Sea our area
The sea has given birth to a variety of Japan’s most important cultural assets. The Kyoto by the Sea region is home to the businesses producing a majority of Kyoto’s finest silk, one of Japan’s four historic naval bases, Ine’s Edo era funaya (boat houses), and a collection of temples that range from the former Grand Shrine, temples on the 33-pilgrimage route through western Japan, and a rare temple with cat guardians.
- Tango chirimen silk, 300 years strong
- Visiting Kyoto by the Sea means getting to experience Tango chirimen, textured silk of the highest quality with a 300-year production history. Artisans in the area thank the region’s geography f
- Nariaiji Pilgrimage
- This spiritual journey begins as soon as you step off the train at Amanohashidate Station. The first temple on your journey is only a 1-2 minute walk away. It’s called Chionji, a temple of wisd
OTHER THINGS TO DO
- Kyoto Traditional Fishing Town Tour
- Join a local and tour Kyoto’s traditional fishing town! Explore Yoshihara inlet by bicycle and boat, visit the local seafood market, enjoy a BBQ lunch, and experience making your own 'kamaboko' fish cakes using fresh seafood!
Enjoy a cycle through the traditional scenery of Yoshihara fishing town
Take a boat ride and discover the boat homes by the water’s edge
Shop around and have lunch at a local seafood market
Make your own ‘kamaboko’ fish cakes at a factory using fresh local seafood
While Japan’s major cities advance and change rapidly, Kyoto is one of the few remaining places where time may seem to stand relatively still.
Its ancient sights continue to attract visitors from in and out of the country, as people flock to experience a piece of old Japan.
Away from the hustle and bustle of crowds, however, is a rather tucked away part of Kyoto.
Located near the sea is the traditional fishing town of Yoshihara, called the “Venice of Japan”.
While it may not boast a rich history of many eras, this small town was built for fishermen during the Edo period and has still preserved its traditional architecture and charm.
Before you begin touring the area, you can first drop off your luggage at Saika-an — a 130-year-old traditional Japanese house that has been turned into an inn.
After that, join your guide for a leisurely cycle through the fishing town’s main roads and bridges before stopping along a canal for a boat ride in a traditional wooden boat.
These canals aren’t only a beautiful sight, but the boat homes that stand right on the water’s edge have a very traditional and quaint feeling about them.
Observe the lifestyle of the local people living there, and how they have preserved the simple way of life of fisher people during the Edo period.
After your boat ride, your guide will take you to a local shopping market where you can discover all sorts of fresh seafood, some caught by the fishermen themselves.
For lunch, enjoy picking from the fresh seafood and having it barbequed right before you, but be sure to save some of your appetite for the next tour activity!
At Maizuru kamaboko factory plant, you can have a go at making your own ‘kamaboko’ (steamed fish cake) using fresh local seafood.
After a brief lesson on the history of kamaboko, you can begin creating various seafood mixtures, molding them into different forms, then steaming or frying them until they are ready.
Indulge in your own handmade kamaboko and take some home with you as edible souvenirs!
When you are done, you will return back to Saika-an inn to pick up your luggage and end your tour.
For a longer experience, you can round up your day with a tour of Maizuru city, where Yoshihara is located, before retiring back to the lodgings for a hot bath, dinner, and a good night’s sleep.
Book now and discover Kyoto’s quaint fishing town by the sea!
- Minimum 2 participants required to join this tour. (7,813 JPY per person, +1-night stay 15,000 JPY per person)
Option 1: Tour
11:00 Meet up at Nishi Maizuru Station
11:15 Stop at Saika-an lodging, luggage storage, old houses tour
11:30 Visit Yoshihara, bicycle rental, Japanese boat
13:00 Visit Maizuru Port Toretore Center for lunch. When closed on Wednesdays, the guide will take you to nearby restaurants
14:15 Arrival at Maizuru kamaboko plant
14:30 Kamaboko molding and steaming experience
16:00 Experience ends
16:15 Stop by Saika-an to pick up luggage
16:30 Drop off at Nishi Maizuru Station
Option 2: Tour + Stay
16:30 Maizuru Tour
18:00 Return to accommodation for dinner and bath
Day 2, 8:30 Breakfast at lodgings
10:00 Drop-off at Nishi Maizuru Station
- Chirimen Silk and Kimono Wearing Experience Yosano, Kyoto (ultimate refinement)
- Unlike many of the "kimono rental experiences" throughout Japan, this one offers a once in a lifetime chance to try on the highest quality Tango chirimen silk, as well as tour silk factories, and walk through a Japan Heritage preserved town with a 300 year history that is still active.
