From Mie Guidebook
Tamaki (玉城町 : Tamaki-chō) is a fairly small town with a population of around 15,000. It is to the west is Matsusaka, to the east is Ise, and to the north is Meiwa.
Tamaki in Japanese
As the 「玉」 usually means "ball-shaped", it literally could be said to mean "Round Castle", however in the case of certain names the 「玉」 kanji can take on the meaning of "beautiful" or "glorious", and so a more accurate translation would be "Glorious Castle" - without a doubt a reference to Tamaru Castle which once stood in the main part of town.
Tamaki is known for its old castle, now in ruins. The castle was once an important base used in controlling the surrounding area - including access to Ise Grand Shrine.
- Tamaru (田丸) Station
- On the JR Sangū Line. Normally only locals stop here, however in the mornings and evenings the Mie Rapid (running between Nagoya and Ise or Toba) will stop here
Things to See
- Tamaru Castle (田丸城 tamaru-jō)
- Once stood in town. The site of the old castle is now a park that is full of cherry blossoms in the spring.
- There are a persimmon trees, nurseries and vegetable fields growing daikon, cabbage and more. There are many forests which have been designated as wildlife protection areas.
- Nonakaya (野中屋) map
- A very well known sweets shop located near the railway crossing in the centre of town, a block east of the town hall. Excellent selection of sembei, small cakes, mochi, cookies, etc. Great place to buy a nice gift for someone, or a treat for yourself.
- Agri (アグリ) map
- A fresh produce shop located in the Aspia Tamaki (アスピア玉城) complex in the Hara area of town, Agri has fruits and vegetables, flowers, fresh bread, and famous Tamaki pork (cutlets, sausages, etc).
Food and Drink
Supermarkets and Kombini
Restaurants and Cafes
- Satsuma Ramen (さつまラーメン) - Sata
- A small ramen shop located in east Tamaki between the railway crossing and Route 13, in the area town called Sata (佐田). They make a variety of flavours, and the staff are very friendly to foreigners.
- Isshin (一心) - Sata
- Sushi bar located on Route 13 across from the Family Mart in the area of town called Sata (佐田). You can sit at the counter or in a private room. Large rooms are also available upstairs for parties and larger groups. Isshin is not overly formal, but the food and service are very good. Prices are not unreasonable.
- Manmaru (満丸)
- Located on Sunny Road between Rt 13 and Rt 37, very near the community sports centre. Small restaurant, but good food and service.
- Moccori Cafe map
- Located north of the community sports centre, and a few blocks east of the Mini Stop convenience store on Sunny Road . Clean and bright, they offer light food and beverages. The restaurant's name means "small hill" and has a slight sexual nuance, so expect smiles when you tell people that you went there.
- Country House (カントリーハウス) map
- Located on Sunny Road across from Matsushita Denki and kitty corner to the lake, just north of the highway entrance . They're famous for their ebi fry, and the "ebi fry set" will leave you absolutely stuffed!
- McDonald's map
- Located in the north part of town on Rt 37 in front of GEO. It's about a 10-15 minute bike ride from the centre of town.
Izakaya and Bars
Recreation and Entertainment
- Cherry Blossom Festival
- In the field at the base of the castle, usually in the first week of April. Tamaru Castle is lit-up with red and white lanterns. You can sit beneath the cherry blossoms there and enjoy drinking and eating.
- Summer Festival
- In the field at the base of the castle, usually in the first week of August. There's entertainment, prizes, food and drink stalls, and a small fireworks display.
- Tamaki Karate Club
- Goju Ryu style karate, practicing on Thursdays from 7-9 pm in the gym behind the BOE, and on Sunday mornings from 9:30 to 11:30 at Tamaru Elementary School in the centre of town. Members are mostly kids, but there are some regular adult members. The club is very foreigner friendly. Instruction is in Japanese, but some of the teachers speak English fairly well. Talk to Tamaki BOE for details, or stop by the dojo on practice nights.