Gourmet Mie Day 3 – Iga Ninja and Iga beef Sukiyaki(Article created by Cheeserland)

Gourmet Mie Day 3 –  Iga Ninja and Iga beef Sukiyaki(Article created by Cheeserland)

It wasn’t until day 3 that I have come to realized that Mie is really blessed with everything. How long can you stay in Mie until you get bored? The answer is… until you get sick of eating good food.

Granted, I still believe that Tokyo has world’s best gastronomic delights all condensed in one megapolis city. (Fun fact: Tokyo earned a total of 314 Michelin stars in 2018, twice as much as its contender, Paris. Kyoto is world’s third and Osaka runs 4th. This is how DELICIOUS Japan is, y’all.) As long as you are willing to splurge, you can get almost everything you ever want.

But indulging in gourmet experiences without having to sell your kidney? Come to Mie.

Today we are going to the birth place of ninja, to cleanse your soul basking in the negative-ions of deep forests and waterfalls before feasting on another branded beef that will rival the famed Matsusaka conterpart just so you can gather enough strength to be trained for sudden disappearance in assorted espionage missions, but you better deplete your energy and empty your stomach again in all that action because at the end of the day, a glorious Michelin one star banquet is waiting for your arrival.

Yeap. That pretty much sums up day 3. Intense, huh.

※This article was created by Cheeserland.

Read my Day 1 blog post here  about abalone feast at Shima Peninsula.

Read my Day 2 blog post here  about divine Ise and Matsusaka beef.

Akame 48 Falls

Idol otaku, please refrain from making lame puns from this location name.

Anyway, Akame is the home of giant salamander a fabulous living prehistoric creature. Some claim that it’s cute, but I’ll pass.

So for non amphibian-enthusiasts, before you cross this place off your list, wait. The 48 waterfalls of Akame, is the birthplace of ninja. Ah have I caught your attention yet?

Also, also??? It’s insta-friendly. Bring your wide angle lens.

Given its remotely deep forest, Akame was initially the training ground for the Iga-ryu ninjas in the 15th centuries. While you are at it, you can also rent a ninja costume nearby and go on a ninja training experience trail!

Many also visit Akame for fall season as the maple leaves turn fiery red making it a super instagenic spot.

Honestly, for me, it’s simply a power spot that reconnects us back to nature, to remember to breathe again, to remind ourselves to always give back and protect our nature, because one day, they could be gone (reminded me of the news on recent Amazon fire and all that. Saddening.) Cherish them all you can now.

Kanaya Honten(Sukiyaki)

Go get yourself very hungry after the hike, because up next, is another gourmet beef experience that could easily be one of the best in your life. I’m not even exaggerating.

Kanaya has been around for over 100 years since the Meiji period, it’s a butcher shop at the ground floor and sukiyaki on the second. Their specialty is Iga beef, a rather low-key beef that’s not known outside of Mie prefecture due to its rare cattle production, but nonetheless just as pristine as its Matsusaka counterpart.

The menu is fairly simple. You choose from either sukiyaki, shabu shabu, butter yaki, ami yaki or steak. The course meals ranges from JPY7722 to JPY11286. For first-timer, I am definitely recommending the sukiyaki, priced at JPY7722 per person (SGD99).

The beef looked so marvellous it deserves a close-up.

For those of you who are not so skilled at yakiniku (it’s very tricky. You are at risk of wasting a slice of world best beef by over or undercooking it), sukiyaki might be a wise choice as the very friendly staff will cook and serve you everything. Just sit back and relax. Leave it to the pro.

For me, I liked it even better than Isshobin yakiniku because it way surpassed my expectation. Fatty beef could end up a little cloying if you overdo it, but this sukiyaki meal had just the right balance of vegetable’s freshness, mildness of the tofu and beautiful shirataki that soaks up all the umami goodness.

I really couldn’t ask for a better lunch than this. Less than SDG100 for the ultimate dream beef? GO FOR IT.

Trust me. I’m putting this on your must-eat list. Must.

Ninja Museum of Igaryu

While in Iga, ninja.

This was another attraction that I was so glad I decided to visit.

It is hilarious that they put you into bright-color costumes that screams “HEY LOOK AT ME! I AM A NINJA WHO IS GOOD AT HIDING!” when the original spy’s ultimate mission was to camouflage and not be identified. So you are exactly what a ninja is not. Haha.

But well, no one’s complaining. At least now you pop in photos.

A journey into the ninja’s house will give you clear perspective on what a real ninja is.

The real ninja in ancient time did not dress in fire red or neon pink or have the word “忍者” printed at the back of their shirt proudly exposing his profession. Neither were they all clad in black with their faces covered. Instead, the real ninja looked just like any other villagers. Especially farmers at work in the field – because that’s the easiest way to pass off as a regular commoner.

So how did ninja become the all-black undercover secret agent that we see in modern days? The story goes back to when Kabuki shows started featuring the stories of ninja, in order to differentiate the ninjas from other characters, they decided to dress them up in easy-to-identify costume, which becomes the outfits of ninjas we see today.

Ninja House

I utterly enjoyed the visit to the ninja house. A ninja will show you all sorts of stealth tricks in a typical ninja house used for secret spy meetings, including escape routes, trapdoors and other trickery. It was too fun to watch.

There was also live demonstration on how to suddenly disappear. Don’t even blink.

Ninja Show by “ASHURA” – The Iga Ninja Group

The ninja show was a bunch of fun. I won’t spoil it for you, but it’s worth every single yen I paid (JPY400 to watch the show). They even made me perform an assassination with poison needle, which I failed miserably.

You also get to learn about all sorts of super cool ninja gadgets. Wolverine was inspired by the ninjas I swear.

Seriously, ninjas are as cool as I ever imagined.I jaw-dropped, cheered, gasped and laughed a bunch.

Now I wanna learn the silent ninja walk, to hurl shuriken, to suddenly disappear and other cool things ninjas do. Ninjas are AWESOME.

Not forgetting the ninja pose. (There’s also a deep meaning behind these poses. Ninjas are more than just spy and assassins. Come here to find out!!)

Tourist attractions covered by this article