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Canal Boat Tour in Yanagawa

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Canal Boat Tour in Yanagawa


A popular cruise along quiet waterways that can be enjoyed even in winter

Fukuoka Prefecture


A picturesque city in southwestern Fukuoka Prefecture, Yanagawa flourished as a castle town under the Tachibana clan, who ruled the region during the Edo period (1603-1868). The city features a network of waterways that spans a total length of about 470km, forming a unique landscape known as "Suigo” (water district). This scenic beauty inspired the great poet Kitahara Hakushu (1885-1942), who was born and raised in Yanagawa, as well as many other artists.

To enjoy this charming riverside city at its best, it is recommended to join the famous river boat tour which takes visitors along the canals of Yanagawa by the gondola-like traditional donko boat. Glide along the surface of the water and watch the beautiful scenery pass by as the boatman uses a pole to guide the boat down the ancient waterways. Take in the sound of the water gently lapping against the boat and the sight of the willow trees swaying in the wind. The scenery from the boat changes throughout the four seasons, making this tour an unforgettable experience year-round.



If you visit Yanagawa in the winter, you should definitely experience the traditional kotatsu boat, which allows you to comfortably enjoy the view from the river while warming up under a kotatsu (a Japanese heated table covered with a blanket). The kotatsu boat operates for a limited time from December to February.



After the ride, how about indulging in Yanagawa’s local specialty? Unagi seiro mushi is a traditional dish made by placing grilled eel and thin-sliced omelette over rice and steaming it in a bamboo steamer. In Yanagawa, there are many long-established eel restaurants, each one with its own recipe.


How to get there


From Fukuoka Airport, take the subway to Tenjin Station (about 10 minutes). Walk 3 minutes to Nishitetsu Fukuoka Station, then take the train to Yanagawa Station (46 minutes).


Yanagawa-shi, Fukuoka-ken



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