Wonderful Views And Great Local Food! A Trip To Ise-Toba From Centrair

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From Centrair Airport near Nagoya, travelers can head for Ise Shrine and Toba City by boat. In addition to the beautiful views offered by this area, you can enjoy excellent hot springs and delicious local food. Here's an account of this unique trip.

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Through Ise Bay, Mie Prefecture has access to the Pacific Ocean. In fact, sea routes have always played an important part in its history. Today, there are still ferry routes that connect Mie to the other areas.

The most famous sightseeing spot in Mie may be the Ise Shrine, but a visit to Toba Bay will add another lasting memory, both cultural and natural, of Mie.

This article introduces a two-day trip itinerary starting from Chubu Centrair International Airport (Centrair) using a high-speed boat to the Ise-Toba area, a trip that will reset your mind and body.

First Day
11:00 -- Boarding the Boat from Centrair

Did you know that Centrair is located alongside a port? Although there are trains to the Ise-Toba area through Nagoya, our tour starts from this port, boarding a high-speed boat run by the Tsu Airport Line.

A ticket that covers both the high-speed boat and the Mie Kotsu Express Bus is sold at the ticket counters in the airport, at the price of 3200 yen (one-way). For further information about the ticket, please take a look at this page.


Ticket Booths at Centrair:
A. Central Japan Travel Center (upper left hand photograph) - Second Floor Arrivals Lobby
B. Meitetsu Travel Plaza (lower left hand photograph) - Access Plaza
C. High-Speed Boat Terminal (upper right hand photograph)

First Stop: Tsu-Nagisamachi (Tsushin Port)


The boat runs once an hour, but there are two boats leaving the port at 11:00 and 16:00, respectively, that connect smoothly to the express bus bound for the Ise-Toba area. So be sure to choose which boat to ride, according to your flight.

It takes about 45 minutes to Tsu-Nagisamachi (Tsushin Port), the gateway to the Ise-Toba area.


There are only indoor seats on the boat, but the view can be enjoyed form the windows.

Although the boat is not large, it is designed to withstand the waves, so it should be a peaceful ride. The boat is equipped with restrooms.

Boarding the Bus at Tsu-Nagisamachi


At Tsu-Nagisamachi, board the bus from the "Airport Access Port" bus stop. The bus stop is near the port, but it leaves only minutes after the boat arrives, so be careful.

It is a two-hour bus ride to the Toba Bus Center.

14:30 -- Playing with Dolphins


From the bus center, follow the signs and head for Toba Marine Terminal, which is about five minutes away on foot.


Along the way, you will pass by Toba Marche, a marketplace handling local fruit and seafood. It might be a good idea to buy some food, and eat while waiting for the boat to Dolphin Island.


There is a free ashiyu (foot-bath) near Toba Marche, where visitors can enjoy the ocean view while soaking their feet in the onsen (hot spring).

On to Dolphin Island!


At the terminal, buy a ticket for the Toba Bay Cruise and Dolphin Island Tour (1800 yen for adults, 1000 yen for children).

This ticket allows entrance to Dolphin Island, where visitors can enjoy viewing shows by dolphins and sea lions. There are coin-operated lockers at the island, so you won't need to carry your baggage around.


The boat ride to Dolphin Island from Toba Marine Terminal takes about fifteen minutes.


On the island, take the lift to the hilltop. There is also a hiking route, and the walk, which feels refreshing, would only take about seven minutes.


Both Toba Bay and Ise Bay can be viewed from the observatory at the hilltop. The sea shines even brighter on a clear day.


After enjoying the view, take in one of the highlights of the island - the sea lion performance. They may seem clumsy, but they are quick, and have great balance. The sight of the sea lions clapping at the end of the performance is truly adorable.


The photograph shows the sister otters, born in September, 2017.


Next, go to the dolphin performance at the foot of the hill. The dolphins are clever and friendly, blowing bubbles when people approach them during intermission, and imitate their movement.

The audience seats are near the pool, so be careful not to get wet.