Visit Yosano, Kyoto to learn about Tango chirimen silk and the origins of the Japanese kimono. Take guided tours of two fine makers of Tango chirimen silk with over 300 years of experience. Visit the Former Bito Family Residence and wear silk kimono.
Learn about Tango chirimen silk and the origins of the kimono
Visit Japanese Tango chirimen silk makers with over 300 years of experience
Enjoy a guided tour of Shibata Orimono and Watamasa in Yosano, Kyoto
Visit Former Bito Family Residence
Wear an authentic Tango chirimen silk kimono and drink matcha
Chirimen silk crepe is a high-quality textured silk. While there are many local brands of chirimen silk across Japan, Kyoto’s Tango chirimen is particularly notable for its sophistication and stylish appearance.
Tango chirimen silk is produced in modern-day Yosano, formerly the Tango Province, in northern Kyoto Prefecture. This area is still one of Japan’s most active silk-producing areas, supplying some 60% of the silk used for kimono in Japan.
Together with an experienced guide, you'll visit two textile factories producing Tango chirimen silk in Yosano, Kyoto: Shibata Orimono and Watamasa. Combined, these two institutions have over 300 years of silk experience.
After touring these two textile factories, you will also have a precious opportunity to actually wear kimono made from genuine Tango chirimen silk in the exquisite atmosphere of the Former Bito Family Residence.
Designated as a Tangible Cultural Property by Kyoto Prefecture, the Former Bito Family Residence offers a peek into Japan's past as well as a very sophisticated mix of Japanese and Western luxury. Soak in the rich atmosphere while enjoying freshly made matcha green tea.
One can distinguish Tango Chirimen from other types of silk by distinctive patterns of fine, rough-textured grains across its surface. Tango chirimen silk producers compress the silk yarn during the refinement process to create this unique texture. This original technique also produces fabric less prone to wrinkling that diffuses light to bring out rich colors in the dye.
Former Bito Family Residence
Built in 1863, the Former Bito Family Residence was once home to a distinguished old family of Tango chirimen merchants. This grand old house showcases a blend of both Japanese and Western designs. See the Bito family’s furniture and accessories in the original retro-style atmosphere.
• You must be age 18 or older to participate in this activity
• This activity requires at least two participants (13,500 JPY per person)
• Scheduled studios may change due to circumstances beyond our control
13:15 - Meet at Yosano Station
13:30 - Ride to Watamasa
• 961 Iwaya, Yosano-cho, Yosa District, Kyoto Prefecture
13:40 - Arrive Watamasa
• Tango Chirimen uniqueness and characteristics
14:40 - Ride to Shibata Orimono
• 869-2 Migochi, Yosano-cho, Yosa District, Kyoto-fu
14:45 - Arrive at Shibata Orimono
• Shibata Orimono excels at producing dyed fabrics with originality, and has provided costumes to Hollywood and kimono for Barcelona Olympics
15:45 - Ride to Former Bito Family Residence
• 1085 Kaya, Yosano-cho, Yosa District, Kyoto-fu
15:50 - Introduction
• Wear kimono made from Tango chirimen
• Drink macha
17:00 - Ride to Yosano Station
17:20 - Arrive at Yosano Station
17:30 - Experience ends
Yosano Station (Kyoto Tango Railway)
Shimoyamada, Yosano, Yoza District, Kyoto 629-2302
• 9 minutes from Amanohashidate Station
• 90 minutes from Kinosaki Onsen Station
• 120 minutes from Kyoto Station
check out their website for more information and reservations:
You can also book this tour through VOYAGIN:
- Fukuchiyama Castle
- How does a samurai general rebuild a castle?
Akechi Mitsuhide served as a general under the famous Oda Nobunga, a lord and renowned military tactician who tried to unify Japan. He then rebelled against him.
In 1579, Mitsuhide rebuilt the castle, and even today the original stone wall of the castle remains standing. It is a wall built with large rocks interspersed with local gravestones, hauled to the site by reluctant laborers as “contributions” to the wall
From the tower, windows face all four cardinal directions and offer views only limited by the range of our vision.
Stone pagodas were also used in the wall. This is a common characteristic of castles connected to Oda Nobunaga, including Azuchi Castle and Nijo Castle.
