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Ine

Ine is in the East of the Tango peninsula, in the North of Kyoto. It's a village where inhabitants live on the seaside. Surrounded by mountains, you'll discover there a quiet bay and a small isle off the coast, where there are about 230 funaya. Those fishermen houses, aligned on 5km along the coast, have their ground floor converted in boathouses. All the inhabitants of Ine know each others and their smiling faces is as gentle as the breeze and swell. There's no doubt that it's one of the most beautiful villages of Japan.

You can see all the houses from the taxi-boat, Kameshima-maru. Are they at risk with tsunami ? Have no fear about that, as the bay is opened to the South while the Japanese sea, where tsunami come from is situated in the North.

Moreover, the difference between high tide and low tide is only 80cm all the year long. A unique case all over Japan. Without the quietness of the sea, this wonderful landscape of houses aligned on the seaside would have never exist. Their frameworks are strong, with low roofs and sloping foundations allowing boats to leave.

Yellowtail, bream, tuna, oysters… Ine's fishing ground is rich in fishes and seafood, however, one thing is missing here... a fishmonger's shop! Indeed, early in the morning, Ine-Gyoko port announce the opening of its market to the neighborhood where people directly come to buy fishes at low prices.

The ceramic workshop Ine-kobo is in the East of the bay. The kind Mrs Kura exhibit there her wonderful work in her pretty house which ground floor is, of course, a boathouse. You will also find earthenware in monochrome that look like those of Quimper in Brittany (France). Is it a coincidence?

The distillery Mukai shuzo makes its own sake called Ine-Mankai (1.8L, 720ml, 300ml), literally "Ine blossoms." This alcohol, made with Murasaki komachi, a wild rice, purple and rich in anthocyanins and polyphenols, is exported in at least six countries. Its tasty bouquet reminds of red wine, with a slight flavour of chocolate. "Even French chefs serve it in their restaurant," according to Mr. Chokeiji. The rolled cake with rice and purple sake called Akachabin (this is the name of a fairy who lives in this house, according to this man), is also a very popular dish.

The manufacturing process of sake begins in november by mixing, carefully, aspergilus, braised rice and a rich mineralized water from the mountain. Made in the respect of traditions, this sake is an important element of this village's life, during holidays and for inhabitants who live from fish factory.

At the end of the visit, have a night in a inn. Your tiredness will disappear when you'll discover the magnifiscient scenery from your room. You can have ther a nice moment, contemplating the sea that reflects, like a mirror, the dying glow of the sunset. Here, time passes slowly and goes to the waves pace.

 

 

 

 

 

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