Tag Archives: Shintoism

Ise-Shima National Park Natural Beauty and Mythic World

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( Photo by (c) Association of Ise-Shima National Park)


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( Photo by (c) The city of Shima)


The large building is the hotel with tradition to host the G7 summit conference. It is located in the Kashikoshima Island which is accessible with only two bridges. It means measures for security are well considered.


The Ise-Shima National Park will play host to the 42nd G7 summit in 2016. Frankly speaking, I am a little worried, but please, don’t get the wrong idea. It doesn’t mean political uncertainty or security. This National park is too attractive for press corps to concentrate on their tasks. It is true that this area has been less famous tourist spot than Tokyo or Kyoto. All the more reason, news reporters can be enchanted by the unexpected beauty of nature and the magnificence of Japanese myth.

For example, French or Italian reporters who play their cards well in the field of love would be absorbed in selecting brilliant cultured pearls for their loved one. Americans who have much curiosity about anything would be fascinated with pressing a camera shutter button at the Ise Grand Shrine.

Will media workers buckle down to work when they visit the venue?

In the first place, I want you to make a promise to me that you remember your jobs are first.

OK! So I introduce the Ise-Shima National park blessed with nature and myth.


Begin Your Trip from Calm and Peaceful Bay!


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( Photo by (c) 2011 Ise City Tourist Association. All Rights Reserved.)


The southernmost terminal station of the Kintetsu line in orange is Kashikoshima which has the hotel to hold the G7 summit conference.


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Public Domain


Enlarged map of Ago Bay


This national park to host the summit is easily accessible from big city areas such as Osaka, Nagoya and Kyoto by train. The whole area of Shima peninsula in Mie Prefecture is designated as a national park. The northern area called Ise region has the Grand Shrine of Ise which is the most venerable in Japan. The southern area called Shima region features rias Ago Bay which is famous for cultured pearls. An island in red in the map above is Kashikojima in which the Shima Kanko Hotel Classic is selected as the summit conference hall. The views created by many small islands and coves are breath-taking beauty. How wonderful the contrast between green and blue is! Politicians who could not be a top government leader probably would think that “I wish I attended the summit” because of looking at the beautiful scenery.


The Birthplace of Mikimoto Pearls


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( Photo by (c) Photo AC)


Taking advantage of the deeply-indented coastlines, the industry of cultured pearls has been developed. There are something like matchsticks in Image 1 and 2 which is numerous culturing rafts. Pearls are described as tears of a mermaid. They had been prized as priceless jewel before the culturing technology was invented. Pearl necklaces beading many and expensive pearls used to be exclusive jewelry goods for ladies in an upper class. It is because one natural pearl can be obtained out of ten thousand pearl oysters which are furthermore required skin diving to pick. It is no wonder that natural pearls ranked with diamond in old days.


Then a Japanese had great ambitions that “For necks of ladies all over the world with beautiful pearls!” In other words, these beautiful but expensive pearls would be much easier available to common people by developing pearl culturing technology.

His name is Kokichi Mikimoto who is the founder of the world-famous Mikimoto Pearls! He succeeded brilliantly in the development of cultured pearls in calm island coast facing the Pacific Ocean.


This national park which is the birthplace of Mikimoto Pearl has a unique sightseeing spot named “Pearl Island Mikimoto” whose whole area can be worth naming “Pearl Theme Park”.


It features the Pearl Museum housing a collection of various pearl jewelry art works and a memorial hall of the founder. Particularly, you are sure to be attracted by the show of female divers called “ama” who was absolutely necessary for picking up cultured pearls in old days. They hand down the skills to the next generation as a kind of a cultural asset. This island seems to be full of the World brand Mikimoto.



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( Photo by (c) Mikimoto Pearl Island Co,Ltd.)


Cute female divers!


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( Photo by (c) Mikimoto Pearl Island Co.Ltd.)


Collection of Mikimoto Pearl Museum


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( Photo by (c) Mikimoto Pearl Island Co,Ltd.)

08_Mikimoro Pearl CrownⅠ

Mikimoro Pearl CrownⅠ

872 pearls, 188 diamonds, and 700g (21oz) gold bullion


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( Photo by (c) Mikimoto Pearl Island Co,Ltd.)

