If you are looking for a very special experience while you’re in Japan you should definitely have an amazing dinner in a Yakatabune!
Yakatabune means house-boat. Inside the boat, you have stuff like Tatami and cushions. In the beginning, during the Heian period, the aristocracy used Yakatabune as a way to enjoy the view of each season in Japan. Therefore, these boats have a great Japanese style and you can have different meals and drinks. In the winter, there are also some kinds of Kotatsu table as a heat source, so it’s quite comfy.
The Yakatabune has different styles of meals. Actually you can find buffet style or course style but both of them will offer you many kinds of food. For instance, you can find western food, traditional Japanese food such as Tempura or Monjyayaki, and some awesome BBQ food.
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In Japan, people often go there during summer time and you might notice that lots of Japanese people will be wearing the Yukata, the traditional Japanese dress when they go on board for dinner. It is because some Yakatabunes are offering discounts for those who wear the Yukata.
Often, Japanese people just book the whole boat for big dinners moreover, some Japanese companies reserve the boat for meeting purposes or even team building.
Of course, if the weather is going terribly with storms, heavy rain, or very windy, for example, then probably the Yakatabune will be closed. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t worry about small rain because most Yakatabune have a roof and it won’t be cancelled.
By the way, some very famous spots that we highly recommend are in Tokyo with Odaiba and Asakusa. You’ll have a magic dinner and you can admire the very beautiful view of Tokyo by night! Moreover, if you are lucky you can see some fireworks on board!
You should hence, definitely add that kind of dinner to your list when coming in Japan!
There are hundreds of Yakatabune in Tokyo, here some useful links to make a reservation:
Houseboat Hamadaya ※Japanese only
Odaiba Pier Access
Odaiba boarding place Access
Yakatabune no Tatsujin
Azumabashi (Asakusa)Pier Access ※Japanese only