Sightseeing in Tokyo: Cruising the Tokyo Bay on a Yakatabune (屋形船) Houseboat - Vikingess Voyages

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sightseeing in Tokyo: Cruising the Tokyo Bay on a Yakatabune (屋形船) Houseboat

For people who are visiting Tokyo and want a unique dinner experience the small ships known as the Yakatabune is certainly a great option if your budget allows it. The usage of these ships has a long history dating back to the Edo period (1603-1868) when they were used by the upper class in Tokyo to enjoy occasions such as cherry blossom viewing, and a trip with one of the ships can thus be a great way to enjoy a good meal while experiencing some prime Japanese culture at the same time.

Girls in yukata taking pictures of the ship
Nowadays the Yakatabune is more often than not used for more or less formal dinner events where people often gather in groups of 20+ people to enjoy both a nice dinner but also with the nomikai setting (our menu included the all you can drink - nomihodai)
Inside the Yakatabune
Inside the Yakatabune.
Raw sliced fish - sashimi - is of course a part of the dinner menu
Enjoying dinner
In addition to the dinner itself you can also enjoy various sights as you cruise down to the Tokyo Bay and Odaiba. Unfortunately the sky was quite clouded when we started the cruise, so we couldn't see the Sky Tree that clearly. However it cleared up a bit during our trip, and we could enjoy the view of Tokyo Bay from the deck of the Yakatabune boat. I've added a couple of pictures from the trip here for those interested:
The Fuji TV Building shining in various colors
Enjoying the sunset and the sight of the Rainbow bridge
For people who want to try out the Yakatabune cruise there are various options. One company offers the trip for 10.800 yen/person if you're in a group of 20+ people (more information here), another for 14,500 yen/person (13,500/children) if you're only 2 or more people (more information here).

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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

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Adventures ofAnette

A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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