Ise is well known as home of Ise Grand Shrine (Ise Jingu). This is one of the most sacred and most famous Shinto shrine throughout Japan. And most part of Ise area is located in Ise-Shima National Park. There are lots of beautiful scenery and you can enjoy many kinds of fresh seafood. If you are family traveller, there are aquarium in Toba area and Shima Spanish village theme park in Shima area. There are many kinds of attraction for all types of travellers.
Ise, Toba and Shima areas are very accessible by Kintetsu Railway’s train. Most of domestic travellers use this train. But if you are Japan Rail Pass user, you can use the pass with small restriction. I tell you about access to this area by both Kintetsu trains and JR trains.
Nagoya is a primary gateway station to go Ise. Especially if you use JR trains which is covered by Japan Rail Pass, Rapid Mie is only direct service to get Ise. Kintetsu trains go directly from Osaka, Kyoto and Nagoya. But it is not covered by Japan Rail Pass.
Access from Nagoya by Rapid train Mie
Once you reach Nagoya from Tokyo, Shin-Yokohama, Kyoto, Shin-Osaka and many more stations by Tokaido and Sanyo Shikansen, simply transfer to this train, Rapid Mie. It will take you to Ise and Toba easily and directly. The trip time is around 1.5 to 2 hours. But this train goes on non JR line, Ise Railway on the way to Ise. So even this route is NOT fully covered by Japan Rail Pass. Please see the post, JR direct train to Ise from Nagoya. Rapid train Mie to get the details.
And if you need more info about Nagoya station, please see JR Central official site to get the layout of Nagoya station.
Access from Osaka, Kyoto and Nagoya by Kintetsu Railway’s train
Kintetsu Railway is the biggest private railway company. The trains run directly to Ise from three major ciites, Osaka, Kyoto and Nagoya. Especially if you want to access to Ise from Osaka or Kyoto, Kintetsu is much better choice than JR because of fast and direct.
Travel time comparison between Kintetsu and JR trains
Osaka-Namba – Toba — 2 hrs by Kintetsu limited express
Shin-Osaka – Toba — 3 hrs by Shinkansen and Rapid Mie
Kyoto – Toba — 2 hrs 15 mins by Kintetsu limited express
Kyoto – Toba — 2 hrs 45 mins by Shinkansen and Rapid Mie
Nagoya – Toba — 1.5 hrs by Kintetsu limited express
Nagoya – Toba — 2 hrs by Rapid Mie
Kintesu’s limited express trains have same quality as JR’s limited express trains. JR do not operate any limited express train to Ise. If you want to have more comfortable trip, Kintetsu is better choice. Especially the newest fleet “Shimakaze” has very beautiful reputation. It is almost impossible to book a seat so far.
Kintetsu limited express trains are operated very often. It mostly runs every one hour between Osaka/Nagoya and Toba/Kashikojima. Kyoto departure trains run less than Osaka and Nagoya departure trains. But regular express trains from Kyoto takes you Yamato-Yagi and transfer to limited express trains from Osaka.
If you use Kintetsu limited express trains, use Kintetsu Rail Pass. Regular type that is sold at 3700 yen is cheaper than round trip to Toba from Nagoya by limited express. It gives you great deal. I strongly recommend you to use this pass!