A Stay at VISON, Day 2: All-in-One Resort Featuring Mie’s Finest

 A Stay at VISON, Day 2: All-in-One Resort Featuring Mie’s Finest

In my previous article, I expressed amazement at how much of a therapeutic wonderland VISON, the newest resort in Mie, is. Today, let me bring you along to explore further into the world of food and dining, leisure activities, and local culture that it has to offer.

Written by Cheeserland(https://cheeserland.com/

In addition to its relaxing hotels and a spa facility, the huge complex of VISON is actually divided into many zones of different interest, where it almost feels to me like an entertaining theme park, but a refined one for grown-ups and minus the jovially dancing mascots. 

The variety of shop selections will have you wishing to stay a little longer, and what is most unique about VISON is that you will not find the normally ubiquitous chain stores here, but one-and-only thoughtfully curated specialty shops that are sure to satisfy those who are looking for something novel or authentically local. 

First of all, let’s start the morning by visiting Marché VISON, a farmer’s market where the locals bring in their fresh produce daily. The complex was cocooned by a refreshing atmos-phere of morning mountain mist, while the vendors greeted me warmly as I walked amid rows of juicy daikon (Japanese radish) and mandarin oranges in season. 

This is a true farm-to-table space, where you can interact with local farmers who will tell you passionate stories behind their farm produce. And it is also our perfect chance to show sup-port for their hard labour in the most direct way. I had to bring home my fresh, organic dai-kon, of course.

Feeling hungry, I headed over to WA-VISON, an area housing specialty stores featuring tra-ditional Japanese food culture, where you can find classic washoku (Japanese food) such as sushi, tempura and sake. ISEWA, a dashi soup stock specialty shop, caught my attention and I decided it was where I would have my appetite satisfied.

Although I thought I had gone overboard on luxury for dinner the previous day, my break-fast was lavish in a simple way. Presented before me was a bowl of steaming white rice topped with fluffy bonito flakes and raw egg yolk that was served with a light dashi, accom-panied with a piping hot bowl of tonjiru — miso soup with pork and root vegetables — as well as a selection of side dishes. It was just the perfect hearty meal to warm my tummy up on a cold morning.

It was also all fun shopping at WA-VISON, which is a treasure house of all traditional Japa-nese foods (washoku). There’s even an “Umami Plaza” showcasing the wonders of Japanese ingredients where your tastebuds are tempted while discovering each store specializing in various “umami bombs” such as miso, pickles, seaweed, konbu, soy sauce, and much more. 

The Ise Shoyu Honpo, for example, offers a variety of soy sauces for different purposes. Don’t be surprised if you find that you will actually need three different types of shoyu just for Yakisoba noodles, Ise udon noodles and sukiyaki. 

One store which seemed especially popular with visitors was Norimomo, a seaweed laver specialty store adorned in pastel pink inside, which stood out for its fanciness among other stores with their more rustic-looking noren curtains.

An inquiry into its branding revealed that Norimomo carries a large vision, as implied by the Japanese character of its name, “momo” — which means one hundred in Japanese. It aims to become a heritage for the next hundred years to come. I was told that seaweed laver con-sumption has been on the decline due to the current generation’s preference for Western fare over traditional Japanese ingredients when it comes to food. So Norimomo is ambitious in encouraging the younger population to find love in seaweed again, and the result is the cute branding of products in a chic and pop fashion to attract more youthful customers.

Finally, there’s more to please sophisticated minds — the Atelier VISON, where you will find KATACHI Museum, a stylish museum exhibiting cooking tools from all over the world, as well as Gallery Uhaku, a gallery based on the concept of the color white, where tasteful artwork and vintage pottery are on display to be admired in, of course, a white space, lit by natural sunlight through a small window.

When you visit there, be sure not to miss out on trying their pure white premium soft serve ice cream. It has an amazingly rich flavor and yet astonishingly light texture, so much so that I have decided that it was the “softest serve” I’ve ever had.

While there are still some other facilities that I missed visiting due to limited time, my sec-ond day at VISON was an eventful one. As there are definitely more than enough to enter-tain even the easily-bored, I’ll be sure to come back to VISON again whenever I need a re-laxing retreat, perhaps for a little longer next time.

Tourist attractions covered by this article