These charming houses are found in the coastal town of Ine, located in the northern part of Kyoto prefecture. The buildings which have existed since the 1700s were at first storage houses for wooden boats built for hanging up fishing nets. The first floor is used as both a boat garage and a workspace for fishermen, while the second floor is used as a living quarters. Even now 230 houses stand in a row along the 5km length of the bay which has been designated as a protected area of “important traditional buildings”.
The first funaya that were built were thatched roof wooden houses without living space, only meant to function as boathouses. At present, most funaya are wooden 2 floor buildings, and the second floor room is used as a guest room, or as living quarters for younger generation family members. There are also funaya which have been renovated as lodgings for visitors. The main houses are often found on the mountain side across the road, and this is where the everyday lifestyle is based. In addition to being in co-existence with the sea, Funaya also fulfill functional roles, and can be used for preparation of fish for cooking, making dried fish, and for carrying out fishing work activities while sheltering from wind and rain.
130km or 2.5 hour ride from central Kyoto.
Google map directions
Ride the JR Hashidate train from Kyoto station and get of at Amanohasidate station. From Amanohasidate ride the Tankai bus line until your reach the Ine or Ine Post office stop. All in all taking around 4 hours.