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Discover Kansai

Ine Funaya

Tucked away 15 kilometres north of Amanohashidate is Ine, a small, picturesque, coastal town built around the Ine bay.

From Kyoto, take a train to KyotoTango Railway Amanohashidate or KyotoTango Railway Miyazu Station. Then take a local bus to get to Ine. The kansai WIDE area pass covers the train trip. Buses are infrequent (one per hour) so it is recommended to plan ahead according to timetables.

Once you’re in town, there are bicycles scattered throughout at multiple check points which are available for use free of charge. These come in handy to help you cover short distances, especially in between the bus timetable.

Ine is known for its rich fishing history and the distinct looking funaya (boat houses) which dot the bay line. These waterfront buildings are typically used as garages for boats or storage, while the owner’s residence is usually situated just across the road, behind the funaya.

Take a Boat Tour

It is best viewed from a boat tour around the bay where you’ll get to see all the different types of funaya. A small sea taxi that is locally operated will set you back ¥1000, but you’ll get a pleasant ride across the bay, learn about the fishing history and birds which occupy the area whilst also partaking in a bird feeding session.

During the tour I learnt that in the middle of the bay is a large fishing entrapment where the local fisherman will keep live fish. These fish are then sold off at different times of the year based off economic supply and demand in order to maximize the town’s revenue – when supply is high, they won’t sell, and when supply is low, they will enter the market to capitalize on the higher prices.

The town itself only has about 2000 residents and while walking around the town, you can notice the big contrast between Ine and some of Japan’s other attractions, which is the complete lack of tourists. It is a beautiful hidden gem well worth a visit for those seeking a quiet, tranquil getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. There are several shops and restaurants, so be sure to stock up on food or to research restaurants beforehand.


Daniel is a Tokyo-based Australian food and travel blogger who has resided in Japan since 2015. He enjoys trying new foods in addition to exploring Japan’s natural treasures. He has particularly enjoyed Kansai’s autumn colours and temples and hopes to visit again in the future.