Address: 5, Naiki, Fukuchiyama-shi
hours: 9:00-17:00 (admission until 16:30)
closed: Tuesday (if Tuesday is a holiday the castle is open and will be closed Wednesday)
special closures: 12/28-12/31, 1/4-1/6
cost: 320 yen for adults, child (ES and JHS students) 100 yen
access:15 minutes on foot from JR Fukuchiyama Station. 5 minutes by local bus from JR Fukuchiyama Station.
- Weaving folk crafts, 100% silk
- Experience silk weaving, an art with a 300-year heritage in the Kyoto by the Sea area. In the town of Yosano, you can make your own handwoven coaster to commemorate your trip.
You have a wide variety of thread colors to choose from and it is all 100% silk!
A weaver will explain the process before you begin. The whole experience will take around 40 minutes. Please make reservations ahead of time.
contact: contact the Kyoto by the Sea DMO Yosano regional office
access: Yosano Tourist Association (roadside station Kaya. Yosano, Taki 98
cost: 900 yen per person
- Nariaiji Temple (mountain temple with sea views)
- Nariaiji Temple is located on the far-side of the Amanohashidate land bridge (one of Japan's Three Scenic Views). The temple sits near the mountain top and is one of the 33 temples on Japan's western pilgrimage route. The temple grounds are expansive with gardens, a pond, 5-story pagoda, temple bell (with mysterious lore behind why it is closed up), and the main temple. Even further up the mountain is an overlook spot with a cafe. The temple is one of the few with breathtaking sea views.
From Amanohashidate station, rent a bicycle, take a boat, or even walk to the chair lift for Kasamatsu Park. Once at the top, there is a shuttle bus that runs to and from Nariaiji Temple.
The last shuttle bus from Kasamatsu Park, as well as the last chair lift/cable car, is at 5:30 pm.
address: 339, Nariaiji, Miyazu-shi, Kyoto
cost: 500 yen for adults, JHS & HS 200 yen, ES and younger free
access: 7 minutes by mountain bus from Kasamatsu Park
20 minutes by car from the nearest highway exit: Yosa Amanohashidate IC
- Chirimen Kaido "300 years woven in silk"
- Chirimen Kaido is an old road in the Kaya district of the town of Yosano that has been designated in Japan as an Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings. The street is lined with merchant houses, a bank, doctor's office, and other preserved buildings that transport the visitor to a Japan more than a hundred years in the past.
- Maizuru Redbrick Park
- Maizuru's seven red brick warehouses have been designated as important cultural properties in Japan, and have been renovated to preserve their architecture. A few of the buildings are currently in use. A cafe and exhibit hall are housed in buildings 2 and 3. Buildings 4 and 5 are sometimes used for live events and art festivals.
- National treasure, Komyo-ji Temple and Niomon gate
- The gate is said to have been constructed in 1248. It is a double gate with a three-by-one structure, with a gabled roof of rare shingles that are unsual even within Japan.
The gate was designated as a National Treasure in 1954.
address: Mutsuyoricho, Ayabe-shi kimonoo 1-1
access: [bus] Take the Uebayashi bus line from JR Ayabe Station. Get off at okenshiyasesen "Ayabe Onsen. It's a 40-minute walk from there.
[car] Turn right onto Route 27 "Yamaga" intersection and ahead north.
Take a left before the Aya bus "Shimoichiba bus stop" and continue straight
notes: the mountain road continues up towards the temple from Ayabe Onsen and there is a parking lot at the top. Due to snowfall, the road may be impassable in winter.
Recommended viewing: Spring through Fall
- Motoise Kono Shrine
- The only Grand Shrine along the Sanin region (spanning multiple prefectures)
Motoise-Kono Shrine is an ancient shrine whose name (Motoise literally means "former Ise") stems from a legend that tells of the sun goddess Amaterasu and the deity Toyouke, who moved from this spot to Ise Jingu Shrine in Mie, which is dedicated to them.
During the Nara period, Motoise-Kono Shrine became the most important shrine in Tango Province. In the Heian period, it was officially listed in the "Engishiki" (a set of ancient Japanese laws and customs) as being of the highest rank, and boasted its top position in terms of shrine ranking and honorable origins.
Along the railing in front of the main shrine there are five colored suedama, a Shinto motif of which only two shrines in the country are permitted to use – Ise Shrine and Kono Shrine.
