Time Travel by Boat and Unique Shopping in Ise

Time Travel by Boat and Unique Shopping in Ise

Ise Jingu is a destination for local and global travelers. The area is rich with history, artistry, and local delicious foods. Step back in time on a unique boat tour and then make the most of the amazing shops and dishes in the area with a unique coupon program sponsored by Ise City.

Written by Lauren Shannon


For those looking to immerse themselves in a unique and historic experience during their visit to the Ise area, there is a charming boat tour starting from Kawasaki heading to Kamiyashiroko and returning. This locally produced boat tour is great for families and visitors from any age or background. The unique view of the area combined with stories from the residents create an authentic and memorable start to your explorations of this wonderful city.


Kawasaki area is lined with warehouses. The area was called "Ise's kitchen" as it was a busy wholesale district in the Edo period. You can see 7 warehouses and 2 townhouses displaying goods and materials on the history and culture of Ise and Kawasaki.


The boat journey begins along historical canals and the Seta River. Black wooden warehouses and the adorable “station” set the stage for the water taxi tour. You can find a panel displaying the history of Kawasaki inside the station building.



The open air wooden boat is comfortable and this is a relaxed way to get to know the community. Once onboard the river captain will push off and on this 15-20 minute ride you can imagine the Seta river being used to transport goods from the ocean port up to Ise in the past. When you arrive in Kamiyashiroko, further historic sites await you.

Heading out with a local expert boat crew

Heading out with a local expert boat crew

You will arrive and disembark at another historic station, the Niken Chaya River Station. Visit the Chaya (tea house) building for a tasty historic treat. Niken Chaya Mochi Kadoya is a locally beloved kinako mochi shop that has been around since 1575. In the historic store you can feel the traditional atmosphere and you can enjoy 3 pieces of Mochi for just 230 yen.

Historic Niken Chaya Mochi Kadoya a local favorite for traditional mochi

Historic Niken Chaya Mochi Kadoya a local favorite for traditional mochi

Kinako Mochi to enjoy in the shop with tea or to take out for later


Take time to explore the area of shops and local streets and before boarding your boat again to return to Kawasaki be sure to stop by the Ise Machikado Museum where you can see historical objects, boating tools, local festival materials, pottery and much more in a small building filled with interesting artifacts.

Artifacts from the Machikado Museum

Artifacts from the Machikado Museum

After a morning of time travel to connect with the history of the area it is time to head over to the famous districts leading to two different entrances to Ise Jingu. Both areas; the are bustling neighborhoods filled with local foods, snacks, crafts and souvenirs. Ise city has created a new and unique program for exploring and shopping while saving a little money to try new things!

Ise Town Coupon Set

Ise Town Coupon Set
We tried the "Ise-san Town Walking Coupon" which gave us a chance to explore around Ise in a new way. visitors and locals can purchase a coupon set that can be used at 42 popular stores in the Geku and Naiku areas. And for convenience and ease of use the coupons can now be purchased for just 900 yen online and used right from your smartphone

Once you have your coupons ready to go you can visit a variety of stores around the Geku and Naiku, and use the Ise walking map to explore. The coupons can be exchanged for local food and souvenirs. The maximum value with one coupon can be as high as 500 yen.

Historic building in the Ise Shima neighborhood

Historic building in the Ise Shima neighborhood

The area is beautiful with traditionalarchitecture and a wide variety of businesses to visit.


Local craft beer

Local craft beer
One of my favorite shops to visit featured a range of delicious local craft beer. The Hime White (or princess white) was so refreshing. It was great to wander and choose where to use our discount coupons. We had fun shopping for Ise Cha (local green tea) and also visiting shops that had local pottery and other handmade traditional crafts.

Ise Cha - local green tea beautifully packaged

Ise Cha - local green tea beautifully packaged
You can try small bites of local fish, snacks and sweets as you move from shop to shop and neighborhood to neighborhood. We discovered a wonderful selection of local seafood prepared for street food dining and loved watching the chef expertly grill each tasty morsel.

Fashionable souvenir shop in front of Ise city station

Fashionable souvenir shop in front of Ise city station

Take a coupon and search for stores selling specialty products and famous items in Mie Prefecture!!In particular,it is recommended to take a look around the beautiful iga ware shops in Mie prefecture.There are amazing examples in both local areas where your coupons are valid.

Iga-yaki local pottery

Iga-yaki local pottery

"Banshakuyakyubei" (Okageyokocho)

"Banshakuyakyubei" (Okageyokocho)
After all our shopping and wandering around we worked up a great appetite for lunch and we were excited to try the locally renowned Butasute, a famous butcher shop founded in 1909. This local institution specialises in gyū-don (sliced beef on rice). and menchi katsu (croquettes stuffed with minced beef.)

Amazing lunch set at Butasute

Amazing lunch set at Butasute

Tourist attractions covered by this article