The history of Mie Prefecture dates back to almost 10,000 years ago with early traces of human inhabitation. The Jomon and Yayoi periods had agricultural forming in the area and the Ise Shrine is reported to have been built during this time. In the 7th Century, the Imperial Residence of Saiku was built where Meiwa Town now sits to serve Princess Saio.
Later, during the Edo period, Mie Prefecture was made up of multiple feudal domains, with its own Daimyo. The Ise and Tokaido roads were built during this time and port towns such as Kuwana grew substantially.
Following the Meiji Restoration, the provinces of Iga, Ise, and Shime and a small part of Kii were combined to form the new prefecture. Multiple revisions were made to the land in the area over the course of the following years with the final establishment of present day Mie Prefecture taking place in 1876.
In modern history, Mie Prefecture was the hardest hit during the Ise-wan Typhoon of 1959, the strongest typhoon in recorded Japanese history. Many people died or were injured during the typhoon.
The vast majority of Mie Prefecture makes up the eastern half of Kii Peninsula. The prefecture is bordered on all sides by Gifu Prefecture, Aichi Prefecture, Shiga Prefecture, Kyoto Prefecture, Wakayama Prefecture, and Nara Prefecture. Though Mie Prefecture is considered to be part of Chubu, its closeness to Kinki reflects in the regional Kansai dialect and cultural traditions.
Major geographic points of interest in Mie Prefecture include the Suzuka Mountains to the northwest, Ise Bay, and the Ise Plain where much of the prefecture’s population currently resides.
Cities currently within Mie Prefecture include:
The current districts and towns in Mie Prefecture include:
Mie Prefecture’s economy has long been a vital link between eastern and western Japan thanks to the pilgrimage roads through Ise and Tokaido. Because of the large volume of forests and coastline, Mie has been a primarily agricultural and forestry based prefecture for many years with tea, pearls, fruit, and beef making up a large percentage of their goods. A small amount of manufacturing companies do exist in northern Mie, including those that produce machinery, chemical companies, and oil refineries.
A number of popular attractions in Mie Prefecture include the likes of the Ise Grand Shrine – considered to be the holiest Shinto Shrine in Japan, the Kumano Kodo, Iga Ueno, and many more. Here are a few additional sites that tourists regularly visit in Mie Prefecture: