10-cover
Bounty of the Sea: Culinary Culture of Ine, From Seafood to Sake
BOJ Co., Ltd. • Kyoto
prize-silver
"Beyond their iconic funaya boathouses, the coastal town of Ine in Kyoto has much to offer in terms of local cuisine and sake."
Ine is a town in Kyoto that’s famous for its unique style of boathouses, called funaya. However, there’s more to experience in Ine beyond these picturesque floating homes. Besides a glimpse of the unique architectural style of Ine, this tour offers deep insight into the local gastronomic culture of this seaside town. During this experience, you’ll see how the fishing community operates here and visit one of the rare women-owned sake breweries in Japan.

First, take a voyage around the bay and visit aquatic farms where the local shellfish are raised. Along with an abundance of fresh seafood, the bay is full of birds like seagulls and hawks, and from the boat you’ll get an excellent view of the funaya bobbing along the coast.

After the boat tour, you’ll learn how to prepare sashimi, choosing from a variety of colorful, freshly-caught fish. Your instructor will guide you through every step, from descaling and cleaning the fish, to making the precise cuts required for quality sashimi. You’ll end up with a beautiful plate of sashimi, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. This kind of hands-on experience will help you connect more closely with and develop an appreciation for the sea’s bounty.

This appreciation of the sea is reflected in every part of Ine’s culture—especially the architecture of the funaya. These boathouses open into the bay to allow easy access and storage of smaller fishing boats. The people of Ine have worked hard to maintain this traditional way of life and have preserved funaya like these for visitors to explore freely.

To wrap up the day, visit the local Mukai sake brewery. Operating one of the few woman-owned sake breweries in Japan, Ms. Kuniko makes a special sake called “Ine Mankai” from red rice. The sweet, pinkish nihonshu is easy to drink and pairs perfectly with the ocean view.

Highlights

  • Take a boat ride around the bay with stops at aquaculture sites
  • Prepare sashimi from local, freshly caught fish
  • Explore a preserved funaya boathouse

Inclusions

  • Step-by-step lesson on how to prepare sashimi from scratch
  • Freshly caught whole fish for sashimi lesson
  • Sampling local sake