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MIE Prefecture

Area: 5,777 km2
Population: 1,833 million
Region: Kinki
Capital: Tsu

photo by nhayashida

Mie Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan, which is part of the Kansai region on the main Honshu island. It lies between the cities of Nagoya, Osaka and Kyoto. The capital is the city of Tsu.

Tsu city is recognized in the Guinness book of world records as the shortest city name in the world.
It is the capital city located in the center of the Mie Prefecture. It stretches the width of Mie Prefecture, and is bordered by Ise Bay on the Pacific Ocean to the east, and Nara Prefecture to the west. It is one of the smallest prefectural capitals in Japan, with a population of around 285,000 inhabitants.

Tsu is famous for its Tōjin Odori , a festival commemorating the arrival of the Joseon Tongsinsa delegation from Korea during the feudal period, the ruins of the Tsu Castle that have been made into a downtown city park, and Kitabatake Shrine and Yūki Shrine, notable local Shinto shrines.
Aside form its rich nature, history and culture, Mie is also home to a few modern amusement facilities such as Nagashima Spa Land, one of the largest amusement parks in Japan, and Suzuka Circuit, Japan's most famous racetrack.

Ise Grand Shrine is at the core of sightseeing in Ise city . It is Japan's holiest Shinto shrine. Another famous shrine is the Wedded Rocks of Okitama Shrine in Futami (now part of the city of Ise)

The Mikimoto Pearl Island, is an excellent museum about pearls and a popular tourist destination located in the Bay of Toba city. The museum is dedicated to Kokichi Mikimoto, the inventor of pearl cultivation. It can be accessed via a bridge.

Sakakibara Onsen, a hot spring resort is rumored to be the third best onset in Japan. Yunoyama Onsen is also a famous hot spring resort located near Yokkaichi town that sits atop Mount Gozaisho.

Mie has 2 national parks: Ise-Shima National Park and Yoshino-Kumano National Park.

Other main attractions include Kumano Kodō, an ancient road in southern Mie once used by pilgrims that is now a World Heritage Site, Iga-Ueno, the birthplace of the ninja and home to the Iga Ninja Museum, and Saikū the site of Heian Imperial residence, with modern museum and reconstructed Heian building.
Mie Prefecture does not have an airport.

By train
Mie is easier accessible from anywhere in central Japan using the Kintetsu or JR (Japan Rail) train lines. From other parts of Honshu, the shinkansen (bullet train) can quickly get you to Nagoya Station, where you can transfer to either the Kintetsu or JR line into Mie.
The weather in Mie is much like the rest of Pacific-side Japan. It is hot and extremely humid in the summer. Winters are cold but the temperature rarely drops below freezing and snow is rare. Spring and fall are quite pleasant temperature-wise, but tend to be short-lived; the leaves change color in November and the cherry blossoms pop up at the very beginning of April. Also, it can be a bit colder up in the Iga Plateau which is a bit more mountainous, and a bit warmer down in southern Mie which is slightly more tropical than the rest of the prefecture.
The average annual temperature of 14 to 15 °C. The warmest month of the year is August, with an average temperature of 27.1 °C. In January, the coldest month, the average temperature is 4.°C.
During summer, you should be fine if you wear a short-sleeved shirt, t-shirt or a dress, however a long sleeved shirt is highly recommended if you choose to go near water or to the mountains.
In the winter, be sure to bring warm clothes such as winter coat or jacket, hat, scarf and gloves.
For the spring and autumn a light jacket or a sweater should keep you warm.
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