street. Buses leave from there to the coast.
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