Friday, October 28, 2016

Kagiya (鍵屋) @ Ine-Cho ( 伊根町)

When I really love something, my friends would hear me talking about it non-stop.  Kagiya (鍵屋) in Ine-cho is one of those places.  It is not the easiest to get to  but it was so worth it.  I have been keeping it hush-hush on the blog but I always think about my experience there every year around this time.  If there is a next time, I will need to at least spend 2 nights there, with one day fully dedicated to fishing. :)
Ine is sometimes referred to "Venice of Japan" but a lot less known and much quieter. 

Kagiya is one of those specialty accommodation converted from a traditional funaya.  Funaya is unique Ine buildings which have existed since the 1700s were at first storage houses for wooden boats built for hanging up fishing nets.  Nowadays, most funaya are wooden 2 floor buildings, the first floor is a combined boat garage and workspace for fishermen, and the second floor is used as a living area and/or guest room.  There are also funaya which have been renovated as accommodation, like Kagiya.  (Source: Ine Tourism Association)

In the traditional funaya, this would be the garage for boats.
Did you see the door?  You could actually go out and squid
we couldn't that night as the wind was too strong T_T
traditional Japanese sleeping arrangement
very comfortable for us but may not be suitable for people who have back problems

Kagiya is family owned and run.  The owners are trained chef and had their own restaurant "Herbie" for many year before they opened Kagiya.  I was so surprised when they told me Kagiya has been in business for over 6 years (as of 2014).  The place literally looks and feels brand new!

Our welcome tea~
I had been driving all day...
the coffee was refreshing :)
Now you shouldn't be surprised when I tell you the food is to die for.  Not only Ken is a skilled chef, the fish is also pristine.  Come on, the fish is the morning's catch from the Japan sea!!!  What a pity that my mom does not eat sashimi.

The sashimi platter for 3, 6 different kinds of fish!
OMG... so fresh, so delicious...
I could eat this everyday.  I still remember how delicious the ishidai was!
This platter is enough reason for me to return
buri belly
illustration drawn by Mina
all the china used were so pretty!
I told the owners my mom does not eat sashimi,
so the cooked these for her.
Better yet, they didn't forget my brother and my portion! :D
I wish they did though... LOL
because... I ordered a buri shabu as an add on!!!
oh man... it was so good!!!
I want to return so badly...
so much food I wish I skipped lunch earlier that day
we even had to skip the congee in the end because we were just about to burst...
so sad... because the broth was amazing and their rice was really good also!
they use koshihikari from I-forgot-where
but it was from a farmer who was a supplier to the Imperial family.
(they showed me a picture)
and yes, the rice was very delicious!
Too bad it was too cold and too dark after dinner, so we went to bed pretty early.  But then, I also got up early to explore the town a bit (and work up an appetite because I know there is more food coming!)
a very quiet fisherman town indeed
Definitely not Venice, but it got its own charm
another gloomy day
hopefully it will be a sunny day next time I visit
I asked the owners what would be their ideal vacation
Ken said it would be a place he could fish all day.
well, I think he has found that place!

When I came back from my walk,
table is already setup for breakfast!
Breakfast surely did not disappoint.  I am glad I went for a walk to work up my appetite because I needed it for sure!  It was a simple yet super delicious breakfast!  I especially loved the chawanmushi!
After breakfast, we noticed Ken was already cleaning the fish for the next guests.  Running an bed and breakfast is so much work indeed.  Could you imagine what will happen if the next guests didn't show up?  They take all reservations via phone.  No deposit is required.  Everything is based on honor system. 
I cannot stress enough that I hate people who take others' hospitality for granted.  I was reading online yesterday again about how travelers who made reservation but ended up being a no-show.  Not a phone call / email to explain or apologize and didn't even bother to honor the cancellation clause. 
the houbou was eating its breakfast too!
sorry fish!
what a beautiful fish!
While Ken is cleaning the fish, the guts went to feed the birds.  Nothing goes to waste.  Circle of life right here. :D  I really hope I can return to this place...



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