As rural villages around Japan are facing population decline, one sleepy fishing town in Mie Prefecture decided to change things up. In 2019, the Taiki Town Seaside Trail launched their first trail run starting at Nishiki Bay. The one-day annual event is held in the beginning of February and the trail circumnavigates the Nishiki portion of Taiki Town. Participants can opt for the long (23K) or short (14K) race—both go up the 503-meter Mt. Himego. www.nature-scene.net/taiki
Travelers to Taiki will be greeted by quintessential Japanese ocean and mountain views, yet the main attraction of this seaside town is the local cuisine. Taiki features an abundance of Ise ebi (Japanese spiny lobster) and other fresh seafood, ayu and freshwater crabs, Matsusaka beef and seasonal vegetables.
Miescape is a tour operator working with the local community to create unique agritourism experiences such as learning how to harvest seafood with ama freedivers and visiting the morning market with Ise ebi fishermen. To book these experiences, visit www.miescape.jp.
There are almost no hotels in Taiki, but there is a network of minpaku (private lodging) where travelers can stay with farmers or fishermen and even participate in farming and cooking experiences. In the warmer months, stand-up paddling, boating and swimming are popular. Travelers can also easily combine Taiki Town with a trip to the famous Ise Jingu Shrine, an hour drive away.
The closest major city to Taiki Town is Nagoya. It takes a little less than two hours by car from Nagoya. However if you’re coming by public transportation, take the Kintetsu Railway or JR Wideview Nanki Express from Nagoya Station to Matsusaka Station (not to be confused with Matsuzaka Station). From Matsusaka Station take the JR Kisei Main Line or Mie Kotsu Nanki Express Bus. You can also take the Mie Kotsu Nagoya Nanki Highway Bus direct from Nagoya Station (Meitetsu Bus Center) to Taiki Town. For more information or bookings, visit www.taiki-okuise.jp.