Owase, Mie

Owase, Mie
—  City  —

Location of Owase in Mie
Owase is located in Japan
Coordinates: 34°4′N 136°11′E / 34.067°N 136.183°E / 34.067; 136.183Coordinates: 34°4′N 136°11′E / 34.067°N 136.183°E / 34.067; 136.183
Country Japan
Region Kansai
Prefecture Mie
 - Mayor Hisayoshi Okuda
 - Total 193.16 km2 (74.6 sq mi)
Population (April 2008)
 - Total 21,002
 - Density 109/km2 (282.3/sq mi)
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
City symbols
- Tree Hinoki
- Flower Japanese Camellia
- Bird Grey Heron
- Fish Japanese amberjack
Phone number 0597-23-8132
Address 10-43, Chūōchō, Owase-shi, Mie-ken
Website City of Owase

Owase (尾鷲市 Owase-shi?) is a city located in south of Mie, Japan.

As of 2008, the city has an estimated population of 21,002 and the density of 109 persons per km². The total area is 193.16 km².

The city was founded on June 20, 1954 with the merging of several towns to form Owase-shi.

90% of the total area is forest and coast is Ria.



Owase has a humid subtropical climate, with comfortable spring and autumn seasons, and warm winters with practically no snow. Summer is hot and humid. On 13 July 2009, Owase recorded the highest temperature in Japan, at 38 degree celsius. However, summer nights are cooler compared to most parts of Japan. The warm current, Kuroshio, runs offshore to Owase. In addition, there are mountains behind of the city, so that Owase has much rain, with an annual average of 3,850 millimetres (150 in), which is the highest in the world in subtropical and warm temperate latitudes.[1] Only certain parts of southern Chile, coastal British Columbia and the Adriatic Sea coast have as much rain at low elevations outside the tropics.

Climate data for Owase, Japan (1981~2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 21.2
Average high °C (°F) 11.3
Average low °C (°F) 1.6
Record low °C (°F) −6.9
Rainfall mm (inches) 100.7
humidity 60 60 64 68 74 81 82 80 79 75 70 64 71.4
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.5 mm) 6.7 7.3 11.8 10.9 12.8 15.1 14.5 13.3 14.9 12.1 8.4 5.8 133.6
Sunshine hours 179.4 168.3 184.0 183.9 173.7 129.5 155.7 175.3 130.5 142.4 151.9 177.9 1,952.5
Source no. 1: Japan Meteorological Agency[2]
Source no. 2: Japan Meteorological Agency (records)[3]


Due to its location, Owase is mainly supported by its fishery and forestry industries. Yellowtail, amberjack, horse mackerel, saury, seabream and bonito are some of the most famous fish produce in Owase. Japanese cypress and cedar trees are found in abundance here in the mountains.

Local Speciality

Sea Produce
Seafood - yellowtail, amberjack, horse mackerel, saury, seabream, bonito, flying fish, clams, topshell, octopus, squid
Others - Owase deep sea water and sea salt

Forestry Produce
Japanese cypress and cedar

Farm Produce
Mikan (mandarin oranges)

Local Food

Mehari-zushi (sushi wrapped in mehari leaf)
Sanma-zushi (vinegared saury zushi)
Tai-meishi (Seabream rice)
Himono (dry fish)
Tora no maki 虎の巻 (a swissroll with red bean paste. The original shop is located at Kuki.)


Yaya and Kumano Kodo are famous sake brands that originate from Owase. They can be bought at the Yamafuji Sake Shop, located near Owase Jinja.

Places of interest

Magose Toge 馬越峠
Magose Toge is one of the most popular hiking trails on the Kumano Kodo - Ise-ji Route. There is a hiking trail which leads to Mt. Tengura, overlooking Owase City. For more information, visit [1]

Kumano Kodo Centre
Constructed entirely from cypress wood (tree of Owase), the Kumano Kodo Centre features the origins and history of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route. A playground, also made entirely from cypress, is located near the centre. The nearest train station is JR Osoneura or you can also take the bus to the Kumano Kodo Centre bus-stop.

Yume Kodo
Yume Kodo is an onsen located near the Kumano Kodo Centre. The facility features deep sea water onsen, which has healing properties, as well as sauna rooms. The nearest train station is JR Osoneura or you can also take the bus to the Kumano Kodo Centre bus-stop.

Owase Jinja 尾鷲神社
This shrine is a historical monument in Owase. It's well known for an ancient, sacred tree which is aged over 1,000 years old. Also the venue for every year's Ya Ya Matsuri.

Kongobuji 金剛寺
Built during the Edo Era, the Kongobuji has two fierce-looking deity statues guarding the entrance. It is located just beside the Owase Jinja.

