10 Best Ise-Shima (Shima Peninsula) Hotels and Inns Perfect for Pilgrims

Located in Mie Prefecture, Ise Grand Shrine is about 2,000 years old and is said to be the most important Shinto shrine in all of Japan. Today, around 10 million people visit it annually, while during the Edo Period (1603 – 1867), it was one of the places that every Japanese person wanted to see at least once before they died. The area surrounding the shrine boasts beautiful nature sights and old-timey townscapes while offering visitors delicious local dishes made from the bounty of the Ise-Shima area. For this article, we have selected a number of hotels and ryokan (Japanese-style inns) that are perfect for those wanting to make the most out of their pilgrimage to Ise Grand Shrine.

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10 Best Ise-Shima Hotels and Inns Perfect for Pilgrims

1. Isegekusando Iseshinsen

Isegekusando Iseshinsen, also known as Ise Fresh, is situated along the approach to Ise’s Outer Shrine (Geku) and is the only hot spring ryokan in the area. The inn’s design is a mix between traditional Japanese aesthetics and modern sensibilities, and with it being conveniently located just a 1 minute walk from Iseshi Station, it’s the best place for travelers who want to explore Ise Grand Shrine and its surrounding area in style and elegance.

The guestrooms are simply furnished in pursuit of refined, functional beauty, creating a kind of hybrid space that combines hotel comforts and ryokan hospitality to make travelers feel at home. All 45 rooms at Iseshinsen come with a private open-air bath, allowing guests to soak in the hot spring waters and feel their stress just melt away whenever they want. We also recommend the inn’s spacious public bath offering beautiful views of the Outer Shrine’s forest in the distance.

One of the highlights of visiting Ise is getting to enjoy the bounty of its mountains and sea. When staying at the inn, you can visit the first-floor restaurant and treat your taste buds to many dishes served kaiseki style (multi-course meal) that bring out their ingredients’ full, rich flavors. If you feel like having a more casual meal in an izakaya Japanese-style tavern, just take a short walk to the nearby Ise Amimoto Shokudo, a local seafood restaurant affiliated with the ryokan.

2. Ikyu

If you want to enjoy an early morning or late evening visit to Ise Grand Shrine and see the shrine gates opening and closing, then we recommend a stay at Ikyu, a ryokan located just a 15-minute walk from Ise’s Inner Shrine (Naiku).

The inn offers eight types of rooms, all of which feature Japanese bedding on tatami straw mat floors and come equipped with open-air baths found just outside the windows. So put on a yukata (light cotton kimono), stretch your legs, and discover a whole new world of comfort.

The private open-air baths are definitely great, but we also recommend the inn’s spacious public bathhouses. There are two of them: one featuring wooden baths that fill the air with the enchanting scent of cypress, and a stone bathhouse that reflects the beautiful verdure of the trees outside. Both bathhouses are full of natural hot spring water that will warm you down to your core. For those who prefer to bathe in roomy but private spaces, there are four private baths that guests can reserve and use for free. When you’re done soaking, check out the ryokan’s moon-viewing platform and enjoy the gentle night breeze as you gaze out onto the trees leading up to the Inner Shrine. 

For dinner, enjoy a kaiseki course and get your fill of Ise’s famous spiny lobster, Matsusaka beef, and other local dishes. At night, the inn also serves bowls of free soba noodles to guests looking for a midnight snack.


FAV HOTEL ISE, which opened in December 2021, is a stylish hotel based on the idea of being the "Favorite Place for People Who Love to Travel.” With branches all over Japan, the FAV HOTEL brand has been gaining a reputation as a “HOTEL Like HOME” by offering accommodations that work as both bases for exploration of the surrounding area and places where guests can experience comfort beyond that of their own homes. A stay at a FAV HOTEL can elevate any trip into the realm of the extraordinary.

Located just a 7-minute walk from Iseshi Station, FAV HOTEL ISE offers smart check-in with an automated front desk as well as keyless entry through a personal identification number generated with each new reservation.

FAV HOTEL ISE offers five types of rooms: Four Beds, Queen Twin, Hollywood Twin, Executive Bunk and Japanese Modern. All guestrooms are furnished with natural materials and emanate warmth. They also come equipped with a kitchen, making this hotel the perfect accommodation for families and groups of travelers, or for long-term guests. All rooms feature Simmons beds that guarantee a good night’s sleep and a complete recharging for the day ahead.

