[2019 Edition] Enjoy Cherry Blossoms from a Boat! Selection of 5 of the Best Flower Viewing Cruises in Japan
Cherry blossom viewing while strolling under a row of cherry trees is no doubt a magical experience! However, for true connoisseurs there is another way to enjoy it - doing it from a boat! These are 5 of the most recommended flower viewing cruises in Japan.
1. HARUMIYA Yakatabune Cruising - Tokyo
The 1km stretch between the Azuma Bridge, located a short walking distance from Asakusa, and the Sakura Bridge is one of the best cherry blossom viewing spots in the city, with trees in full bloom on both sides of the Sumida River. During the 150-min cruise on a yakatabune (Japanese houseboat), guests can enjoy authentic Japanese food and drinks, with tempura as the main dish. Gaze at cherry trees while savoring the spring breeze and the impressiveness of the Tokyo Skytree during the day course, or enjoy the wondrous view of the illuminated cherry trees during the evening course.
Period: March 20th to April 14th, 2019
Price: 10,000 JPY (excl. tax)
2. Yokohama Cruise - Yokohama
Cruise along a popular cherry blossom viewing spot in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture. It is possible to fully enjoy the tunnel created by the cherry trees blooming along the Ooka River, from the Gumyoji Station to the Hinodecho Station of the Keikyu Main Line. Four companies operate on the Yokohama Cruise and there are also courses where various activities can be enjoyed, like canoeing and stand up paddle surfing. It is also recommended to go cherry blossom viewing at night, during the period in which paper lanterns are lit up.
Paper lanterns light-up period: March 23rd to April 14th, 2019
Price: 2,200 JPY to 4,000 JPY
3. Osaka Suijyo Bus Aqua-Liner - Osaka
The sightseeing boat Osaka Suijyo Bus Aqua-Liner operates during the cherry blossom season. It is a cherry blossom viewing cruise that lets guests admire the 4,800 stunning cherry trees coloring both sides of the Okawa River, which flows through the center of Osaka. Different kinds of cruises will be operating in 2019: the open-decked Aqua Mini, the Himawari, the Aqua-Liner, which has glass windows reaching up to the ceiling, and the Night Cruise, to enjoy cherry blossoms at night.
Period: March 28th to April 7th, 2019 (Himawari only: March 26th to April 16th)
Price: 1,200 JPY to 2,160 JPY
4. Samurai Cruise - Aichi
A cruise that lets guests enjoy the cherry trees blooming in the Shirotori Garden, the Oseko Park, and the Miya-no-Watashi Park, located along the Hori River, which flows through the city of Nagoya. In the Higashiyama Garden there is a cherry blossom viewing cruise named Samurai Cruise that can be booked privately. The price for the 120 min cruise is very reasonable, starting from 5,000 JPY per person, and includes the boat fare, food and free drinks. Reservations can be made up to a week prior to the desired date.
Period: all year round
Hori River Cherry Blossom Event: Shirotori Garden's "Spirit World Garden" is open from March 23rd to March 31st, 2019
Price: 5,000 JPY to 10,000 JPY per person, from 10 to 20 people
5. Matsukawa River Cruises - Toyama
Matsukawa River is one of the 100 most renowned locations for cherry trees in Japan. The cruise travels through the tunnel of cherry trees blooming in profusion on both sides of the Matsukawa River, that flows along Toyama Castle Park. The beauty of the cherry blossom tunnel approaching the roofless open-air boat has a stunning visual impact that cannot be experienced in any other way. The duration of the cruise is around 30 minutes, and the area can be visited in a one-day trip from Kanazawa. It is not necessary to book in advance, except in March, but sometimes the cruise is reserved by groups so it is recommended to check beforehand.
Period: March 30th to April 20th, 2019
Price: 1,800 JPY (incl.tax)
Cherry blossoms fully bloom around a week after they start budding. The trees in full bloom are of course an extraordinary sight, however the cherry blossoms are beautiful even after they start withering and raining down, creating a carpet of petals on the surface of the water that can be enjoyed for a long time. The beauty of Japanese cherry blossoms mesmerizes everyone who is able to admire it, so definitely try scheduling a trip to Japan during the cherry blossom viewing season.
*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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