On the property, one can hear the distant sound of water echoing underground. The source of this tranquil sound is a suikinkutsu, a buried Japanese garden ornament.
Ama no Ukihashi (mythical bridge connecting the heavens and earth)
Following in the footsteps of legend, the land bridge of Amanohashidate is known as a place where couples can strengthen their spiritual bonds, just as two mythic gods used Amanohashidate as a way to connect with each other.
address: Miyazu-shi, Kyoto character Ogaki 430
hours: 7:00-17:00 (changes seasonally)
access: Take the Kyoto Tango Railway to Amanohashidate Station. The local bus goes the rest of the way, taking 25 minutes.
From Amanohashidate station, take the sightseeing boat from Amanohashidate pier - Ichinomiya pier, and then walk 5 minutes.
[car] 15 minutes from highway exit, Yosa Amanohashidate IC
parking: available (fees apply)
- Goryo Shrine
- Honoring the departed soul of the samurai and general, Mitsuhide Akechi, Goryo Shrine houses his handwritten letters and feudal military strategies.
In Goryo Park, which is next to the shrine, there are signs of the flood level from typhoon number 13 in 2016 and also an automaton clock with dolls that jump out of it.
address: 238, Nakanomachi, Fukuchiyama-shi
access: It is ten minutes on foot from JR Fukuchiyama Station
- Kurotani Washi Japanese paper making
- You will find Kurotani Washi paper factory in a small riverside town set against the forests that were the original inspiration for this 800 year-old business. The origins date back 800 years, when a rogue samurai fled to the area, and seeing the forests were rich in Mulberry trees, started making paper by hand, a tradition that is still continued today.
Tour the village and workshops where paper is still being made slowly, carefully, all by hand. Try making washi paper yourself, in a small workshop led by one of Kurotani's artisans.
When you are finished be sure to visit the gift shop which is filled with amazing paper goods, from fans, to books, and even pillows. Check out the second floor to see some incredible Japanese kimono and obi made entirely out of paper!
cost: 1,000 yen (per person) to make a set of washi paper postcards
300 yen (admission)
hours: 9:00-4:30pm (paper making experience, last experience starts at 3:30pm)
closed: saturdays, sundays, holidays
season: closed from January to March (Open only on Saturday & Sunday)
access: KUROTNI WASHI KAIKAN 3 Higashidani, Kurotani-cho, Ayabe City, Kyoto 623-0108
Take the JR Sanin Main Line to Ayabe Station and exit the station from the south exit.
2 minute’s walk from the [Kurotani Wash Kaikan Mae] stop on Aya Bus Kurotani Line.
> 15 minutes from the Ayabe Ankokuji IC on the Kyoto Jukan Expressway
- Kaisenkyo Rotating Bridge
- This 90-degree rotating bridge connects the Amanohashidate land bridge (one of Japan's Three Scenic Views) to the main town. Close by is Chionji Temple, temple of wisdom, as well as a variety of shops, Japanese inns, and restaurants.
The bridge was erected in 1923 and manually operated by crank so large ships could pass through the canal, and it went electric in 1960. It is an excellent spot for photographs. People also come to the area to fish and swim (as there are beaches on the land bridge). Explore the area by foot, with a rent-a-cycle, or a boat tour.
address: Monju, Miyazu-shi, Kyoto
hours: always open to foot traffic
bridge rotating times: irregular hours for large ship traffic, sightseeing ship passes by at around 9:55am, Sunday 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00
access: [on foot] 5 minutes from Amanohashidate Station
[car] from Miyazu Amanohashidate IC it's about 10 minutes
- Former Bito Family Residence (a legacy of silk) (Yosano)
- Kyoto Prefecture Tangible Cultural Property
Rebuilt in 1863 as a raw chirimen silk (high quality textured silk) merchant's house. In the 1920s, the house was expanded to include Western-style rooms. For generations during the Edo period, the head of the Bito family served as the village headman. During the Meiji Period, the Bito family head served in important positions such as Tango Bank president, Kaya Railways president, and Kaya Town Mayor.
Tour the building and see the legacy of silk in the area that is now over 300 years long and still strong.
admission: Adults: ¥200, ES and JHS: ¥100
*Discounts available for groups of 8 or more.
hours: 9:00–5:00 p.m.
closed: Mon. (open if a national holiday and closed the following day instead), year-end / New Year's holidays
address: Kaya 1085, Yosano-cho