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Old Japanese Inn for Pilgrims

Japanese pilgrimage is the origin of tourism in Japan.  Japanese inn is a hotel for pilgrims and famous and popular shrines in Japan usually have many inns nearby.  The most popular destination for pilgrimage was Ise Shrine in Mie Prefecture.  If you travel to Ise, you will find many old Japanese inns.  Hinjitsu-kan Inn is one of those old Japanese inns built for shrine-goers.

Futamicho and Sacred Rocks

Futamicho where Hinjitsu-kan stands is a sea-side town.  The famous sightseeing spot is Meoto Iwa rocks which literally means “husband & wife rocks”.  They are sacred rocks of Futami Okitama Shrine.  The sea water where the rocks locate is the entrance of Ise Bay which connects to the Pacific Ocean.

Meoto Iwa or Husband & Wife Rocks in Futamicho, Mie Prefecture

These rocks have been historically famous and Ukiyoe painter Hiroshima Utagawa also drew them.

Hiroshige II Ise Futamigaura.jpg

By Hiroshige Utagawa http://morimiya.net/online/ukiyoe-big-files/U152.html, public domain, Link

The shrine itself is at the other side of the path by the seaside.

Torii Gate of Futami Okitama Jinja Shrine


Hinjitsu-kan Inn

Just across the road in front of the sea, there are several old Japanese inns.  Hinjitsu-kan Inn was built in 1887 and since then, it had accommodated many pilgrims to Ise Shrine including Royal Family.  It served as an inn until 1999 and after that, it was converted into a museum.


Hall – the Typical Feature of Japanese Inn

The typical feature of Japanese inn in this era is a big hall with tatami mattress.  Hundreds of tourists used to gather in such a hall for their dinner.  Sometimes they had performances on the stage.  Interestingly, the lights in the hall were chandeliers.  The architecture in the late 19th century and early 20th century often has western-taste.


Tradition in Hinjitsu-kan

Hinjitsu-kan Inn has a Japanese-style garden.  You can see that the pin trees are trimmed in a traditional way.

Garden of Hinjitsu-kan Inn

When we visited there, they exhibited Japanese dolls.  Another tradition.

Dolls for Girls Day Festival


For More Information

<Futami Okitama Jinja Shrine>

Futamichoe 575, Ise City, Mie Prefecture

<Hinjitsu-kan Inn>

566-2 Futamicho Chaya, Ise City, Mie Prefecture


From Futami-no-ura Station, it is about 20-25 min walk to Futami Okitama Jinja and Hinjitsu-kan Inn.

In order to go to Futami-no-ura, the easiest way is to go to Nagoya by Shinkansen and take JR Sangu Line to Futami-no-ura.  It takes about 2 hours.  If you go to Ise Shrine, take JR Sangu Line from Futami-no-ura until Ise City.

1 thought on “Old Japanese Inn for Pilgrims”

  1. Sartenada says:

    Great post. I love especially the old art. Thank You.

    Have a good day!

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