Japanese houseboat is called “Yakatabune,” which is one of Japanese traditional plays with long history.
Yakatabune is thought as a symbol of summer because people watch fireworks in summer from the boat.
Recently, some plans to tourists has been increased.
Foreign tourists prefer to take the houseboat tour to feels Japanese culture.
So, we introduce the basic information and popular yakatabune tours!
What is Yakatabune?
Yakatabune is a wooden boat with roof to be able to have a party on board.
Originally, it used to be an event to avoid the heat.
Now, we can get it on all year around because most yakatabunes are equipped with air conditioners.
In summer, you can watch fireworks. In spring, cherry blossoms.
So, it has drawn attention to foreign tourists as Japanese original activity.
Popular Yakatabune in Tokyo
We introduce popular yakatabunes for your sightseeing in Tokyo.
You can choose reasonable or luxurious plans.
Moreover, you can find English available plan. Please check them.
Odaiba and Skytree tour (Funayado Tsurishin)
This tour goes around sightseeing spots like Sky Tree, Rainbow Bridge and Tokyo Tower, departing at Umayabashi (Bridge) of Sumida River.
On board, you can enjoy tempura assortment and sashimi assortment of seasonal ingredients.
Basic Plan daytime or nighttime ( 2 h 30 mins )
Adult : 11,000 yen
Junior high and High School Student : 7,700 yen
Elementary Student : 5,500 yen
Child (over 4) : 1,650 yen
Lunch Time Plan ( 1 h 30 mins )
Adult : 7,128 yen
Junior high and High School Student : 4,994 yen
Elementary Student : 4,279 yen
Child (over 4) : 1,100 yen
CAUTION : As for Child, you need to pay extra for food
At “Tsurishin Umayabashi Boarding Place”
2 mins walk from A7 Exit of Toei-Oedo Line Kuramae Station
5 mins walk from A2, 7 Exit of Toei-Asakusa Line Kuramae Station
10 mins walk from West Exit of JR Sobu Line Ryogoku Station
Umayabashi (Bridge)→ Odaiba → Sky Tree → Umayabashi
Sumidagawa or Odaiba tour (Edomaekisen)
You can watch around Sumidagawa or Odaiba areas.
You choose your boat from 2 types that offer different food menu.
One is ”Ukifunemaru” serving original Tsukishima monja.
The other is “Tsukishimamaru” with seafood monja. Monja is a light meal similar to okonomiyaki.
Daytime (12:00~) : 5,000 yen
Night (17:00~20:00) : 6,000 yen
Daytime (12:00~) : 5,500 yen
Night (17:00~20:00) : 6,500 yen
Elementary Student : 2,700 yen
Child : 1,100 yen
You should take a shuttle bus from Shinkiba Station to Shinkibasanbashi boating place.
At Asashiosanbashi boating place.
It is 5 mins walk from Kachidoki Station.
Start at Shinkibasanbashi (Bridge) to the Odaiba area by Tokyo Bay where the Rainbow Bridge awaits.
Go down Sumidagawa River and watch Tokyo Skytree from the boat.
Shared-ride Yakatabune Ume or Sushi course (Mikawaya)
Mikawaya offers Tokyo Bay cruising on Yakatabune.
You can choose from 2 food corses, which are Ume course offering tempura and Sushi course with sushi.
The boat has an observation deck. You would also have a fascinating time outside.
Adult (over 12) : 11,000 yen
Elementary Student (Between 6-12) : 7,700 yen
Child (Between 2-6) : 2,200 yen
Enfant (Between 0-2) : no charge
Food menu : 9 dishes, including sashimi, tempura, rice cooked with other ingredients, bean paste soup, fruit
Adult (over 12) : 13,750 yen
Elementary Student (Between 6-12) : 9,625 yen
Child (Between 2-6) : 2,200 yen
Enfant (Between 0-2) : no charge
Food menu : 9 dishes including sashimi, tempura, sushi, bean paste soup, fruit
The meeting place is at Mikawaya.
Then, staff take you to the boating place.
Mikawaya is 10 mins walk from West Exit of Shinagawa station or 5 mins walk from Kitashinagawa station.
Shinagawa → Tennozu Isle → Odaiba → Rainbow Bridge → Harumi Passenger Ship Terminal → Tokyo Tower → Kachidoki-bashi(bridge) → Eitai-bashi(bridge) → Kiyosu-bashi(bridge) → Kokugikan → Tokyo Skytree
Standard, Executive, VIP course (Funayado Amitatsu)
Amatatsu owns 8 large-sized yakatabunes equipped with observation decks and the latest facilities.
They offer a variety of courses that go around popular sightseeing spots of Tokyo.
For foreign tourists, they serve English menu. They can make vegetarian menu if you request.
Moreover if you have allergies, they remove the ingredients.
