The Tango Peninsula juts out into the Japan Sea, in the far north of Kyoto Prefecture. It is known for its delicious crabs, oysters, and yellowtail. It is also know for its distinctive ‘funaya’ fisherman’s houses.
The small villages that now sit at the waters edge were once situated higher up. Boats were stored next to the houses but it was a great effort to bring them up and down, so small shelters were constructed for the boats, and in time these were also used as accommodation for the extended families.
Many of the funaya are located in Ine-cho, a village which is located in a harbour naturally protected from the waves of the Japan Sea. Today, some of the funaya houses are used as accommodation, and it’s a lovely experience to stay in a room over the water.
In the interior of the peninsula, there are more small villages and little development. Around the coast there are stretches of sandy beaches, cliffs and more fishing villages.
Above is a senmaida, terraced rice fields, with the backdrop of the Japan Sea.
Ine-cho is registered as one of the ‘Most Beautiful Villages of Japan’, an NGO which promotes the preservation of villages around the country. It’s about three hours by train or car from Kyoto, yet remains a quiet backwater.