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Houseboats on the Sumida River: Enjoying Summer in Asakusa



2022.08.04 (Thu)

By Dan Lewis, long-term Japan resident & outdoor activity enthusiast.

Are you ready to enjoy summer in Asakusa the coolest way? Come check out the yakatabune, or houseboat, a traditional summer activity in Japan!

Although it’s called a “houseboat,” it would not be wrong to call these “dining boats” as well! Each of these colorful boats are equipped with tables for dining and provide amazing dinners for guests to enjoy.

A great feast awaits you as you enter. And though the tables seem uncomfortably low, you’ll find additional leg room underneath, making the height perfect for viewing Tokyo’s landscape through the windows as you chow down on fresh tempura* and other delicacies! (*-Depending on your course.)

In addition to various meal plans and all-you-can-drink plans, this “floating restaurant” has all the modern conveniences that you’d expect from its land-locked cousins - restrooms, air conditioning and even karaoke machines! Wow!

All you have to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy the spacious seating area as you eat, drink and take in the sights! You’ll see TOKYO SKYTREE and Odaiba’s Fuji TV building, as well as pass under many beautiful bridges such as Rainbow Bridge.

In the evening, you’ll enjoy the night lights of the city as the boat’s interior is dimmed for a better view. It’s perfect for a date, or even a group party for around 25 people! On some boats, you can even get out on the deck for a completely unobstructed view of the city!

This tradition of entertaining on houseboats originated in the Heian Period, when aristocrats would play music and recite poetry while enjoying the scenery. Then, during the Edo Period, the boats took on their current form and role as feudal lords used them to show off their wealth. And now is YOUR chance to live it up like the aristocrats and feudal lords of old! Amisei Houseboats is one of the service provider in Taito City, carrying on this entertaining and enjoyable experience. Come take a ride!

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