Please note that there is no restaurant at the hotel, but there are many places in the vicinity where you can enjoy a delicious meal. So, skip the hotel food and savor the delicious local flavors of Ise!

4. Sennomori

Sennomori is a comprehensive accommodation facility that makes the most of its nearly 21-hectare-wide grounds. It’s a place where the whole family can enjoy fun activities all year round, including hiking through a forest full of local plants and animals, or splashing around in a swimming pool with water slides in the summer. This hotel is especially recommended for those who want to do more in Ise than just visit shrines and temples.

The resort offers many types of guestrooms perfect for everyone, from solo travelers to entire families. You can book the Japanese-style room decorated with Ise cotton and Ise dyed pattern paper, the Japanese-Western room with an open-air bath, and that’s just for starters. Come enjoy tranquil accommodations in the middle of the forest and relaxing negative ions.

The large bathhouse with scenic nature views is another highlight of this hotel. It sources its hot water from the Shinmisato spring that was used to treat various ailments since the Heian period (794 – 1185). Its waters are colorless and clear and are famous for beautifying the skin. 

Sennomori offers a free shuttle bus service to Ise’s Outer and Inner Shrine as well as the nearest train station, so guests don’t have to worry about transportation. If you’re traveling by car, you can also easily get to the neighboring Toba area from the hotel as well as other tourist spots around the Ise-Shima area.

5. Auberge Yusura

Auberge Yusura is a Japanese-style inn priding itself on its cuisine that only five groups of visitors per day get to enjoy. However, the inn offers more than just amazing food. It’s also known for its outstanding service and facilities, all of which go the extra mile to guarantee a comfortable and extra-special stay for their guests.

The premium villa-type suites offer ultimate privacy and are limited to five groups of guests per day. All suites are enveloped in a kind of warmth emanating from their wooden interiors, which are accentuated by simple Japanese-style designs and bedrooms featuring Simmons twin beds. The guestrooms also have an open-air bath with hot water sourced from the famous Sakakibara hot spring, as well as an indoor bath made from Kiso cypress. A stay at Auberge Yusura will surely make you feel like royalty enjoying your luxurious summer home.

The hotel is famous for the high quality of its meals. The kaiseki-style dishes created by expert chefs feature such Mie specialties as Matsusaka beef, fresh seafood from Ise Bay, and seasonal vegetables grown among the rich nature of Ise-Shima.

Auberge Yusura is situated just a 15-minute drive from Ise Grand Shrine, making it both luxuriously opulent and conveniently located. A rarity in today’s world.


6. Hoshidekan

Established in 1926, Hoshidekan is a traditional ryokan-style inn with a nostalgic retro appearance that has been attracting a lot of domestic and international tourists for close to a century. The inn is located in the Kawasaki riverbank wholesale district that in the past was always packed with pilgrims heading to the Grand Shrine, and which once thrived as the “kitchen of Ise” during the Edo Period. If you ever stay at Hoshidekan, make sure to stroll around the area and take in all of its history.

This inn is housed in a traditional Japanese building nearly a hundred years old, making it cool in summer and a little chilly in winter. Also, the bathroom and toilet are shared, which can be a little inconvenient. But that’s all part of the charm of this old-fashioned ryokan that lets guests travel back in time to Japan of days past. Hoshidekan operates as a B&B, so guests can expect standard Japanese fare for breakfast. Macrobiotic dishes are available for dinner with prior reservation. It is actually one of the things that guests love most about this place: the effort that has been put into accommodating vegans and guests with food allergies.

The inn has actually been designated as a registered tangible cultural property of Japan, guaranteeing that a stay at Hoshidekan will result in memories of a lifetime.

7. Hamachiyokan

Futamigaura is a coastal town east of the Grand Shrine, which was once called the “Gate Town of Ise” where pilgrims purified their bodies and souls in the sea. In recent years, the serene beauty of the area has earned it a spot on the list of Japan’s 100 Best Beaches. The Hamachiyokan ryokan inn, which is currently in the hands of fourth-generation owners, overlooks the Futamigaura coastline that once played such an important role in the religious rites of the Japanese people.

At the inn, you can admire this scenic seascape from the modern Japanese lobby while listening to jazz and the quiet tick-tocks of Hamachiyokan’s large antique clock. The guestrooms exemplify the spirit of Japanese aesthetics, and if you choose the one with an ocean view, you’ll get to enjoy Futamigaura’s picturesque scenery in the morning and evening while listening to the quiet sounds of the sea. Rooms on the mountain side, on the other hand, offer spectacular views of cherry blossoms in the spring.

