While there’s plenty to see in Kyoto, it’s also nice to get out of the city and explore the Kansai region to find new experiences and sights. With only just a short train ride, you can arrive in a city or region that offers culture, food, architecture, and history that are wildly different than in Kyoto. For example, anyone in Kyoto for more than a few days should add a trip to Nara to their itinerary to get a feel for another side of the region. Visitors from large countries like America often comment that you don’t have to go very far in Japan to find yourself in what feels like a whole other part of the country. Things aren’t so spread out here!
Since I’m always looking to explore new area of Japan, I took a trip to Ise in Mie Prefecture recently to experience another side of central Japan. It was an enjoyable trip to a charming destination that remains under the radar of many foreign visitors. However, Japanese have been making it a point to come to Ise for millennia. Housing the shrine containing the sun goddess Amaterasu, Ise remains an important pilgrimage spot to this day.