Yakatabune Nattoku

屋形船なっとく (Yakatabune Nattoku)
An authentically noble way to cruise the Shimanto River
Yakatabune are Japanese-style pleasure boats with large windows and roofs to protect passengers from the elements. Yakatabune date back to the medieval Heian period and for most of their history were a source of amusement only available to the very wealthy who would enjoy river cruises while banqueting and watching entertainers. Luckily, today everyone is able to enjoy this very Japanese form of sightseeing.

Yakatabune are ideally suited to cruising on the Shimanto River and there are several places that offer 40 to 50 minute cruises. Of these, Nattoku is the furthest upriver and offers a regular service throughout the year along one of the most picturesque stretches of the river.

Unlike some of the large boats in places like Tokyo and Yokohama, Nattoku’s boats are closer to the original, more intimate yakata-bune of the past. As the boats sit low in the water, it’s easy to appreciate just how clear the Shimanto is and on a warm day it’s hard to resist dipping your hand into water. Very quiet, it is easy to slide into a state of blissful contentment, as you glide past through some of Japan’s prettiest scenery, including one of the most famous of the river’s iconic chinkabashi “submersible bridges”. The light is particularly pretty in the morning and late afternoon.

Consider making your yakatabune experience truly authentic by ordering one of the bento boxed meals to eat during your cruise? With 3 reasonably priced lunches to choose from, it’s the perfect opportunity to sample long-armed freshwater shrimp, eel and sweetfish, all sourced from the Shimanto River itself.

Although subject to change due to weather conditions, Nattoku’s cruises depart on the hour every hour between 9am and 4pm (please arrive at least 10 minutes before departure). Reservations are not required unless you wish to order a meal, but are recommended on weekends and during holiday periods. Boats leave from a simple riverside jetty below the office which is located on the main road (Rt 441) where parking is available.

Although yakatabune seating is traditionally cushions on tatami mats, Nattoku have upgraded their boats with more comfortable table seating which still allows for a good view of the river. Children, including babies and toddlers are welcome aboard and Nattoku also accommodates wheelchair users.
River Activities
Address 高知県四万十市田出ノ川846-1 (846-1, Tadenokawa, Shimanto City, Kochi Prefecture, Japan)
Telephone Number 0880-38-2918
ClosedOpen year round
Price●Age 12 and over : 2,200 yen
●Between age 6 and 11 : 1,100 yen
●Age 5 and under : Free
*Price includes taxes
DirectionsAbout 1 hr 20 min drive from Shimantocho-chuo IC on Kochi Expressway
Website Website
Map Code764 131 519*03
Online Reservation Hata Kochi (Shimanto River Sightseeing Houseboat)
Hata Kochi (Shimanto Riverboat Dinner)
Kochi Escapes (Shimanto Riverboat Dinner)
Remarks*Reservations required for bento boxed meals.

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