From Ise to the Source of the Sacred River
The Miyagawa River originates in the pristine heights of Mount Odaigahara, in the center of the Kii Peninsula, and flows down to Ise Bay. Because its lower reaches run past Ise Jingu (the Grand Shrine of Ise), the river is also often known as the "River of the Gods." The Miyagawa is also renowned for its water quality, which is among the clearest in the country. On this episode of Journeys in Japan, Peter Skov hikes through the spectacular Osugidani valley, before arriving at the source of this sacred waterway.

Ise Jingu

The Grand Shrine of Ise lies on the lower reaches of the Miyagawa. Dedicated to Amaterasu, the sun goddess and mythical ancestor of the Japanese imperial family, Ise Jingu has been a place of worship for more than 2,000 years.

Ayu Dishes

This riverside restaurant specializes in dishes based around ayu (sweetfish) from the crystal-clear waters of the Miyagawa.


The upper reaches of the Miyagawa flow through a valley of spectacular beauty, with massive rock walls and numerous majestic waterfalls.


From Tokyo, it takes about an hour and a half by Shinkansen to reach Nagoya. From there, you transfer to a local line, which takes from 90 minutes to two hours to reach Ise.