1. Our Area
Ine is a town and sightseeing spot located in the “”Kyoto by the Sea”” area, which is found in northern Kyoto prefecture.
It takes two and a half hours to travel by train from Kyoto Station to Amanohashidate Station, then a further hour to travel by bus to Ine.
The Kansai Wide Area Pass ticket, issued by JR West Japan, can be used at Amanohashidate Station, which makes this journey very convenient.
The main industries in Ine are fishing and agriculture, but the tourism industry has been growing recently.
Ine is perhaps most famous for its funaya, or traditional boathouses, unique structures with an architectural style not often found in Japan. These boathouses can be used as accommodations too, enabling tourists to experience historic fisherman lifestyles as well – which makes them popular spots with tourists from around the world too.
The funaya, or boathouses, in Ine are built on two levels: the first floor is where the boat was kept, while the second floor is the living space. There are 230 funaya stretching out over five kilometers in Ine Bay.
2. Staying in Ine
There are 13 different boathouses available as inns in Ine. As each boathouse faces Ine Bay, they offer fantastic views, and are eagerly sought after accommodations by visitors to the area. Nearly all of the funaya inns serve just a single group of guests each day. Of the inns, one of the most popular is Nouhaku. The reason for their popularity comes from their owners; Nouhaku is owned by fishermen, thus, they are able to take their guests fishing with them, and to the early morning fish market as well. Plus, the owners here offer to take visitors to see the fireflies as well.
Ine is a fishing town where you can experience the authentic lives of fisherfolk. This is a highly recommended place not only for domestic, but international tourists to check out.
English service is available at two inns:
1. Boathouse Kura
2. Boathouse Maruichi
Other than these two inns, services are only available in Japanese. For these inns, reservations made be made via the Ine Tourism Information Center – for tourists overseas, please contact this center via phone or email. English speaking staff are available in their office. They can be reached via the following:
Ine Tourism Information
3. Other Activities
Besides being able to stay in funaya, there are also some great hands-on programs available for tourists:
1. Guided Tours
In this tour, visitors are taking on a tour guided by a local to see the townscape, inside a historical boathouse, and to taste regional sake sold at a sake shop that has been in business since the Edo period.
2. Shore Fishing
A fishing lesson taught by local fishermen.
3. Knitting Nets Around a Glass Ball
Here you can not only learn how to knit a net, but make your own very unique souvenir ornament to decorate your home with. These experiences are only available in Ine, so during your stay, make sure not to miss out on these exciting opportunities (five day advance reservations are required).
Another special activity particular to a fishing town like Ine, is the sea taxi. The drivers are all local fishermen, who will act as tour guides and historians of Ine during the trip. On this course, tourists can not only see inside the boathouses, but visit some as well. This is another convenient way to get about and experience all of what Ine has to offer.
4. Local Cuisine
There are no fish shops in Ine – instead, in the early morning, fresh fish are taken directly to the fish market, where residents and chefs alike come to purchase the fresh catches of the day. In winter buri shabu shabu (Japanese amberjack hot pot) is particularly popular. The best way to enjoy buri shabu shabu is to first place the vegetables in the boiling dashi stock, place the sliced buri in for a few moments, and then take it out and eat it. This not only quickly melts the fat off the buri, but also makes it a more flavorful dish as well. Buri shabu shabu is becoming quite the popular dish with international visitors.
As a fishing town, Ine is well known for its fresh and preserved marine specialties. Heshiko, a special preserved fish dish, is prepared in summers here. Mackerel and sardines are pickled in salt and bran for about a year, the resulting product of which is said to taste similar to anchovies. Rooted in the local food culture of Ine, heshiko has also become a popular souvenir of the area as well. It goes great with pasta!
Agriculture is also a big industry in Ine, and plenty of delicious products are produced here, thanks to its ideal climate. Award-winning Kyoto brand vegetables, miso, and rice, particularly the Tango Koshihikari brand, have won consistent acclaim from experts around the nation. All of these locally produced foodstuffs can be enjoyed in restaurants and inns, or purchased in shops around Ine.
Another popular sightseeing spot is Funayano Sato Ine, where you will find a great souvenir shop run by a local fishery company. This fishery company has its own fishing nets, and creates its own local products. As they sell homemade dried fish, these souvenirs are only available in limited quantities, and can only be purchased in their store. They also sell agricultural products, like Tsutsugawa soba, a purely domestic buckwheat noodle, and the exceedingly rare Komoikedainagon adzuki beans, which are only available in Ine. Please come and taste the rare, delicious agricultural and marine products found in Ine.
The sake distillery Mukai Shuzo, which was founded in 1754, is also found here. At this sake distillery, tourists can indulge in a rare traditional sake made by women. In particular, their red sake, Ine Mankai, is one of the most popular among female customers, as its color and flavor is said to be similar to that of rose wine. After a taste of this sake, you may find yourself bringing home a bottle as a souvenir too.
For Information or Inquiries
Ine Tourism Information
Address: Kyoto, Ine, Kameshima 459