Summer in Japan means festivals, fireworks, and trying to get cool in the hot and humid weather.
If you come to Japan during the hottest weeks, it may be hard to get in all the sightseeing in the hot sun. There is a perfect solution for people like this and it is the Yakatabune Funasei!
A Yakatabune (屋形船) is a Japanese style wooden boat. Nowadays they are mainly used for tours and sightseeing.
The Yakatabune Funasei is called a floating restaurant because you can enjoy a delicious high class Japanese dinner while sailing down Tokyo Bay. Plus, you can enjoy many famous sights in Tokyo such as Tokyo Tower, Tokyo Skytree, Odaiba, the Rainbow Bridge and many more.
I recently had the opportunity to try it for myself and I had a blast! I will tell you all about it in today’s post 🙂
We first gathered at the port near Shinagawa station.
HOW TO GET THERE
From Konaguchi (Konan exit), use the Sky Way.
It takes about 10-15 minutes from Shinagawa Konan exit to the meeting location. Once you arrive, please present the voucher to the reception staff. You will be escorted to your boat.
It was hot but seeing the boats all lined up and the crew getting ready for departure made me start getting excited. It was then soon time to board.
We had to take off our shoes and as soon as I stepped in, I felt the cool air-conditioned air. The tables were already set with the appetizers and I couldn’t wait to dig in.
Another great feature of this cruise is that it is all you can drink!
You have a choice of beer, wine and some Japanese liquor such as sake and plum wine. Feel free to order drinks to your hearts desire.
The route of the cruise goes like this:
Shinagawa -> Daiba -> Sumida River -> Eitai Bridge -> Rainbow Bridge -> Shinagawa
The boat anchors at Daiba for around one hour so you can enjoy the beautiful scenery.
You can freely go from the deck to the inside of the boat so you can enjoy the full views outside or also enjoy the views from the windows.
Now to get on to the food 😀
The appetizers consisted of tofu, salad, a small piece of chicken breast, shrimp, zucchini and eggplant. Everything was in small bite size portions and perfectly seasoned.
Then out came the beautiful sashimi boat. The sashimi was so fresh and there was one piece of everything per person so everyone could try everything.
The main part of the meal is tempura. The tempura were cooked fresh and served piece by piece so you were getting everything right out of the fryer.
The tempura was also very good.
There was also a little rice bowl with seasonings and cold udon noodles. Dessert was a delicious nata de coco with mango puree. Nata de coco is jellied coconut water. It was my first time having it and it was really good!
I would highly recommend this cruise for the food alone but the spectacular views you get on the boat make it even better!
Now, talking about the view….
If you wanted to see all these sights in Tokyo on foot, you would have to take several trains/subway to each location and it would take a long time and be tiring.
Being able to see everything while relaxing on the boat and eating delicious food was an awesome experience and has definitely become my favorite method of travel. Although it’s not the most economical, I do think it is worth trying at least once.
The staff on the boat are also very nice and friendly. There was a staff on the deck to help with pictures and he even had a handy little light to help the pictures come out nicer.
If you decide to take the cruise to celebrate a special occasion such as a birthday, the staff will help you celebrate with singing the birthday song and a cake!
Going for a ride on a yakatabune is also very popular for fireworks festivals. The major festivals attracts hundreds of thousands of people and it can be very hard to get a good viewing spot. What better spot than right on the river where the fireworks are launched?
However, since these are prime spots, reservations have to be made very far in advance and the prices will probably be much higher than normal days.
-Rainbow Bridge –
All in all, this was a very enjoyable experience.
Eating good food, drinking while enjoying the sights and all with good friends. I think this would become a highlight for any Japan trip and I highly recommend it!
This experience is not to be missed. Contact us now for reservation or online at hisgo HERE.
Meeting location MAP
Check out things to do in Tokyo on hisgo