Mikisato Beach 三木里ビーチ
A beautiful white sandy beach, with clear turquoise waters. Located near the JR Mikisato train station.

Sugari 須賀利
Located in the east of Owase, Sugari is best accessed by a 20 minute ferry ride from Owase Port. It is an untouched, beautiful fishing village with friendly residents who would be more than happy to show visitors around. As of 2008, Sugari has a declining population of less than 200 people, with the majority aged above 60 years old.

Kuki 九鬼
Like Sugari, Kuki is also a beautiful fishing town. If you are lucky, you will be able catch seagulls and comorant fishing at its best. Try the famed Kuki's tiger rolls, which come in two flavours - red bean or fresh cream. You can go there by taking the JR train to Kuki.

Festivals & Events

Itadaki Market イタダキ市
1st Saturday of every month, 0900 - 1300hrs
A monthly market featuring over 40 stalls where you can buy Owase's local produce such as fresh seafood, dried fish, sea salt, jam etc. At the market, you'll also be able to enjoy special performances (dance, taiko) by the locals.

Ya Ya Matsuri ヤーヤ祭り
1–5 February
The biggest festival in Owase is the Ya Ya Matsuri. In the evenings of the 2nd to the 4th, men parade around the streets, jostling each other and chanting "Ya Ya" while drinking sake before the "chosen" ones dive into the sea to purify themselves. The festival ends off with a day-long street parade on the 5th featuring dance performances and finally, an archery contest at Owase Jinja.

Owase Port Matsuri おわせ港まつり
First Saturday in August A summer festival showing an impressive fireworks display.

Hachiman Jinja Matsuri 八幡神社例祭
15 September
This festival marks a tribute to the Hachiman Jinja, located near the Owase Port. It begins with a day-long parade before culminating at the shrine.

Places to Eat

Despite being a small town, Owase offers a wide selection of fantastic and affordable restaurants.

Hana Zushi 華すし
A traditional sushi bar which serves reasonably priced and delicious sushi. Recommended eats are the sushi moriawase and the chawanmushi (steamed egg custard). Located near the train station.

Inaka 田舎
Inaka is famous for its affordable Inaka lunch sets at only 800yen. The set meal consists of 8 small side dishes (usually consisting of sashimi, a stewed meat, vegetables and soup), complete with rice. Located near the train station.

Kotobuki Shokudo ことぶき食堂
Located right in front of the Owase train station, this restaurant is probably one of the oldest in Owase. The food is great tasting, comes in huge portions, and yet, is cheaply priced. Recommended eats include the Giant Katsu Set, Giant Ebi Fry Set, Inoshishi (Wildboar) Don and Champon (Nagasaki Noodles).

Moriba もりば
Moriba is well loved for its Tempura, Tebasaki (Chicken wings) and Miso Katsu. The restaurant is located along the National Highway Route 42.

Oni Gawara 鬼瓦
If you'd like to experience the freshness of Owase's sea produce, then Oni Gawara is the place to go. Its Sashimi Set Meal comes in 3 sizes and is highly recommended for sashimi lovers. Located near the train station.

Hao Hao Han Ten 好好飯天
Located along the National Highway Route 42, Hao Hao is a Chinese restaurant offering refined Chinese food. Popular dishes include the Ten Shin Han 天津飯, MaPo Han 麻婆飯 and the PiriKara (Spicy) Szechuan Ramen.

Hei Wa En 平和園
For a taste of authentic Chinese food, visit Hei Wa En. The owners come from Dahlian, China and serve traditional Chinese food. Located near the train station.

Nakao なか尾
Get your fill of collagen filled Tonkotsu ramen at this ramen house. Located right outside the train station.

Yume Kodo 夢古道
Yume Kodo is popular for its "all you can eat" country style buffet every Sunday. Run by an NPO, meals are prepared by 4 groups of volunteers (very friendly obasans), who take turns to cook every week. It's delicious country-style, homecooked food that you won't be able to taste in typical Japanese restaurants. The buffet is so famous that some people travel from Nagoya or Osaka to eat it. Go early to prevent disappointment.

A coffeeshop that is greatly popular among the locals for its OmuRice. Located near the Owase Central Hospital.


Owase can be accessed by car via the National Highway Route 42, train or bus.
From Nagoya:
- Take a JR Rapid train (Nanki Wide View) to JR Owase station. The train ride takes approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.
- Take a highway bus from Nagoya Meitetsu bus terminal to Owase. The bus ride takes approximately 3 hours.

From Osaka:
Take a Kintetsu train to Matsusaka. At Matsusaka, take the JR to Owase.

From Shingu:
Take a JR train to Owase.


External links

Owase official website (Japanese)
Owase sightseeing page (Japanese)

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