A. Standard course
Adult : 11,000 yen
Child (Under 12) : 5,500 yen
B. Standard course
Adult : 14,300 yen
Child (Under 12) : 7,150 yen
C. VIP Standard course
Adult : 16,500 yen
Child (Under 12) : 8,250 yen
You can choose from 6 boarding places.
5 mins walk from A3 Exit of Toei Oedo Line Kachidoki Station
3 mins walk from Yurikamome Line Tokyo Big Site Station
7 mins walk from Rinkai Line Kokusai-Tenjijo Station
3 mins walk from 1 Exit of JR Keiyo line Ecchujima Station
8 mins walk from 4 Exit of Toei Oedo or Yurakusen Line Tsukishima Station
8 mins walk from 4 Exit of Toei Oedo or Tozai Line Monzen-nakacho Station
3 mins walk from A3 Exit of Toei Shinjuku Line Ichinoe Station
5 mins walk from Tobu Isezaki (Tobu Skytree) Line Asakusa Station
5 mins walk from 5 Exit of Ginza Line Asakusa Station
5 mins walk from A5 Exit of Toei Asakusa Line Asakusa Station
5 mins walk from A3 Exit of Toei Asakusa Line Honsho-Azumabashi Station
11 mins walk from Tobu Isezaki (Tobu Skytree) Line Tokyo Sky Tree Station
15 mins walk from Tsukuba Express Asakusa Station
15 mins walk from Tobu Isezaki Line Asakusa Station
15 mins walk from 5 Exit of Ginza Line Asakusa Station
Odaiba/Tokyo Skytree course
Sumidagawa River, Tokyo Skytree, Odaiba, Rainbow
Odaiba Rainbow course
Odaiba, Rainbow Bridge, Tokyo Tower, Kiyosubashi(Bridge)
Sumida River, Tokyo Skytree
Tokyo Bay course
Odaiba, Rainbow Bridge, Tokyo Disney Resort, Kasai-Ringai Park
Maihama Romantic course
Tokyo Disney Resort, Kasai-Ringai Park
Popular Yakatabune in Fukuoka
Fukuoka is a popular sightseeing spot in Kyushu region. And you can also enjoy yakatabune here.
But, the number of yakatabune is less than Tokyo.
Nakagawa River tour (Nakasu Hakatasen)
The houseboat goes around Nakagawa River, flowing through Fukuoka City, with a variety of dishes including Tempura.
The boat is basically Japanese-style room, but they offer you facilities like tables and rooms to stretch your legs.
Standard plan : 6,000 yen (average)
Party plan : 7,000 yen (average)
At Deaibashi(Bridge) of Nakagawa River
It is 3 mins walk from Nakasu-kawabata Station or 10 mins walk from Nishitetsu- Fukuoka Station
Around Nakasu area
Cautions to take yakatabune
Do we need a reservation?
Basically, you need to make a reservation in advance.
Especially, spring and summer are holiday season in Japan.
Yakatabune will be completely booked. So, you should reserve a seat as soon as possible.
Can we ask unplanned route ?
Yakatabune is a round trip cruise. So, the boat departs and arrives at the same location.
However, there are some of houseboat companies offering one-way tour.
You can get off at where you want. The number of that kind of boat is few, so you need to look for these companies in advance.
Basically, yakatabune doesn’t go anywhere except tour route. However, it might be changed depending on the situation.
Be careful of temperature on yakatabune
When you get yakatabune on in summer season, you will be comfortable because it is equipped with air conditioners.
However, the air conditioner or the sea breeze might be too strong. So, you should take your jacket.
In the case of the boat without air conditioners, the temperature difference is extreme between the day and the night.
So, you need to think about your clothings.
Yakatabune work on rainy or snow day?
You can enjoy it on rainy or snow day because yakatabune has roof.
However, in the case of windy day or typhoon, yakatabune might be canceled for safety reasons.
If you go to Japan in typhoon season, you need to be concerned about it.
If I’m pregnant…?
Yakatabune moves at slow speed, so pregnant women don’t need to be worried.
However, if they have morning sickness, they might get sick because of boat swaying.
If you are worried about sea sick, you should choose the boat equipped with the facility preventing swaying.
How to fun in yakatabune
People used to take yakatabune in only summer. Now, thanks to air conditioners, yakatabune works all year around.
In spring, you can enjoy seeing cherry blossoms along the river from the boat.
In even winter, you can have a party. You have a great time in all seasons.
If you plan a birthday party on yakatabune, it will be a wonderful memory.
You can charter yakatabune, so you can do what you want to do on board.
Yakatabune is an interesting culture mixed with the old Japanese style and the latest technology.
So, everyone can have great time on board.
If you go sightseeing by yakatabune with tasty meal, you will make an amazing memory.