Japan's Regions: Mie 三重県
Mie Prefecture is located in the Kansai region of western Japan forming the eastern half of the Kii Peninsula. Mie Prefecture borders Aichi Prefecture, Wakayama Prefecture, Gifu Prefecture, Nara Prefecture, and Shiga Prefecture.
35% of the total land area of Mie Prefecture has been designated as Natural Parks. These include National Parks of Ise-Shima and Yoshino-Kumano. other protected land includes: Muro-Akame-Aoyama Quasi-National Park, Suzuka Quasi-National Park, Akame Ichishikyo Prefectural Natural Park, Ise-no-Umi Prefectural Natural Park, Kahadakyo Prefectural Natural Park, Okuise Miyagawakyo Prefectural Natural Park and Suigo Prefectural Natural Park.
Mie Prefecture's main cities and towns include the capital Tsu, with a population of around 279,000 inhabitants, Iga, Inabe Ise, Kameyama, Kumano, Kuwana, Matsusaka Nabari, Owase, Shima, Suzuka and Yokkaichi.
Mie has the typical weather patterns of central Honshu with hot, humid summers with temperatures in the prefecture usually topping 30 degrees Centigrade or more in July and August. The southern, coastal part of the prefecture has particularly high rainfall in the rainy season in June/July.
Mie Prefecture has a number of attractions as visitors are increasingly drawn to its beautiful mountains and coasts.
Iga, deep in the hills in the west of Mie Prefecture, is associated with the ninja and the haiku poet Basho, who was born here. Iga Castle, Iga-ryu Ninja Museum and the Haiseiden Poet's Memorial Hall make the effort to reach this remote town worthwhile.
Ise Jingu, Japan's most sacred shrine, is the standout attraction in Mie and attracts millions of visitors throughout the year.
Akame Shijuhataki is one of what are traditionally considered the "Top 48" waterfall areas in Japan (shijuha meaning "48").
Japan's most famous racetrack is located at Suzuka and is the venue for Formula One races.
Nagashima Spa Land is a popular amusement park near Kuwana with a giant 90m-tall Ferris wheel, several roller coasters, plus a fun water park in summer.
Yokkaichi is the largest city in Mie Prefecture in terms of population with over 300,000 inhabitants and is mainly industrial.
Yunokuchi Onsen is a "hidden hot spring." Hidden hot springs are springs that are in remote areas and whose visitors are mostly locals.
During the Edo Period, the area that now makes up Mie Prefecture was made of the provinces of Iga, Ise, Shima and part of Kii.
Ise Shrine is believed to date much further back in Japanese history to even the Yayoi Period, though the Asuka Period in the 7th century is more likely.
At the beginning of the Meiji Period the former Tokugawa provinces were shuffled and eventually became Mie Prefecture in 1876.
The Mie area suffered considerable damage and loss of life in the 1959 Ise-wan Typhoon. The 42nd G7 summit was held in Shima in 2016 with leaders being taken to visit Ise Shrine , which has strong associations with pre-World War II Japanese nationalism and the Emperor cult.
The nearest international airport to Mie is Chubu International Airport (Centrair) south of Nagoya.
The shinkansen bullet train does not stop in Mie Prefecture so visitors should change at JR Nagoya Station in Nagoya if arriving from Tokyo Station. JR and Kintetsu trains then connect Nagoya to Ise, Iga, Kuwana, Tsu, Toba, Matsusaka, Yokkaichi and the other main towns and cities in Mie.
From Kyoto Station there are Kintetsu Line trains to Ise via Yamatoyagi Station (approximately 2 hours, 20 minutes).
Matsusaka has overnight buses to Tokyo Station and from Ise there are connections to Omiya, Ikebukuro and Shinjuku.
The main highways running through Mie include National Highway 1 - the old Tokaido, the Higashi-Meihan Expressway, Ise Expressway, Ise Bayside Expressway and National Highway 23.
There are hydrofoil ferries from Tsu Port and Matsuzaka Port to Nagoya International Airport.
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