Yakatabune

Steamboats light up Tokyo as they crisscross the bay, offering a new perspective on the capital.
Welcome aboard the yakatabune, a summer boat whose history dates back to the Edo Period.

Yakatabune in Tokyo

 

skytree and Yakatabune
 

Across the Water

Dinner on a yakatabune is certainly one of the most unforgettable experiences to be had during a stay in Tokyo.

These restaurant boats, which take you across Tokyo Bay, where you can see Tokyo Tower and the Rainbow Bridge while sipping on saké, are the offspring of a tradition that dates back to the Edo Period.
 



 

An Unforgettable Evening

Yakatabune literally means, "a boat as a home." 

On these boats, you can relax on tatami and enjoy a meal as the Japanese do, all while illuminated by the iconic red lanterns.

In addition to banquets, business dinners, weddings, and other special occasions (naturally all accompanied by karaoke), yakatabune are also used for sightseeing to enjoy the Tokyo cityscape from a new perspective.

Yakatabune on Sumida  river



Tokyo fireworks

 

The Origins of Yakatabune

During the Edo Period, the noble upperclass and wealthy merchants used these elegantly decorated boats for all kinds of refined hobbies, such as haiku recitations or strolls along blooming cherry trees. 

Today, Yakatabune welcome diners, but they retain some of the atmosphere of exclusivity, sometimes including theater entertainment shows such as traditional music or geisha performances.


 

Cruises and Scenery

In Tokyo, the Hamamatsucho Yakatabune take you to Shinagawa via the Sumida and Arakawa Rivers. Some even include a Sky Tree tour, to see the Tokyo's newest tower rising high above the rest.

Other night cruises also welcome visitors in the afternoon for lunch. They are an ideal means of transportation to see the cherry blossoms in spring, or the fireworks in summer, offering an exceptional experience.

 

Tour Information

Prices range from 5,000 yen for day cruises to 30,000 yen for special events such as fireworks. A standard evening tour, 2 to 3 hours long and including dinner, costs between 10,000 to 15,000 yen per person. It is usually necessary to book and pay in advance. For smaller groups, some companies offer a "noriai," or sharing a boat with other small groups.

Below is a brief list of some companies:
 


Tours embark from Shinagawa, Kachidoki, Harumi, or Oomori ports, depending on the company.

Let yourself be carried away by the waves of old Edo and the sound of seagull and ripples.

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