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Ise (伊勢) is a small town in Mie prefecture, Japan. The town is primarily known for the eponymous Ise Shrine, arguably the holiest and most important Shinto site and the reputed home of the Emperor's Sacred Mirror.
Several shuttle bus lines ferry visitors between the train station and the two shrines.
Ise's main attraction is the Ise Shrine (http://www.isejingu.or.jp/english/) (伊勢神宮 Ise-jingū). According to the official chronology, the shrines were originally constructed in the year 4 BC, but most historians date them from several hundred years later, with 690 AD widely considered the date when the shrines were first built in their current form. They are mentioned in the annals of the Kojiki and Nihonshoki, dating from 712. The shrines are famously burned and rebuilt to exacting specifications every 20 years at exorbitant expense. The present buildings, dating from 1993, are the 61st iteration to date and are scheduled for rebuilding in 2013.
The shrine consists of two sites, some 6 kilometers apart but connected by a sacred forest. Access to both sites is strictly limited, with the common public allowed to see little more than the thatched roofs of the central structures, hidden behind three tall wooden fences.
The local specialty is lobster, known as Ise-ebi (????, lit. "Ise shrimp") in Japanese. Fresh lobster sashimi in particular is sublime, but as you might expect such pleasures don't come cheap.