My second day trip out of the city of Nagoya would take me down to Ise Shima, where I’d be visiting the famous Shinto shrines in the city of Ise. My JR pass covered part of the train ride to Ise but I had to pay 520 yen because at one point the train used non-JR tracks. The train brought me to Ise-shi Station and from there I walked for about ten minutes until I reached the entrance of Ise’s Outer Shrine.
The Outer Ise Shrine was founded about 1,500 years ago and its main sanctuary enshrines Toyouke Omikami, the Shinto deity of food, clothing, and housing. Normally visitors are allowed to go through the outermost of the fences surrounding the main sanctuary but the entry gate was covered in scaffolding and no one was able to enter on the day I visited the Outer Shrine. Although the main sanctuary is the primary attraction of the Outer Shrine there are also a few smaller shrine buildings that house the spirits of other Shinto deities nearby it. Every 20 years the buildings of the shrine are rebuilt and the next scheduled reconstruction will be in 2033. Near the entrance to the Outer Shrine is a museum that details the rebuilding process and houses a replica of the shrine’s main sanctuary, but be aware that photography is prohibited inside the museum. Some people skip over the Outer Shrine and head straight to the Inner Shrine but I’d personally recommend visiting the Outer Shrine first in order to get the full experience when visiting Ise.