Extend your exploration of Japan’s rural landscape from Amanohashidate to Ine Bay (伊根湾)! There is a quiet fishing village located in the northern part of the Tango Peninsula (丹後半島). Along Ine Bay, where the waves are calm, a unique townscape is formed by the type of private houses called Funaya (舟屋).
For centuries, as most of the population earned their living by fishing, the houses were built directly above the water surface. The lower level is a ship hangar where they park their boats/ships before they head upstairs to join their family.
A workshop is also usually located at the lower level for fishermen to perform any necessary fish handling.
Ine Bay Sightseeing Ferry (伊根湾めぐり遊覧船) and Sea Taxi (海上タクシー)
At Ine, approximately 230 Funayas are surrounded by Ine Bay. As most of them are private residential properties, one recommended way to take a closer look at these distinct houses is by taking either the Ine Bay Sightseeing Ferry or hiring a Sea Taxi.
HERE is the difference between the two.
Booking is not required, and you can head straight to Ine-chō Information Center when you arrive at Ine Town. The staff will sort out your ferry ticket or contact the sea taxi driver on your behalf.
☛ If you are going to both Amanohashidate and Ine Town, consider getting one of the passes to save on transportation and admission fees for the cablecar/lifts and Ine Bay Sightseeing Ferry. HERE is the link to their English website for some of the passes (at the end of the webpage).
☛ Another pass that you can consider is the Ine Kasamatsu Tourist Ticket (伊根傘松観光券). The ticket includes a return cablecar/lift trip to Amanohashidate Kasamatsu Park and Ine Bay Sightseeing Ferry. You will also get a discount on Nariaiji Temple Mountaineering Bus. For more information, please translate their Japanese website HERE to English using the Google Translate function at the right of Google Chrome’s address bar.
Roadside Station Funayano-Sato Ine (道の駅 舟屋の里伊根)
From the Funaya area, if you trek up the hill, you should be able to get to the roadside station in 20 minutes.
On a sunny day, your effort to make your way up will certainly not be wasted once you reach the back of the roadside station lookout. The view of the Ine Bay and the Funaya houses is absolutely stunning!
If you come in the late afternoons, the scenery is even more beautiful with the sky dyed in red by the sun disappearing from the horizon!
Roadside Station Funayano-Sato Ine’s Opening Hours and Access Information
- The lookout is accessible 24/7.
- The roadside station actually forms part of the ryokan Aburaya (油屋).
- The roadside station is open from 9 am to 5 pm except for Tuesdays.
- While there are restaurants around, unfortunately, there are no vegetarian menus.
- Instead of hiking your way up, you can also take a bus from the town center and get off at Michinoeki Funayanosato Ine (道の駅 舟屋の里伊根). Please refer to HERE for the timetable.
Miyabi Ine Boathouse (伊根の舟屋 雅)
Miyabi Ine Boathouse is one of the places in town where you can see what the interior of the Funaya looks like.
Renovated from a Funaya, it is now a Japanese-style cafe on the first floor. If the weather is warm, outdoor seats are available to chill as you observe Ine Bay’s astonishing view. The cafe is filled with delicious Japanese desserts that will certainly entertain your taste buds (^_-)-☆.
If you are looking for somewhere to stay overnight in town, you can book a room on their second floor to have a feel of what it would be like living in one of these unique houses. For more information about staying at Miyabi Ine Boathouse, please refer to Ine Town’s website HERE.
Important: Please note that there will be no dinner and breakfast served.
Miyabi Ine Boathouse’s Business Hours and Access Information
- The cafe on the first floor is open from 9 am to 5 pm daily but may close on Thursdays.
- The boathouse is a 5-minute walk away from the bus stop – Ine (伊根).
Cycling the Ine Town and the Surrounding Coastal Lines
If you are adventurous and love cycling, you can rent one of the e-BIKEs from Ine-chō Information Center and cycle along the coastal line to enjoy the magnificent Sea of Japan sceneries!
For example, the Kamaya Coast (カマヤ海岸) in the Instagram post is one of the most popular spots that attract many people across the country when they visit rural Kyoto.
Please click HERE for more information about the e-Bike, including rental costs and payment options.
If you would like to get some guidance around the area, consider booking one of the e-BIKE Cycling Guided Tours, where your guide will share the town’s history and a few fun facts. You will be guided through the Funaya and cycle along the hilly roads for wonderful views from various parts of Ine Bay.
For more information, such as itinerary and cost, please refer to their website HERE.
Important: If you aren’t planning to cycle for the whole day or are happy with the non-electric assisted bicycles, there are free tourism bikes that you can rent at one of the five bicycle ports in Ine. HERE is the map of where those five ports are. Please be aware that you can’t reserve these bikes.
Honjō Beach Sea Kayaking (本庄浜カヤック)
From mid-April until the end of September, when the temperature isn’t freezing cold at Ina, you can sea kayak your way to explore the caves underneath the cliffs along the coastal line while adorning some of the most scenic landscapes in the area.
For more information about the activity and to book, please refer to the official website HERE.
Staying Overnight at Ine
One of the ways that you can explore the interior of the Funaya is by staying overnight at one of the inns. HERE is a list of the accommodations available in town (note not all of them are Funaya). What you need to watch out for is that many of them don’t provide dinner or breakfast. Without a convenience store in town and restaurants serving seafood dishes, it is best to bring some bread.
However, some of the inns, such as Ine Stay Tokiwa (伊根ステイ ときわ), do have microwaves, fridges, and kettles that you can use, making it possible for you to have an instant meal. A few of them, such as WATERFRONT INN (与謝荘) may also be able to cater to special dietary requests, but please check with them before you make a booking.
Tip: As many accommodations are hard to book, if you don’t read/speak Japanese, you can contact Ine Tourist Information Center by submitting a web form HERE. They should be able to make a booking on your behalf.
How to Get to Ine Bay by Public Transport
To get to Ine Bay, there are a couple of places where you can take the Tankai Bus in Amanohashidate. Your boarding stop will differ depending on whether you are heading to Ine Bay first or after exploring Amanohashidate. HERE is the bus timetable for you to plan ahead.
Tip: Sometimes, the bus can be packed when it reaches the Amanohashidate Cable-shita (天橋立ケーブル下). Head to the stop before Amanohashidate Motoise Kono-jinja Shrine (天橋立元伊勢籠神社) for a higher chance of getting a seat.
You can also head straight to Ine Bay from Kyoto Tango Railway’s (京都丹後鉄道) Miyazu Station (宮津駅) by taking the Ine Line (伊根線). HERE is the service’s timetable, which is only available in Japanese. Please use the bus stop’s Japanese characters to read it.
- For the weekday timetable, refer to（平日）PDF.
- For weekends and public holiday timetables, refer to （休日）.
Which Bus Stop to Get off at Ine
- If you plan to take the Ine Bay Sightseeing Ferry/Sea Taxi, then get off at Inewanmeguri Hide (伊根湾めぐり ・ 日出).
- If you plan to just stroll around the town, then get off at Ine (伊根).
- If you have more time to spend at Ine, then you can consider getting off at Michinoeki Funayanosato Ine (道の駅 舟屋の里伊根) for a panoramic view of Ine Bay and Funaya houses from a high hill then walk back down to the town center.
Visit Amanohashidate for One of the Three Views of Japan
If you haven’t been to Amanohashidate for the celebrated view, you definitely should when coming to Miyazu!
Check out our article on Amanohashidate to find out why people are bending down on the observatory and how the 5,000 pine trees can grow on the 3.6 km sandbar surrounded by seawater!