From Mie Guidebook
Minami Ise (南伊勢町 Minamiise-chō) is a rural fishing town in eastern Mie with a declining population of about 17,600. The area is actually a combination of two even smaller towns (Nansei and Nantō) that have been combined to form a larger but still very rural town.
"Minami Ise" wins the competition of most uncreative name in Mie. It means "South Ise" - the municipality immediately south of Ise. This name is relatively new and was chosen at the time of the Nansei/Nantō merger in 2005.
Minami Ise has the following
- old men and woman.
- bars with sketchy food.
- amazing sashimi.
- slugs, mice, hawks, wild boar, all sorts of fish and squid, monkeys, crabs, deer, beetles, spiders the size of your head, meter long snakes (none of this is a joke And yeah, those crazy motherfuckers with all the legs and the pinchers more commonly known as mukade -- Minami Ise will give you a rich sampling of local wildlife
- sakura trees.
- summer homes.
- beautiful vistas.
- beautiful bridges.
- bus stops.
- chinese workers.
- fishery researchers.
- fishermen and fish farms.
- rice paddies.
- hot dudes.
- long roads to nowhere.
- roads that oscillate between deadly games of cat and mouse with oncoming traffic, curves, mountains, and valleys, and highway quality tunnels, lanes, and flat, smooth pavement.
- rock slides.
- local cuisine.
- old men smoking in the grocery stores.
- a 200 second stop light.
- a 200 second stop light that turns off after 11pm, forcing you to play a deadly game of chicken with giant trucks.
- time... plenty of time...
Minami Ise lacks the following
- shopping malls.
- nationwide banks.
- a konbini outside of the Nansei section.
- quick and easy physical access to the outside world.
- bars with normal food.
- trains, period.
- shortcuts, unless you consider Tsuruge Toge between Ise Shrine and Gokaso a "shortcut."
- stores that stay open late.
- intelligable english.
- a long straight stretch of road.
Minami Ise is home to 3 ALT JETs.
Minamiise is approximately fourty-five minutes to an hour from Ise. For those traveling into Minamiise, coming by car will be the most convenient method of transportation. While there aren't many convenience stores, there are many roadside maps that may or may not aide you when traveling through. The major road that cuts through the town is Route 260, and much of this road is well paved and cared for.
For those that are residing in Minamiise, you will probably find that having a car is not a luxury, but a necessity. Given that the area is quite removed from larger cities, shopping centers, train stations, etc., having a car to reach these places is often a must as the town's public transportation is limited. Also, it should be kept in mind that traveling by car from one end of the town to the other lengthwise takes around an hour.
Buses can take you to Ise but they are slow, run infrequently, and stop running rather early in the day. The buses that run in the town are also slow, infrequent and stop running early in the day. . . however, they exist and can be used if necessary. Prices vary depending on the distance traveled.(Payment Schedule).
Links to the Minamiise Bus Timetables ('All links are Japanese only') :
- Nansei Bus Schedule
- Nantou Bus Schedule
- Mie Kotsu/SANCO Search Website (For Ise <--> Minamiise Bus Schedule)
Things to See
Twisting roads, scenic cliff side views and hordes of wildlife you thought only existed in H.R. Giger's casual day dreams.
Minamiise is also a part of the massive Ise-Shima National Park. Below are some notable areas that may be of interest.
- 伊勢路神地谷の七つ滝 (Nansei's 'Akame' Waterfalls)
- 東宮不動の滝 (Togūfudō Waterfalls)
- 龍仙山 (Ryūsenzan)
- ボラ番小屋 (Bora Lookout)
(All Links are to Japanese sites)
Events and Festivals
There are various local celebrations throughout the year as well as special events organized by town officials.
As far as large festivals go, the biggest is the Ebi Marsuri held every summer in Hamajima (techinically part of Shima), that many people from the Nansei area take part in.
Banking is limited to Hyakugo Bank and JA.
All civil services are administered at the Nansei and Nantō town offices respectively.
Minami Ise is home to a few small grocery stores. Two are in Nansei and the rest are in Nantō.
- Gyuutora - Nansei
- Directly in front of the entrance to Nansei Junior High School, this grocery store has most of your basic needs covered. There is also a small pharmacy and household goods store (inside) and a dry cleaner (located on the front right side of the building). Also, be sure to check out the 'おおきな' section in the front of the store that sells local products.
- Shufunomise (Alpha) - Nansei
- Between the Gokasho 105 Bank and Post Office. This grocery store has a smaller selection than Gyutora but is centrally located in Gokasho-Ura.
