If you go to Ise Shrine make sure you stop in at Akafuku, a famous sweet shop that is over 300 years old. The store is set in Okage Yokocho, a nostalgic shopping area built with traditional materials that will make you feel as if you have stepped into the Edo Era. You can enjoy the store's famous red bean sweets with a cup of tea while seated on tatami mat, or on the narrow veranda overlooking a small Japanese garden at the back of the store.
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I came to Japan in 2003 to teach English. I lived in Shiga prefecture for one year, and it still holds a special place in my heart. I lived in Kyoto for nine years, then moved to Machida, Tokyo in 2014 after meeting my Japanese partner. I love to take photos, and my Japan in Pictures Facebook page has some 40,000 followers. I have been the Regional Partner for Yamanashi Prefecture since 2014. I am enjoying exploring the prefectures around Tokyo (I like to get off the beaten track), and I hope the photos and stories I share will encourage more people to discover this wonderful country.