Japan’s Very Own Venice – Ine No Funaya

Japan is home to many unique and breathtaking places that each of us should visit at least once. Known as the Land of the Rising Sun, Japan holds the title for being part of the few countries in the whole world with a golden history and an advanced economy. Every year, millions of foreigners visit Japan because of the dumbfounding sceneries and tourist spots. Furthermore, Japan has 21 World Heritage Sites which people can choose from if they plan on visiting the country.

In addition to everything that the country has to offer, Japan has another destination travelers can go to if they wanted to visit a place that somehow looks like Venice. Yes, Venice in Italy. If you are a fan of Venice, then you better check out Japan’s own version of it. It can be found in the sleepy town of Ine no Funaya or “The Boat Houses of Ine.” This is place is more affordable to visit than that of the real Venice. Moreover, it is commonly known as “Venice of Japan” and only few people are familiar with this place now. Meaning, it’s not crowded like any other tourist destinations in Japan.

The hidden destination is composed of 230 funaya or boathouses, and is located on the shore of Ine Bay in Kyoto Prefecture between the sea and the mountains. In front of this wonderful place is where the sea is and at the back are the mountains. Located in a cove to protect its purity and beauty, it truly is a charm we should not miss.


Photo credits to the owner. Photo taken from en.japantravel

The locals are very kind and accommodating to tourists. They even allow tourists to go with them when they fish. When they are able to catch their own fish, the locals will provide their own ice packs where the foreigners can store the captured fish. Talk about hospitality and being polite, well going to this place and meeting the locals can stun you.


Another good thing about this destination is that they supply approximately 25% of the fish in the main city, making them one of the biggest or largest suppliers of fish in Kyoto. Furthermore, the area is known for its fresh local seafood, which can be enjoyed and eaten at the restaurants and inns in the area. No wonder they started building businesses in this area… Because of the amount of fish they capture and amount of visitors they get, it can never be doubted that this place is made to be a tourist spot. Restaurants here also serve different types of seafood and to top it all of – they serve sashimi beautifully.

The Houses

The houses were built out of necessity so that they could efficiently utilize the narrow strip of land between the sea and mountains.The houses are built and made from wood; each house has living and sleeping quarters on the second floor. On the first floor are where the parking space for boats can be seen, where they store their fishing nets and equipment, and where there is direct access to the sea. Sometimes, the upper floors can also be used as inns for tourists. Moreover, each of the houses possess its own unique design. However, there’s one thing that they have in common, they look very charming and vintage-ish. The structures would make you feel like you’re living in the past. Talk about living in the samurai age.


Photo credits to the owner. Photo taken from japan-experience

It is a breathtaking scenery when you are looking at it from the sea because it looks like the houses are literally floating on water. These are just part of the many reasons why you would fall in love with this destination. As of the moment, there are 230 of these so-called funaya (boathouses) in the village. Also, the houses can be seen when you are on the mountains, where beautiful and blooming flowers can be seen beside the stairs.

The overall feel of the village is so unique that it was designated as a protected area of “important traditional buildings.” It is also the first fishing village to be registered in Japan’s Important Preservation Districts for Groups of Historical Buildings.

There are actually many other sights that are worth checking out aside from the funayas. Nevertheless, we never knew that Japan actually hosted a place like this. Imagine being in Japan and having the feel of Venice, ahhh~ such a great travel experience.

Do you plan on visiting Japan soon? Are you now enticed about what this town can offer? If yes, what are you waiting for? Come and ride-or-live in the funayas.

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