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Yanagawa River Cruising

Cruise along the moats in the city of Yanagawa, Fukuoka Prefecture

Located in the southern part of Fukuoka, Yanagawa is a castle town boasting over 400 years of history. When the castle was built, water-filled moats were also constructed throughout the town to protect the castle, which gave rise to Yanagawa’s reputation as the city of water. Today, it offers a leisurely tour that cruises down a 4-kilometer-long stretch of these moats that lasts about an hour.

Highlights of the river trip

As you ride a small boat known as “donko bune,” the boatmen skillfully steer the boat with their poles as they navigate down the river while entertaining you with charming tales and traditional songs. The waterways crisscross through the town, offering a scenic landscape unique to the city of water. Relax on the boat while immersing yourself in beautiful surrounding varied scenery such as the seasonal flowers and willow trees as well as the greenery in silhouette reflected on the water surface. The river trip lets you enjoy every season of the year: cherry trees in spring, refreshing waterside ambiance in summer, colorful leaves in autumn and kotatsu-like (table heater) setup in cold winter.

Seasonal flowers of Yanagawa

Yanagawa is also famous for seasonal flower viewing. In late March you can enjoy cherry blossoms, while at the end of April, the wisteria flowers are at their best including the 300-year-old “Nakayama-no-Ofuji” wisteria, which is designated as a natural monument of Fukuoka Prefecture. In addition, Japanese irises blossom in their glory from early June while the coastal area facing the Ariake Sea is covered with over 500,000 sunflowers in July.

Enjoy Yanagawa all year round

The city of Yanagawa boasts three sights designated as national scenic beauty, namely, Ohana, the former villa and garden built for Tachibana family, the feudal lord of Yanagawa clan; the former Toshima House (a samurai residence); and the water city of Yanagawa, which is the hometown of poet Hakushu Kitahara who depicted the area in his poetry. The beautiful views of the respective gardens as well as the riverside that lets you feel a seasonal charm are all a must-visit. Also, Yanagawa hosts various festivals for each season such as the girls’ festival Hina Matsuri Sagemon Meguri from February through April, the Okinohata Suitengu Shrine Festival in May, the Onigie Autumn Festival at Mihashira Shrine and the Hakushu Festival Suijo Parade.

Feast on “Unagi-no-Seiromushi”

“Unagi-no-Seiromushi,” or steamed eel on rice, is a representative local specialty of Yanagawa. Over 20 eel restaurants including some established during the Edo period (1603-1868) can be found within the city. Each offers its own unique flavor, so finding your favorite one can be also a fun experience of the trip.


Name Yanagawa River Cruising
Website http://www.yanagawa-net.com/eng/ohori.html
Address Takahata, Mihashi-machi, Yanagawa-shi, Fukuoka (Shogetsu Pier); a total of four boat stations
Access All four stations are respectively a 5 to 10 minutes’ walk from Nishitetsu Yanagawa Station
Business Hours 9:00 to sunset
Please refer to respective websites as business hours differ depending on the boat companies.
Inquiries TEL: 0944-74-0891 (Yanagawa City Tourist Information Center)
Admission Adults (junior high school students and older): 1,500 yen to 1,600 yen
Please refer to respective websites as admission differs depending on the boat companies.

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