Home to Fun Things at Meoto Yokocho, Ise

Home to Fun Things at Meoto Yokocho, Ise

ISE Meotoiwa Meoto Yokocho shops, restaurants and an aquarium are a fun visit for the whole family when you are in the Ise area. Situated by the sea and the entrance to the famous Meoto Iwa (“Wedded Rocks)” is Meoto Yokocho, a shopping and restaurant area with plenty to see, eat, buy and also make!

Written by Pete Leong

The Yokocho plaza connects to the MeotoIwa and Futamiokitama-jinja Shrine, and is also a great place to escape the rain for a while as we did when we visited.

A lot of the Meoto Iwa theme is carried on throughout the plaza with art, information on the history of the Wedded Rocks, souvenirs, snacks and craft workshops where you can make your own traditional Japanese souvenirs to take home with you.

The entire ceiling of the facility’s main hall features beautiful hanging Japanese lanterns of varying colors.

There is something for everyone to enjoy here. There are many kinds of locally made drinks such as fruit juices and beers as well as all sorts of fresh seafood and seafood snacks to take home.

My partner and I both really enjoyed the koke dama, perhaps best described as moss ball bonsai in English. They were very charming and we got to make our own, but more on that later.

For me personally I enjoyed looking at all the different kinds of Japanese blades inthe knife store. I've always had a keen interest in Japanese knives and was hard pressed to leave without picking one up as a souvenir.

One of the most popular snacks is the kawausokun-yaki.A cute pancake filled with azuki bean paste and styled in the shape of the facility’s mascot Otter, of which you can see the real live version in the adjoining ISE Sea Paradise aquarium. I’m not a huge fan of sweet-type snacks but my partner tells me she thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s a baked, slightly crunchy pancake with the red azuki bean paste sandwiched inside.

For me, though, I couldn’t pass up trying one of the humungous fresh oysters from the cafe located in the central area of the plaza.Served at the current market price (at around 1,000 yen each when I visited),they aren’t cheap but well worth the money in my opinion.

If you request, the staff will even wash out the oyster shell for you to take home and show off to your friends as they marvel at its size.

This cafe also served several other kinds of shellfish and meats on skewers known as kushiyaki. We also tried one of the beef liver skewers. I normally stay away from eating liver as the texture does not match with my taste buds, but I was pleasantly surprised at the delicious taste from this barbecue grilled offering.

After our quick lunch we headed off to check out the ISE Sea Paradise, which you can enter from the end of the main hallway.

Here we enjoyed a stroll around a manmade forest with birds and many interesting species of plants. There were the cute aforementioned otters swimming around in pools, hordes of penguins and an outdoor walrus and seal show.

Kids will particularly enjoy the interactive area where you can get hands on with some fascinating little sea creatures while the friendly staff are on standby to answer any questions about the marine life.

Tourist attractions covered by this article