High above Ago Bay, embraced by forest, Amanemu sits at the heart of a serene natural landscape that rewards explorers with its extraordinary beauty. Ise-Shima National Park is a hiker’s haven, with sacred Shinto shrines to visit, and the bay itself is home to a unique community of pearl fishers and female freedivers, the ama.
Sacred sites of Ise-Shima
Dating back to the 3rd century, Ise Jingu, otherwise known as Ise Grand Shrine, is one of the most sacred sites in Japan. Explore Ise Grand Shrine with an expert guide, donning a traditional kimono to witness morning prayers and the ritual dance to the deities, and discover spaces in the sanctuary that most visitors never see. Also accessible from Amanemu, the Unesco-protected Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes connect sacred sites across the region’s captivating countryside, and have been in use for more than a millennium.
Lunch with an ama
Known as ‘the bay of pearls’ and dotted with drifting rafts, Ago Bay has been home to the ama for centuries. The ama are a one-of-a-kind community of female free-divers who make their living collecting shellfish, seaweed and sea urchin from the seabed. Visit an amagoya – a diver’s hut – for a special Amanemu lunch with an ama for an unforgettable insight into an ancient and unusual way of life
Golf above the bay
Neighbouring Amanemu, the 18-hole Nemu Golf Club enjoys one of the most beautiful settings in Japan. The sweeping greens overlook the drama of the bay below, and offer golfers the opportunity to tackle challenging shots over the coastal inlets, as well as a a driving range with natural grass tees, some of which are covered for all-weather play.