off the beaten kyoto (2) lives closest to the sea in 230 funayas (舟屋 boat houses)

by Chisato
“Here people lead lives closed to the sea.”

Ine (伊根) town is a completely different world from the other part of Japan. 230 Funaya (舟屋 boat houses) are lined along the 5km coast of Ine bay. The whole Funayas seem to be floating on the high tide, looking like row houses on the water. 

off the beaten kyoto (2) lives closest to the sea in 230 funayas (舟屋 boat houses)

Funaya was once used as storehouses  of fishermen's boats, and now it is used as their residence on the second floor, containing boats on the first floor.


Villagers catch fishes, shells, and sea weeds from entrance hall.

this is a picture taken from the entrance of Funaya.

off the beaten kyoto (2) lives closest to the sea in 230 funayas (舟屋 boat houses)

It is popular to renovete these old funayas and open restaurants, inns, sweet cafe, or pottery studio.

off the beaten kyoto (2) lives closest to the sea in 230 funayas (舟屋 boat houses)Picture:Funaya Restaurant

Some funayas are open to public (not a museum, but it's a real living place!), and you can be invited by local villagers.

off the beaten kyoto (2) lives closest to the sea in 230 funayas (舟屋 boat houses)

Picture: villagers are preserving various types sea weeds for different pourpose.

 off the beaten kyoto (2) lives closest to the sea in 230 funayas (舟屋 boat houses)

picture: cruise by fishing boat


It is 3 hours trip from Kyoto station by local train and bus. Then you will get strayed in another world! 

Ine 伊根 is also 30 min. away from Amanohashidate 天橋立, one of the three most scenic view spots in Japan. If you are planning to visit Amanohashidate, it is recommended to visit Ine.


I can guide you from Kyoto station to Ine, and visit one of the villagers funaya, and learn cooking from a mom, or learn fishing from a dad. Also, possible to stay at Funaya, of course. 

2 Days Trip to Ine

Off-the-beaten Kyoto: Stay at a boat house in the seaside fishing village of Ine town (2 days)


Experience Rural Japan 
 Satoyama Library
further stories of off-the-beaten track in Japan

13 Mar 2015

Licensed Guide

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Contact Chisato

Hello. I am Chisato living in Uda city, south part of Nara.

I completed master degree of organic agriculture in the Netherlands in 2011.
Especially, my specialization is agriculture, anthropology and food culture.
I often travel around rural villages in japan for my research on traditional knowledge, ethnobotany and local cuisine, "kyodo ryori".

My style of guiding is "experience the local communities"; visiting the ingredients where it grows, listening to the stories of local life, where generations have lived.

My town Uda city is famous as a medicinal plant town. In the historical record, it is reported that Empress Suiko visited Uda to hunt medicinal herbs (AD611). Developed as a castle town, the city is designated as one of the Important Preservation Districts. The streets have some facilities associated with medicine and herbs, including Morino Kyuyakuen (medicinal herb garden) and Kusuri-no-Yakata (the museum of medicine). I am learning traditional knowledge of wild herbs from local villagers.

I try my best to organize a trip with unique experience for you in the off-the-beaten rural villages, especially in Kyoto and Nara. Please let me know your special interests, and I will suggest your trip schedule, such as cooking with locals, visit farmers, or stay at a farmhouse.

Example Theme:
- tea tour (harvesting and processing tea, tea house, matcha poder making, tea museum in Kyoto)
- traditional handicrafts (visit workshops, pottery making experience, kiln in hidden valley)
- culinary experience (food processing workshop such as tofu, soba, yuba, somen noodle, traditional knowledge of food preservation)
- fermented food products (learning how to make sake, shoyu, miso, amazake, pickle, nattou, umeboshi by yourself)
- plant and ethno-ecology (sansai wild plant harvesting and cooking)
- learning rural livelihood (charcoal making, weaving trees, paper making from mulberry plant, silk worm, visit to temple of plant medicine)
- temple stay (meditation, shojin ryori at mount koya)

Please inquire at least 1 month before the tour departure date, when it is totally customized tour.
Please note that spring (March-April) and autumn (Septenmer-October) are peak travelling season in Japan, and it may not possible to offer special interest tours.
I recommend to reserve accommodations at least 2 months before your travel (half year before during peak travelling season).

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