Nestled away in Kashikojima, surrounded by the sea, is the luxurious and upscale Shima Kanko Hotel. The Shima Kanko was the location chosen to host world leaders over the course of the G7 Summit that was held over May 26th and 27th, 2016. The hotel was enjoyed by the likes of Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, French President, Francois Hollande, and US President, Barack Obama, among many other prestigious, international guests.
The hotel offers a wide range of amenities, such as a guest lounge, spa, gym and an expansive garden. It is also possible to see the pearl farming rafts of Ago Bay that floats in the bay. Within the range of the hotel, attractions such as Ise Grand Shrine and Kintetsu Kashikojima Country Club can be found. The Shima Kanko Hotel also offers exquisite dining at their restaurant, “La Mer the Classic”. The G7 world leaders experienced a one of a kind dining experience at the hotel. The meals consisted of Ise Shima’s best mountain and seafood. Currently, the exact locations of where the G7 leaders stood is marked with images of their respective nation’s flags. Visitors have access to those positions and can stand in the same spot as the world leaders.
Due to Ise Shima’s close proximity to the ocean, fishery is the major industry. An important and fascinating occupation of the region is the work of Amas. These are female divers, who make a living diving into the ocean in search of seaweeds and food. The work of an Ama is a 2,000 year-old tradition and the women who work the occupation are admired for their skill, independence, and determination. Although Amas don’t find pearls in the sea today, the use of high quality cultured pearls in jewelry is part of the region’s economy.
Further tied to the tradition and history of Ise is the 2,000 year-old Jingu Shrine, a sacred location of Shintoism. The Jingu Shrine is maintained in pristine condition and is still regularly used for prayer and the activities of Shinto priests. Rituals and ceremonies that take place at Ise Jingu are prayers for the prosperity of the Imperial family and world peace. These prayers are performed by the priests under the direction of the Emperor.
Finally, Ise Shima resides on an extremely diverse coastline where a variety of landscapes can be viewed. The sights from the many hills in the area are fantastic to behold. Having access to hills to climb and beautiful beaches make Ise Shima a fantastic location and the reason as to why it was chosen for the G7 Summit are obvious and since the summit, tourism to Ise Shima has flourished.