After breakfast, we rode the rails, first experiencing the thrill of riding the lightning-fast bullet train (shinkansen) from Tokyo to Nagoya. It is one of the world's finest quick-transit trains, and still among the fastest trains in the world, traveling at speeds of up to 200 mph. We’ll then rounded out our travel with an hour-long ride on the local train to Ise Station.
After arriving in Ise we visited the the famous Ise Shrine, which is actually a collection of many shrines—a riverside complex with some structures dating back 2,000 years. This was our first Shinto shrine. We'll enjoyed a walking tour through the shrines and beautiful grounds, learning to cleanse ourselves before entering and how to bow and clap to alert the gods that we were present.
Our hotel for the evening is a destination in itself. The Toba Grand Hotel is a traditional, Japanese style hotel on the shore of the sea. The views are spectacular, our room floors are lined with tatami mats, and we wore yukata robes to a fabulous seafood buffet. Before dinner we enjoyed a traditional communal hot bath. Men and women bath in separate areas - sorry no photos allowed!
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