Japan has a somewhat secret destination located on the shore of Ine Bay in Kyoto Prefecture which you can never find being listed in guidebooks. It is lined by traditional wooden buildings built on water’s edge known as “Funaya” in Japanese. It is popularly known as “The Boat Houses of Ine”. There are about 230 Funaya running along the shore of the bay. This is a spectacular destination which offers a unique and picturesque scene.
The main purpose of developing the Funaya was to make the most of the strip of land located between the mountains and the sea. Owing to its unique appearance, the townscape is often referred to as “The Venice of Japan.” The wooden architecture has been adjusted to fit the location’s place as tidal changes are not so great. What provides protection against storms are the sheltered coves.
The Boat Houses of Ine used to be a place for fishing livelihood but, nowadays, some of them have been converted into inns for travelers who want to watch the panoramic townscape.
The houses of this sleepy fishing town are made of two floors with the upper floor primarily used as a sleeping quarter. The ground floor is directly accessible to the open water. You can also find a space for a boat and its equipment as well as for a workshop. This is also the place where people make preparations before and after fishing.
The area has restaurants offering great local sea foods which you can enjoy while facing the Sea of Japan so expect the food to be really fresh!
Visiting beautiful secret places such as The Boat Houses of Ine will definitely give you a lasting good memory. Besides being transported into a Venice-like place, you can also enjoy scenic views, friendly local people and an amazing culture!