The historic capital of Japan from 794 to 1869, Kyoto is widely known for its beautiful scenery. Not many visitors travel north of the prefecture, however, where it opens to Wakasa Bay and the Sea of Japan. Here also lies a smaller inlet called Ine Bay, as well as a fishing settlement of the same name.
This town is notable for its status as a nationally-classified Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings, and it’s quite easy to see the reason behind it. Along the bayside, there are over 200 boathouses called funaya, some of them surviving from the mid-Edo period.
Often dubbed the “Venice of Japan,” the sight is simply extraordinary, old wooden houses blending with the clear, blue-green sea that reflects the mountains behind them. The unique architecture of this town is largely due to its geography.
While many of the boathouses continue to be inhabited by locals, more than a dozen of them have been refurbished into guesthouses and several others can also be visited.