09_Mikimoro Pearl CrownⅡ

Mikimoro Pearl CrownⅡ

A 0.6 inch pearl and 795 Standard pearls, 17 diamonds, and 950g (33.5oz) gold bullion



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( Photo by (c) Mikimoto Pearl Island Co,Ltd.)


Sash Clip Yaguruma

Platinum, 18-karat white gold, cultured pearls, diamonds, and emerald


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( Photo by (c) Mikimoto Pearl Island Co,Ltd.)


Sash Clip Cherry blossom

15-karat gold base, platinum surface and diamonds


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( Photo by (c) Mikimoto Pearl Island Co,Ltd.)


Mikimoto Five Storied Pagoda

12,760 pearls


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( Photo by (c) Mikimoto Pearl Island Co,Ltd.)

13_Liberty Bell

Liberty Bell exhibited at the New York Expo in 1939

12250 pearls and 366 diamonds



The Grand Shrine of Ise: World of Japanese Myth


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Uji-Bashi Bridge



Crossing the bridge named “Uji-Bashi” takes you to the field of deities. Since the foundation two thousand years ago, the magnificent atmosphere has never been changed. This Grand Shrine, the most venerable one in Japan, enshrines the Amaterasu of the Sun Goddess who is a legendary ancestor of today’s Japanese Imperial Family. She is worshiped as the most supreme deity in Japan.

The Grand has the Inner and Outer shrines whose distance is about 5km (3 miles) and consists of as many as 125 shrines, small and large. The Grand Shrine of Ise is all-inclusive term of those. The whole area of only the Inner is about 5,000ha (12,300 acres) which afford enough space of 1,300 big ballparks. When you enter the Inner by crossing the bridge above mentioned, you have to walk for an hour to a main sanctuary. However, don’t worry! You will be never tired thanks to numerous traditional-style shrines with mythic atmosphere and huge ancient trees.

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Main Sanctuary


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Map of Naiku (Link to English version)


Vicennial “Rejuvenation” Ceremony


The main sanctuary is designed for ancient “raised floor warehouse” storing rice. It is made of lumber in white of Japanese cypress and the roof is just thatched. It is so modest. As the years pass, it will be naturally decayed into soil. Contrary to nature’s laws, this main sanctuary seems new-built. And no little wonder. The Grand Shrine has the important tradition named “Shikinen-Sengu” which I translate into the “Rejuvenation” Ceremony in order to rebuild nearly 100 wooden architectural structures including the Main Sanctuary and Uji-bashi Bridge all together once in every 20 years.

It must surprise you from countries where there are many stone houses. And you would also think it is a waste. However, the old surface of scrap wood is shaved into wood in white and the lumber is handed down to other shrines for recycle.

In terms of preventing the traditional technique from being extinct, 20 years are the ideal term to train carpenters specializing in shines or temples.

The first “Rejuvenation” Ceremony” was held in 690 AD and has been conducted in 62 times although, in some cases, ceremonies were suspended because of warfare. The latest one was held in 2013.

The ceremony of keeping “youthful” appearance since ancient time is distinctive characteristics of Japan which is blessed with nature’s bounty.



A Recommendable Phot Spot of Top Leaders at the Summit


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I took this image at E Futami Ise, Mie Pref., Japan.

Married couple rocks and the sunrise from faraway Mt. Fuji



These two rocks are named “Myoto-iwa” or married couple rocks which associate with a loving husband and wife. So I have a suggestion. How about selecting a photographing location of taken commemorative photos of national leaders. I think there would be various and complex issues in diplomacy. If that is the case, it is a good idea to send to the world the message that people make nice with each other like the couple rocks. What? You live a cat-and-dog life! But it is OK to end a slanging match unless your wife or husband launches a missile at you!



My heartfelt thanks to the Photos offered by

(Photo by (c) Association of Ise-Shima National Park)

(Photo by (c) 2011 Ise City Tourist Association. All Rights Reserved.)

(Photo by (c) The city of Shima)

(Photo by (c) Mikimoto Pearl Island Co,Ltd)

in alphabetical order.