Japan Day 14 : The Beautiful Unknown City, Ise

February 16, 2013

I am a very historical person. I love learning about history and visit memorial & traditional places and although I am more interested with European History, I also respect Japanese Culture and History. I also learned their historical figures such as Nobunaga Oda, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Tokugawa Ieyasu, and such.. Despite that, one of my favorite dramas is called "JIN".. If you havent, I suggest you to watch it ^.^  It's a human drama that's set around Edo Period

So I dont want my trip to be only for shopping shopping and shopping, I want to visit other places as well. Shintaro-nii knew that I love JIN, so he said he'd bring me to ISE, in Mie prefecture.. Because he said Nobunaga Oda, the best historical character of Japan in my opinion, visited the Shrine in Ise before. And the view is very like my favorite drama. So this city would impress me

At first I was like, "What's there?"

Shin-nii "Just shrine, and sightseeing"

Me, "Meh, must be boring.." lol

I wanted to visit Kyoto instead but Shintaro-nii kinda insisted with Ise.. So I agreed la.. We stayed in Nagoya area, it's 1,5 hours drive from Ise. Maki-san's parents have house in Nagoya so we drove to Nagoya by car from Tokyo [took 5 hours] on Friday night, and went to Ise on Saturday

We planned to visit a few cities near Nagoya as we had free stays la lol

And here's it, Ise... :) 
One of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited. No.. probably, the best?

We visited none other than its Ise Grand Shrine that becomes like a small city, similar to what JIN drama offered to me! And I was speechless when I saw the traditional scenery

So let's enter the area of Ise Grand Shrine~!

Upon arriving, Shintaro-nii and Maki-san brought me to eat the traditional food from Ise. It's oyatsu [snack] that goes well with Ocha [Green tea], and it's mochi covered with anko[red bean paste]

The anko is shaped very beautifully and it's 300 yen per set, for 3 mochi with ocha..

Yes, I only put my lenses and BB Cream lol I didn't bother with other make up because I want to go with natural look in natural area.. Also somehow to proof that not every one who put heavy make up are not confident about their bare face.. I am happy with my face and not afraid to show it. I just think I look better with make up XD

I kinda hate how people assume people with make up have low self-esteem duh.. 

But Shin-nii said I looked younger without make up lol and in fact, my face doesn't change that much, only bigger eyes -_-" 

The snack place was so crowded, in fact the Grand Shrine Area was very full of people because Ise Grand Shrine was re-built again every 20 years to make it look new again, and the year I came is the year. More over, it's after New Year therefore so many local tourists came..

While eating the mochi and sipping my ocha, I was presented by the beauty of Japan's nature. It looks very village-ish, but very neat and clean. The river flew nicely, and the wind came lightly. I sighed happily and said "I lived and worked for this" because I enjoyed the feeling very much lol

We then walked around the area that's full of shops and restaurants first. As I said, there were SO MANY people o_o

But Shintaro-nii told me, "you're probably the 1% foreigner here, and the only Indonesian"

Truthfully yes, I only saw 2/3 foreigners.. As this place is not known by foreigners, it's for Local Tourist. So I was very happy!! At least an Indonesian has come to this place once!! :D

See the crazy crowd? @____@

The sun was shining brightly although it's winter and has strong wind sometimes. You can even see the bokeh effect on some pictures <3

looked so chinese with small eyes on that pic lol
Cos it's too brighttttt

After walked around, we went to the real Ise Grand Shrine, that's the first gate. Inside there were some areas again

Ise Grand Shrine is said to be the holy place for every Shinto. Shinto is a religion in Japan that leads their everyday life style. They follow Sun as their God, and it's only Japanese that follows this religion. It is also mentioned that Oda Nobunaga paid a visit to Ise Grand Shrine to show respect to Japanese God, although he didn't believe in God. 

For every Japanese, Ise Grand Shrine is like Mekkah for Muslim, or Jerusalem for Christian. So that's how sacred this place is

The sakes that were provided for God! So manyyyy~! xD

They also had beautiful scenery such as this river bank where everyone threw coins to make a wish

The water was very clear and free from trashes!! They also spread net to catch the coin so they can collect it easily for God, very smart right!

Then we queued with everyone else to pray, the queue was very long and we had to climb stairs up a lot. I walked so much in Japan lol 

The forest was beautiful and cleaner than Korea. I bet Japan can be the candidate for the cleanest country in the world, everywhere is very clean, except Harajuku :x

Harajuku quite dirty one :x

From here i cannot take pictures because it's forbidden. Basically it's just throwing some coins, pray, bow, and see some priests and priest home. To show respect and behave as a good tourist, I should not do anything reckless :)

Respect the culture of the country you visit is a must as a tourist! 

As we were hungry, we went for lunch and they brought me to a place where they sold the traditional food that you couldn't get in any other places..

It's tuna-don [raw tuna on top of rice] and Ise Udon. This set looks very common but the sauce and taste are different ^.^ 

And I swear that this tuna-don is like THE TASTIEST tuna-don I have ever eaten in my whole life!!! And probably like one of the best food in Japan!! 

This is beyond heaven because it doesn't have fish scent at all, very soft and easy to chew, and taste very fresh OMG OMG OMG T___T

Told shintaro-nii that I would die to come to Ise again just to get this tuna-don cos it's so HEAVENLY~~!!!

The udon was delicious but defeated by the Tuna-don, i am sorry lol

A set costs me about 1200/1500 yen? That's like normal price in Japan.. When I first came to Japan I was afraid I couldn't eat anything as everything is so expensive ;___; but I had no choice, so I stopped converting everything to rupiah and just pay whatever decent amount for Japanese people

After all, Japan is very expensive.. I heard from Shintaro-nii, the only place where it can compete the price with Japan, or Tokyo to be exact, is New York -_-"

Even when I went to Australia, it wasn't as expensive as Japan. So prepare your budget if you want to have gourmet trip in Japan :(

After that we went around again to try foods and snacks, such as oyster tempura, and mitarashi dango, and such :D 

There was also an open hall where some traditional music performances played.. The crowd was massive and I felt traveling back to 500 years ago!

That's how they used to live, probably lol

Decided to walk around and sightseeing again~!

And that's the end of my trip to Ise Grand Shrine! This place offers much more than what I expected and became my top recommendation if you want to experience the real traditional Japan! 

You could feel that you became the Japanese for one day just by visiting this place, it is because it's so traditional and everyone surrounded you are local tourists.. If you have ever come to Japan, and possibly Nagoya-Kyoto-Osaka area, do visit Ise as it's near that place

It's like a jewel that's unknown by foreigners. Saved only for local people

I am truly blessed have come to this city and experience the beauty
I hope to come again one day <3

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