- Alpha - Nantō
- Near Naya, directly across the street from the hospital.
- Kotobuki - Nantō
- Multiple locations, one near the town office in Nantō. Smaller selection than the larger stores but good for basics. Also has a surprisingly large variety of bentō and prepared foods.
Specality Food Stores
- 牛清 (Gyūsei) - Gokasho-Ura, Nansei
- A local butcher shop that sells only high quality Japanese beef and really good bento boxes made fresh at an affordable price. Located next to Shufunomise and closed on Tuesdays.
Convenience Stores (コンビニ)
Minami Ise is home to two convenience stores and a host of other smaller establishments. There are also several convenience stores on the outskirts of town in all directions.
These are some of the more confidently located stores.
- Circle K (サークルK)
- Family Mart (ファマリーマート)
- There is only one Family Mark, and it's in Funakoshi.
- Nakanishi Denki
- Located in Gokasho, the shopowners are very friendly and will often help you find the lowest price they can on household appliances. (Japanese skills required.)
- Sakurayama Garage
- Located accross from Nakanishi Denki, with friendly, professional service and reasonable prices, there is little reason not to use this local shop. (Again, Japanese skills required.)
- Only a quick 20-30 minute drive from Gokasho, Shima offers a wide range of shops and chain stores that complement local offerings and provide a wider selection of goods.
Food and Drink
- Noa (のあ)
- Located in Funakoshi, Noa is a local manga cafe with affordable and filling cuisine. The daily lunch special is always a recommendation, and it usually runs between ¥600 and ¥900. Unfortunately, their days off are literally at the wims of the shop keeper, so you'll never know if they are open or closed unless you go and see for yourself.
- Located in Gokasho, and while ostensibly a cafe, Five is widely known in the area for its delicious curry and fried shrimp. Although a little on the expensive side, the food is good and they run a special on their fried shrimp every Friday which makes the price more palatable.
- Closed on Thursdays.
- Located in Gokasho, it could easily be mistaken for a farm supply shop. Their specality is spaghetti.
- Rai-Rai Ken
- On the corner of Sunny Road and Kendou 260 across from the Gyutora and next to the Family Mart in Funakoshi, Rai Rai Ken serves up some yummy Japanese-Chinese cuisine and has been a staple of the area for quite a while.
- Rai-Rai (no connection to the previous shop)
- Located behind the Hyakugo Bank in Gokasho, this shop also specializes in Chinese style food, but their secret weapon is that they are open late. Most things on the menu are pretty good, but do yourself a favor and avoid the gozya.
- England (いんぐらんど)
- Off in remote Kansa down a narrow street with no guardrails next to a small stream with a precipetious drop (what's new), this small cafe offers a bang for your buck and some deliciousness on the side.
- Tamayama Shokudo (玉山食堂)
- A staple of the Gokasho area, they offer a few variants of ramen, some donburi, and sushi. Fairly priced and relatively quick.
- Maruuo Shokudo (丸魚食堂)
- Next to the Gyutora and across from Rai Rai Ken, this shop is known for its fish, and with good reason. Also, if you go fishing and catch something, you can bring it here and they will cook it for you, at a price of course.
- One of those sketchy bars mentioned earlier. Located below the Minamiise Town Hospital in Gokasho.
There are a few others, but they are mostly not worthy of mention or haven't been tried yet.
There are a few good restaurants scattered along Kokudo 260 throughout the Nanto Section. However, they are all local shops and their operating times vary.
Recreation and Entertainment
Minamiise is known for its fishing.
Hiking is also a possibility, especially if you don't mind being it being more of an off the beaten track experience. If that is the case it can be quite enjoyable and the views are worth it.
Swimming is possible in designated locations in the rivers and at specific beaches.
And, if you have some time and can read or listen to and understand Japanese, there are many stories such as this one.
|Northern Mie||Asahi • Inabe • Kameyama • Kawagoe • Kisosaki • Komono • Kuwana • Suzuka • Tōin • Yokkaichi|
|Central Mie||Matsusaka • Meiwa • Ōdai • Taiki • Taki • Tsu|
|Eastern Mie||Ise • Minami Ise • Shima • Tamaki • Toba • Watarai|
|Western Mie||Iga • Nabari|
|Southern Mie||Kihō • Kihoku • Kumano • Mihama • Owase|
|Top • About Mie • Life in Mie • Travel Guides • Learning • Teaching • JET Arrivals • Calendar • Returners • FAQ • SAQ • Help|