The ryokan of course offers easy access to the Ise Grand Shrine, but that’s not all, as it’s also located near other sightseeing spots such as the Meoto Iwa (Married Couple Rocks) and the Hinjitsukan, the imperial family’s former summer retreat. Additionally, Hamachiyokan is the perfect location for those wanting to explore the Toba and Shima areas.

One of the biggest highlights of this inn are its sumptuous meals incorporating Matsusaka beef, Ise spiny lobster, and abalone from the Ise-Shima area, known as a treasure trove of delicious, fresh ingredients. Needless to say, the ryokan’s meals are also beautifully-arranged feasts for the eyes as well.

8. Oishiya

Situated along the approach to the Meoto Iwa, Oishiya is a modern Japanese inn that blends in perfectly with the tranquil townscape of the area that's full of traditional storehouses.

If you pass through the bright and expansive entrance, you’ll arrive at a ryokan where all the rooms have solid floorboards or are covered in tatami straw-mats. In consideration of the elderly and children, the rooms are not just cozy but also fully accessible. They additionally offer beautiful views of the ocean and boast designs that reflect both Japanese and Western influences. On the top floor, there is an open-air bath made of Kiso cypress, where guests can soak while admiring the beautiful seascapes around them.

At the inn’s bathhouse, guests can enjoy an open-air bath with a panoramic view of the blue sky over Ise Bay, a stone bath with rocks spread all over the tub, and a spacious Kiso cypress bath. Oishiya also offers private baths that guests can reserve and bathe in without being disturbed by anyone.

For dinner, you can choose between the Aburi Kaiseki course featuring dishes that are roasted over charcoal, and the traditional Kaiseki Ryori multi-course meal. Both options feature fresh bounty of the sea and mountains from the Ise-Shima area.

9. Ryoso Uminocho

Ryoso Uminocho, which is situated on top of a cape overlooking Ise Bay, is a comfortable and cozy hotel boasting spacious rooms with stunning ocean views.

There are various types of rooms available here, including Japanese-style suites with private open-air baths, rooms with a view of the sea and mountains, and a purely traditional “Hanashinju” Japanese-style room on the penthouse floor. All the rooms, be they Western or Japanese style, are elegant and tranquil spaces where guests can unwind in peace.

The hotel’s large public bathhouse features an open-air bath with water sourced from the aforementioned Sakakibara spring, as well as a maifan stone bath where the hot water is filtered through stones with a very high mineral elution rate, resulting in smooth and mineral-rich bathwater.

When you’re done bathing, we recommend taking a walk around the sprawling grounds of the hotel. If you go out to the terrace from the lobby, you will get to the Madame Garden, the hotel’s pride and joy, where you can admire various seasonal flowers in bloom. There’s also a private beach on the premises, allowing guests to take in the area’s scenic beauty in peace and quiet. For dinner, the hotel serves edible works of art made from seafood caught in the waters around Toba.

10. Toba International Hotel

Toba International Hotel boasts a rich history as the “Guest House of Ise-Shima” that entertained and accommodated Japan’s imperial family, foreign VIPs, and other Japanese and foreign dignitaries since first opening its doors in 1964. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by the hotel’s lobby that is painted and decorated in earth colors, giving it a kind of resort feel.

The hotel has two buildings: the Ocean Wing and the Harbor Wing. The types of room vary depending on the building, but all of them are the epitomes of comfort and elegance. The famous Imperial Suite, which was used in the past by Japanese and foreign VIPs, is located in the Ocean Wing. The hotel’s large bathhouse features the Pearl Aurora Bath incorporating pearl essence that was jointly developed with a local cosmetics company, and an officially-certified “good quality” medical treatment hot spring. Whether you want to relax after a day of traveling or beautify your skin and improve your health, Toba International Hotel can accommodate you.

As one might expect, the meals served at this luxurious hotel are all first-class and range from French or Japanese dishes made from local ingredients to teppanyaki barbecue.

A Grand Stay Near Ise Grand Shrine

The hotels and Japanese-style inns featured in this article come in all shapes and sizes, from humble ryokan with ancient and distinguished origins, to modern stylish hotels. Besides offering easy access to Ise Grand Shrine, these accommodations are also great choices for those planning to do some sightseeing in the Ise-Shima area. If you want to properly enjoy the place that every Japanese person wanted to see at least once before they died, then you have to stay at a hotel or inn mentioned in this article. Hope to see you in Ise-Shima really soon!


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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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