Naniwa Cruise with a Rakugo Storyteller: Boating, Bentos and Traditional Japanese Comedy

Enjoy a centuries-old storytelling tradition and rediscover Osaka from the water

Osaka is known as Japan’s City of Water and it’s not hard to see why. The waterways and canals that crisscross the port city are what fueled its emergence as a metropolis of mercantile might. ‘Naniwa’, synonymous with fast-flowing water, was the original name for the area and lives on in this namesake cruise.

Once aboard the state-of-the-art ships, passengers can look forward to multiple treats. Rakugo storytellers regale all comers with comedic performing art dating back as far as the Edo period (1603–1868), while sharing local insights en route. And as if rediscovering the city laugh-a-minute style weren’t enough, delicious bento boxes are also available.

Emblematic city sights unfold on a course that starts and finishes at Minatomachi Pier. Pass through the dynamic downtown area of Dotonbori with its neon Glico Man sign and admire the red-brick exterior of Osaka City Central Public Hall in Nakanoshima. All told, the cruise lasts about 90 minutes.

For an aquatic adventure that offers history, culture, and charm in glass-ceilinged comfort, not to mention compelling storytelling, this cruise ticks all the boxes. You can even book the same day! Why wait? This adventure is easily accessible in central Osaka, just a 3-minute walk from JR Namba Station.

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