NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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おはらい町 Oharai-machi Oharai-Machi Town

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Oharai-machi is a town located at the main entrance to the Ise Shrine in Mie prefecture. The town is famous for its array of traditional souvenir shops and restaurants.

Oharai-machi extends from Uji Bridge, near the inner shrine, along the Isuzukawa river. It grew and developed into a town beginning from the main torii (gateway) at the entrance to the shrine, and up to the Naiku (the inner shrine).

Oharai-machi has a wide variety of stores, including gabled souvenir shops, shops for mothers- and wives-to-be, famous longstanding candy stores, as well as inns and hotels. Many historic buildings can be found here, including the shrine dojo (training center) and the house of the master of religious rites.

Some 800m from Uji Bridge, in one corner of the town, was where the Okage-mairi (pilgrims arrival path to the shrine) once flourished in the Edo period. This road has since been restored as a resort spot lined with souvenir shops and restaurants, which has become known today as the Okage-yokocho (Okage Lane).

Time passes quickly as one walks past the town's traditional restaurants and souvenir shops lining the roadsides of Oharai. Indeed, Oharai-machi is a place where you can forget time, and appreciate the pure enjoyment and gratifications the town has to offer.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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