Roaming Around Osaka by Boat, 5 Recommended Water Buses
There's certainly a lot of merit in water buses especially for people who want to comfortably roam around the sightseeing area without struggling with a crowd of people. There are a lot of buses that you'd have fun riding on like amphibious water buses and dinner cruises while looking at the night sky. Do you want to try them?
1. "Aqua Liner": Comfortably cruise around famous places with Osaka's water bus
"Aqua Liner" is a water bus that operates by Osaka Suijo Bus. The course called "Osaka Castle / Nakanoshima Tour," which goes around Okawa (previously Yodogawa) wherein you can appreciate its seasonal appearance, takes about one hour and passes by several famous places and historical spots such as the Osaka Castle, Japan Mint and Central Public Hall among others. There are 4 riding points (Osaka Castle port, Hachikenyahama dock, Yodoyabashi port and OAP port) and regardless of where you ride, you can always return to your original port or you may get off at any port along the way. You can easily challenge it since it's just 1 hour away from each station. There's also a flower-viewing boat and an event cruise!
Osaka Castle / Nakanoshima Tour
Adult -- 1,700 JPY, Children -- (elementary) 850 JPY
*Spring special season: Adult -- 2,000 JPY, Children -- (elementary) 1,000 JPY
*All prices are tax included
2. “Himawari”: Osaka water bus
The gourmet and music boat "Himawari" is a similar water bus which operates in Osaka wherein you can enjoy dishes from the Imperial Hotel and live piano performances. The water bus departs from the OAP port, which is directly near the Imperial Hotel, and then it sails through Osaka's main river and returns to the same port. In this cruise, the water bus sails 3 times in 1 day during lunch (11:30 am - 12:50 pm), afternoon tea (3:30 pm - 4:20 pm) and dinnertime (7:00 pm - 8:30 pm). The course exudes a romantic feeling while enjoying the bridge with its lights turned on and the night view of Osaka during the dinner cruise.
Fee: Please check the homepage as fees may differ according to time and plan.
* "Himawari" is not available during Mondays and from the first 10 days of January to February. Please check the details.
3. "Naniwa Tanken Cruise" with Rakugo Guide
"Naniwa Tanken Cruise," offered by Ipponmatsu Shipping Co., Ltd., is an authentic Osaka cruise because of its pro rakugoka on board, who combines both art and jokes while being a guide. You'd have fun listening to their clever and rhythmic narration even if you don't understand Japanese well. In addition you will be able to full enjoy Nankintamasudare and Shamisen among other Japanese performances which are rarely seen. Your fun will double if you download beforehand the English and Chinese version of their pamphlet from their official webpage. There are 3 boarding areas: Universal City Port near USJ, Minato dock near Nanba station and Tazaemonbashi.
Fee: Adult -- 3,000 JPY, Children -- (elementary) 1,000 JPY
*All prices are tax included
*Rakugoka: a person who performs "rakugo," which is an traditional Japanese performance
*Nankintamasudare: a kind of Japanese street performance
*Image is for illustration purposes.
4. “Osaka Duck Tour”: Sightseeing on an amphibious bus
"Osaka Duck Tour," which offers land and water sightseeing in Japan, is a tour which uses an amphibious bus. Equipped with wheels and propellers, it can accommodate 40 people and can navigate in land or water. It departs from Tenmabashi's "Kawanoeki Hachikenya," passes by Osaka prefectural office and in front of Osaka Castle among others, and immediately rushes from Sakuranomiya Park, famous for its Sakura, to Okawa!! The moment when you get out of land and into water exudes a mysterious feeling. The bus goes on a round trip on water until "Kawanoeki Hachikenya." The tour takes about 75 minutes before it returns to its departure point passing by the Japan Mint via land again after returning to Sakuranomiya Park. You won't notice that the time has already passed from listening to the pleasant guide talk about Osaka inside the vehicle.
Fee: Adult -- 3,400 JPY, Children (Elementary and below) -- 2,200 JPY, Infant (2 years old and younger) -- 500 JPY
*All prices are tax included
*Until March 19, 2016. Thereafter please check individually.
5. "Captain Line:" Ride a boat until Universal Studios Japan®
"Captain Line" is a cruise, which takes about 10 minutes one-way and goes around Mount Tenpo and Universal City. The first floor seats are on three sides which is hidden by a large clear glass which makes it perfect for people who want to enjoy the scenery. The second floor is an open deck where you can enjoy the sea breeze and panoramic scenery. In addition, the cruise adopts a rare style with its crew members being the first all-women crew. The passenger ticker is really convenient as it comes with special discounts to Osaka Aquarium Kaikyukan/Daikanransha/hotel food and drinks.
One-way fee: Adult -- 700 JPY, Children (elementary) -- 400 JPY, Infant (4 to 6 years old) -- 300 JPY
Round-trip fee: Adult -- 1,300 JPY, Children (elementary) -- 700 JPY, Infant (4 to 6 years old) -- 500 JPY
* All prices are tax included
* Below is the service suspension schedule of all mail:
January 18 to 22 and 25 to 29, 2016
February 1 to 5, 8 to 10 and 15 to 18, 2016
* Please individually check future service suspensions
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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