Japan 2015 - Ise, Toba & Ousatsu.

It is day five of the trip and I have made it to Kyoto. The last two days were spent in the cities of Ise and Toba. They were somehow packed with surprises. Good surprises!

Ise is a small town, home to two very important sanctuaries in Japan. Naiku and Geku (these are the short names) were stablished 2000 and 1500 years ago, respectively. I managed to visit Geku, or Ise Jingu, a very beautiful and peaceful place located near the city of Ise (Iseshi).

The other nice thing about Ise was the "izakaya", which are tinny bars where you can also have small meals, most of the time cooked by the owner and right in front of you. The food is great and tastes like home cocking.

Toba looked very different. The part I saw was set up for domestic tourism. From the train station, tourists walk past a dozen small restaurants selling crayfish, abalone, crabs and another dozen types of shellfish that I could not name. They head to the Pearl Bridge. The bridge takes them to a pearl farm where, apparently, pearls were successfully cultivated for the first time. And yes, they have an Ama-san show on the island.

Then, there was Ousatsu, a 40 min bus ride from Toba. In Ousatsu, and I never new about that place until a couple of days ago, I was introduced to the women divers of Japan.

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