Ine: A Small, Quiet Fishing Town In Kyoto
Bring your fishing equipment with you as we explore this quaint, cozy little fishing town in Kyoto. Emerald green waters and local delights abound!
What springs to mind when Kyoto is mentioned?
Most would say its numerous temples and shrines, or the fact that it is the cradle of Japanese culture, or women wearing kimonos as they bustle through the streets, which are run in a horizontal and vertical grid. But these are select parts of Kyoto City, within the greater Kyoto Prefecture.
In Kyoto Prefecture you will find places like Maizuru and Tanba Sasayama. Many of these spots are well known to the Japanese, but are as yet unknown to most tourists visiting from abroad.
In this article we will introduce a place on the Tango Peninsula, all the way up north in Kyoto: Ine.
Ine is a fishing town on the northern part of the Tango Peninsula, which is located on the Sea of Japan in Kyoto.
Around the beautiful curve of the Ine Bay are the famous funaya (traditional fisherman's houses). The area has been selected as one of Japan's Important Preservation Districts for Groups of Traditional Buildings.
Funaya were, as their name suggests, small houses built to house both fishermen and their small boats, the boats being located on the first "floor". The houses face out toward the sea, providing an amazing view of the ocean whenever you glance out the window. More recently, those in the fishing industry use the second floor as temporary lodgings.
From Osaka to Ine
We visited Ine toward the end of July, choosing it as a getaway from our busy lives.
It took between three and four hours to reach our destination. First, we got on a Tango Kairiku Kotsu high-speed bus at Hankyu Umeda Station in Osaka, then changed to a standard bus at Amanohashidate Station. You can also get on a high-speed bus from Kyoto City (access from Kyoto city)
We left at 9:00 am and arrived just after lunch, where we headed straight to our lodgings.
We climbed the old wooden steps in the funaya and laid down our luggage.
When you open the curtains the emerald green of the bay jumps out at you. We sat there transfixed, watching the seagulls fly for a couple of minutes.
If you go to Ine, we recommend staying at least one night. Renting a car is ideal since you can get around easily even at night this way; the area is rather inconvenient for those who rely on public transportation because the buses to Osaka and Kyoto tend to end early.
Since you've come all this way, returning home so soon would be such a waste too. With the sea right under your room and the sunlight reflecting off the water surface, it sure feels great. You can take a relaxed voyage on a sightseeing boat, or even go fishing, which is a popular activity as well.
It costs from 5000 yen to 20,000 yen to stay at a funaya, with rooms coming in all sorts of layouts and appearances. Aside from the vanilla, bare-bones one-night stay, you can also arrange for a two-meals-one-night package. To find a funaya to lodge in, use the Ine Tourism Association's website.
Cycling Around Ine
There are free rental bikes at the Ine bus stop, which can prove to be invaluable if you plan to see the sights.
At Michi no Eki Funaya no Satoyou can enjoy the view of Ine Bay and dine at restaurants that use locally grown ingredients. Get on your bike and make the (occasionally rough) climb. It can be a tough path for those going on foot - it also has stairs - but it's well worth the trip.
The view on sunny days is magnificent.