After enjoying the performance, get back onto the boat, and by the time it arrives at Toba Marine Terminal, it will be twilight. The next stop is Toba Onsen, where you can enjoy another magnificent view. It is a seven-minute walk to Todaya.

** The last boat from Dolphin Island bound for Toba Marine Terminal leaves at 16:15, so be careful not to be late.

17:30 -- Todaya - Tradition and Great Views

The Ultimate Onsen Experience at Toba Onsen-go

Toba Onsen-go is the general term for the nine onsen (hot springs) surrounding the Toba Bay. Each hot spring offers a different view of the bay. Todaya, a ryokan (Japanese-style inn) fronting the bay, has more than a hundred years of history.


Picture courtesy of Todaya

A large bathroom (separated by gender), free reserved bathroom, reserved family-type bathroom (which requires an additional charge) and an ashiyu (foot bath) are available at Todaya, along with a smaller, open-air bath.

From the large bathroom, only the men's bath can view the ocean, but the sound of the waves can be appreciated from the women's bath.

There are five free reserved bathrooms, fit for one to two people, in the building. The various types of bathrooms are all designed differently, which shows the attentiveness of Todaya towards its guests.

戸田家 貸切風呂

Picture courtesy of Todaya

The open-air baths are also separated by gender and have a view over the Toba Bay. It is open 24 hours, so guests can enjoy the different scenery of the bay at sunset, nighttime and sunrise.

Please note that shampoo and soap are only allowed at the large bathroom, as an ecodevelopment measure.


The guestrooms offer an ocean view, with the sunlight streaming in at morning. The rooms are equipped with amenities such as a refrigerator and a safe.


Todaya's meals consists of fresh, local products. The buffet-style meals, with more than fifty dishes to choose from, are especially popular.

Although there are various dishes cooked with fresh fish caught on that day, sushi is their must-taste dish.

The rooftop restaurant, which opened in 2017, is a new type of facility that slowly rotates, offering a magnificent view. Guests can taste the delicacies of the season while enjoying the scenery.

Although Todaya was established in the early 18th century, it still strives to change. A new guestroom with its own open-air bath, will be opening in July, 2018.

Second Day
10:00 -- On to Ise Shrine, the Heartland of Japan

CAN Bus - Connecting Ise and Toba

伊勢鳥羽Can bus

CAN Bus departs from Toba Bus Center, which is located at a three-minute walking distance from Todaya. The fare is 850 yen, and the ticket can be purchased at the bus center. IC cards can also be used to pay the fare.

From the bus center, the ride to "Naiku-mae" bus stop, which is the nearest to Ise Shrine, takes about 35 minutes. The bus runs once an hour, and visitors with baggage should stow them in the coin-operated lockers at Ise Shrine.

Ise Shrine - The Most Famous Power Spot in Japan


The otorii (large torii gate) of Ise Shrine stands in front of the bus stop. Beyond the torii is the Uji Bridge, spanning over Isuzu River.

Isuzu River also serves as a mitarashi (a site for ablution), a place for the visitors to wash their hands before paying their respects at the shrine.

12:00 -- Enjoying the Fine Cuisine at Okage Yokocho


In the 1970s, the economy of the areas surrounding Ise Shrine was struggling, and visitors to Ise Shrine dwindled to ten percent of the prosperous times.

Thus the owner of Akafuku devised a renovation plan to create a district reminiscent of the late Edo and Meiji Periods.

The district was named Okage Yokocho, from the phrase "okage mairi" (a pilgrimage to the Ise Shrine in the Edo Period) and also to show gratitude toward the okage (blessings) of Ise Shrine.

Akafuku - Delicious Ise Confectionery


Picture courtesy of Akafuku

The Akafuku store, located next to Okage Yokocho which started in the Heisei Period (1989 - present), was established in the Edo Period, and has a history of more than 300 years.


Picture courtesy of Akafuku

Akafuku produces Akafuku mochi, a rice cake (mochi) covered in sweet bean paste (anko).

