Discover Shima: Exploring Local Culture & Traditions

Discover Shima: Exploring Local Culture & Traditions

Welcome to Shima

Located in Mie Prefecture, Japan, Shima is a charming coastal town that offers a unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant local culture. Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the verdant hills, Shima is a perfect destination for travelers looking to immerse themselves in the traditional Japanese way of life.

Top Attractions

When visiting Shima, make sure to explore these top attractions:

  1. Shima Spain Village: This theme park blends Spanish architecture and Japanese culture. Enjoy thrilling rides, attend flamenco dance performances, and savor delicious Spanish and Japanese cuisine.
  2. Meoto Iwa: These "Wedded Rocks" are a sacred Shinto site that symbolizes the union of a married couple. Set against a stunning backdrop, Meoto Iwa is a popular spot for sunset views and photography.
  3. Ago Bay: Known as the "Bay of Pearls," Ago Bay is renowned for its picturesque scenery and numerous pearl farms. Take a scenic boat tour and learn about the pearl cultivation process.
  4. Ise Jingu Shrine: One of the most important Shinto shrines in Japan, Ise Jingu is dedicated to the sun goddess Amaterasu. Explore the tranquil grounds, visit the iconic Naiku and Geku inner shrines, and experience ancient rituals.
  5. Toba Aquarium: Get up close and personal with a variety of marine life, including dolphins, sea turtles, and penguins. The aquarium also offers interactive exhibits and educational programs.
  6. Shima City Museum of Art: Discover the works of local and international artists at this contemporary art museum. The museum's architecture itself is a masterpiece, seamlessly blending into the surrounding landscape.

Local Culture & Traditions

Shima is deeply rooted in Japanese traditions and is famous for its Matsuri festivals, which embody the local culture. Some of the most notable festivals include:

  • Ise Jingu Shrine Grand Festival: Held every October, this grand festival features colorful processions, traditional music and dance performances, and various events related to Shinto rituals.
  • Toba Minato Festival: Celebrated in July, this festival showcases local folk dances, boat races, and fireworks displays. Experience the lively atmosphere and try traditional street food.
  • Ago Bay Shiokaze Festival: Held in August, this festival highlights the local fishing culture. Enjoy sumptuous seafood dishes, participate in fishing competitions, and witness a breathtaking fireworks show over the bay.

While in Shima, don't forget to try the local cuisine, which includes fresh seafood delicacies such as Ise-ebi (spiny lobster), Akafuku (mochi with sweet bean paste), and Matsusaka beef. You can also visit local markets to purchase unique handicrafts and souvenirs.

Getting around

The most convenient way to explore Shima is by renting a car or using public transportation. Shima is well-connected by trains, buses, and taxis. Be sure to check the schedules in advance to plan your itinerary accordingly.


Shima experiences a temperate climate, with mild winters and warm summers. The best time to visit is during spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November), when the weather is pleasant for outdoor activities and sightseeing.


Shima offers a range of accommodation options, including traditional ryokans (Japanese inns), modern hotels, and cozy guesthouses. Some popular choices for travelers include:

  • Shima Kanko Hotel: Located near the sea, this luxurious hotel offers stunning ocean views, hot springs, and exquisite dining options.
  • Hotel Shima Spain Mura: Perfect for families, this theme park hotel offers comfortable rooms and easy access to the Shima Spain Village.
  • Toba International Hotel: Overlooking Toba Bay, this hotel provides stylish rooms, onsen baths, and a variety of amenities.

Make sure to book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons.

Plan Your Visit

Shima is a hidden gem in Japan, offering a blend of natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant local culture. Whether you're seeking a relaxing seaside retreat or an immersive cultural experience, Shima has something to offer for every traveler.