Basho's ancient birthplace is pure poetry
The first signs of human habitation on Mie can be traced back 10,000 years and that’s only one of this ancient prefecture’s historical claims to fame.
The birthplace of national poet Basho Matsuo, home of one of Japan’s oldest and most sacred shrines, and part of the ancient Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route, Mie is Japan’s secret storybook.
Discover the origins of ninja in Iga, centuries of pearl-diving tradition in Toba, and 400 years of rice terraces at Maruyama Senmaida.
Mie is situated in the center of Japan’s main island Honshu, on the Kii-hanto peninsula facing the Pacific Ocean. More than one third of the prefecture is made up of national parks; its craggy mountains, misty forests, and waterfalls were ideal for ninja training which you can still experience today in Akame and nearby Iga.
Iga (commonly referred to as Iga Ueno) also has a number of memorials dedicated to the poet Basho, including a museum and his birth house maintained in its original state.
Ise Jingu (Ise Grand Shrine) is by far Mie’s most famous attraction, encompassing nearly one-fifth of the picturesque coastal city of Ise. It’s an important temple complex to see and experience, dating back to the 3rd century.
A Guide to Hiking the Kumano Kodo Iseji Route in Mie, Japan
In the Toba and Shima areas, you can see traditional female ama (freedivers) at work. Historically, the ama dived for pearls, holding their breath for long periods and using special techniques to propel themselves to and from the seabed.
Remote Maruyama Senmaida is one of Japan’s most beautifully preserved rice paddy terraces, and a gorgeous place to view the sunset.