Although the shape is simple, it symbolizes the Isuzu River, the white mochi depicting the pebbles on the riverbed, and the ridges of the anko representing the flow of the river. The sticky mochi inside is a perfect match for the sweet, fragrant anko. Akafuku goes especially well with a bancha (coarse green tea).

Fukusuke - The Soul Food of Ise


Fukusuke store in Okage Yokocho

Fukusuke serves Ise udon, which consists of thick, soft noodles with a springy texture dipped in a sweet, soy-sauce based broth.


The simple dish was created to serve the large number of customers. The noodles were boiled constantly so that they could be served immediately upon order. As a result, it became popular with the pilgrims who walked to the Ise Shrine in the Edo Period, as the gentle taste healed their tired bodies. It has the same effect as an okayu (rice porridge).

Butasute - Fine Beef Cuisine


Butasute is a shop serving inexpensive croquettes, minchi-katsu (fried meat cakes) and kushi-age (a deep-fried kebab) in Okage Yokocho.

Butasute in Japanese means "throwing away the pig". Years ago, a man named Sutekichi, who owned a buta (pig) farm, started a butcher's shop, naming it Butasute. There is also another legend, which goes that since the beef Sutekichi sold was so delicious, the customers told him to "get rid of the pigs".


The minchi-katsu is very juicy, and the croquette is filled with potato, onion and minced meat. Those who prefer a more hearty dish should try the kushi-age.


There is also a restaurant inside which serves beef dishes such as gyudon (simmered beef and onion over rice) and gyunabe (beef hot pot). Butasute serves Ise Beef, produced in Mie Prefecture.

Snoopy Chaya - The Cute Cafe

Snoopy 茶屋伊勢店

© 2018 Peanuts Worldwide LLC

Snoopy Chaya first opened in Yufuin, Oita Prefecture, and the Ise shop opened in December, 2015. Although the exterior is designed in the Japanese style, the interior is filled with Snoopys.


© 2018 Peanuts Worldwide LLC

They are everywhere, so be sure to look around. Don't forget to look in the garden, as well.


© 2018 Peanuts Worldwide LLC

The most popular dessert is the Snoopy Pancake. The thick, supple pancake is served with a matcha (powdered tea) flavored ice cream on top. The ice cream has a deep flavor, not too sweet, which tastes even better with the adzuki beans.


© 2018 Peanuts Worldwide LLC

Most of the drinks are topped with Snoopy marshmallows. They tend to melt quickly in a hot drink, so if you want to take photographs, ask the staff to bring the drink and marshmallow separately.


© 2018 Peanuts Worldwide LLC

There is no need to worry about the marshmallow melting in the cold drink. Don't forget to take the Snoopy coaster home as a souvenir.

Each Snoopy Cafe has its own menu, so be sure to check the special Ise menu. The cafe is not so crowded on weekdays, but customers had to wait in line for two hours during the long holiday period.

15:00 -- The End of the Tour, and on to Nagoya


From Okage Yokocho, you can reach Nagoya by using the boat/bus ticket mentioned above, or by riding the Kintetsu Line.

By Express Bus/High-Speed Boat/Train
"Naiku-mae" Bus Stop→ (express bus) → Tsu Nagisamachi → (high-speed boat) → Centrair/Central Japan International Airport Station → (Meitetsu Line) → Meitetsu Nagoya Station

By Bus/Train
"Jingu Kaikan-mae" Bus Stop→ (bus) → Isuzugawa Station → (Kintetsu Line) → Kintetsu Nagoya Station

Reset Your Mind and Body in the Ise-Toba Area

A visit to the Ise-Toba area can be made from Centrair in Nagoya, by using a ticket which covers the fare for both a high-speed boat and express bus.

The view of Toba Bay, a relaxing onsen and the fine local cuisine should refresh your mind. The mystic powers of Ise Shrine, along with the unique dishes, will recharge your body.

So make a plan to visit the area, with this article in mind.

For information about the ticket from Centrair to the Ise-Toba area, please take a look at this page.

Travel In Chubu Special Feature

Official Site: Chubu Centrair International Airport

Written by Callie Chen
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