Matsusaka beef

In days past, Amaterasu Omikami, the tutelary deity of the nation and the most important deity of the Shinto religion, concluded her long quest for a place of eternal enshrinement when she arrived on the banks of the Isuzugawa River in Ise. Declaring that she had discovered a beautiful utopia blessed with fresh bounty of the sea and the mountains, she decided to make this place her home. Since then, Mie has been the eternal dwelling place of the kami, winning the devotion of the Japanese as their spiritual home. Toyouke Omikami:Provider of Sacred Food for the Kami

Approximately 500 years after Amaterasu Omikami, was enshrined in Ise, Toyouke Omikami, the kami of agriculture, was summoned to the land of Ise as Miketsukami, the deity that provides sacred food to Amaterasu Omikami. Miketsukami is enshrined in Geku(Toyouke Daijingu) of Ise Jingu. Over the past 1,500 years, the Higoto Asayu Omikesai, a daily ritual of offering food to Amaterasu Omikami, has been conducted twice a day food offerings include rice, dried bonito, sea bream, water, sake, and other items, an array considered by some to be the origins of Japanese cuisine.

Ise Shima national park

Japanese Food Culture Originated

The Inherited Spirit of Miketsu-Kuni
Facing the bountiful ocean, Shima has historically provided offerings of marine products to Ise Jingu and the Imperial Court, earning it the title of "Miketsukuni", land of divine offerings. Since that time, city dwellers have savored abalone, turban shells, and other seafood, promoting the development of Japan's rich food culture. The local people too have protected the natural environment, ensuring that its blessings continue to be handed down through the ages. The spirit underlying this relationship with Shima's nature remains deeply rooted in this region to this day.

Mie, Where Japanese Food Culture Originated
With its temperate climate as well as fertile plains and oceans teeming with life, Ise is known as Umashikuni, a magnificent land blessed with the bounties of the sea and mountains. Befitting this name, the area is home to a distinct Japanese change of seasons and has inherited culinary traditions to savor seasonal ingredients nurtured amid beautiful local surroundings. This tradition is nothing but the very origin of Japanese food culture.

Ama Culture: Coexisting with Nature
The ama are female divers who collect abalone, turban shells, seaweed, and other seafood without the use of modern diving equipment. Ama diving has flourished in the Shima region since ancient times, demonstrated by the fact that ama fishing tools have been found in ruins dating back over 3,000years. The ama community in the Shima district have worked to protect the ocean's resources by establishing a host of rules governing, among other things, the fishing season and size of the fish they catch. A culture of protecting and coexisting with nature is alive to this day among the ama community in Shima.

Exquisite Taste that Impresses the Most Discerning Connoisseur - Matsusaka beef

World-Class Works of Art
Matsusaka beef is produced from Japanese Black Wagyu heifers that are fattened in designated areas for long periods of time. The cows are strictly monitored and bred using a unique individual management system. Depending on the farm, the cows are fed beer to stimulate their appetites, carefully massaged and groomed, and raised lavishly and with great care until they can practically be considered works of art. The fat in Matsusaka beef has an astonishingly low melting point, so the beef can actually start melting in the palm of your hand. The result is a finely marbled beef with a rich yet mellow superb taste.

Gifts from the Bounteous Ocean - Japanese Spiny Lobster

A Tresure Protected by the Local Community
With its many reefs, the Kumano Sea is teeming with shellfish, sea urchins, and other creatures that lobsters prey upon. Spiny lobsters grow up being buffeted by the rough waves, so their flesh becomes firm and when eaten raw as sashimi, the meat has a springy texture and refined sweetness that fills the mouth with each bite. The lobster's beautiful and gallant appearance and relatively long lifespan have made it a symbol of long life. Since long ago, it has been an indispensable ingredient in religious rituals and on auspicious occasions. Mie Prefecture has put restrictions on the fishing period and lobster length in order to maintain a stable lobster population and to protect the local lobster industry.

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