river cruise of the Yanagawa


View weeping willows and seasonal flowers in the hometown of Kitahara Hakushu as you sway on a boat.

Yanagawa, the medieval town that prospered in the vicinity of Yanagawa Castle, is famous as the hometown of modern poet Hakushu Kitahara. Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of this water town by boarding a punt (donko-bune) to be carried downstream and through the canals that criss-cross the town.
The name “donko-bune” may have derived from a type of small goby fish named “donko.” These punts also appear in winter months as “kotatsu-bune,” or boats for tourists with seating heated by a charcoal brazier.
River punting, or kawa-kudari, is an hour-long experience covering around 4km, guided by a boatman regaling passengers with folk songs. In spring the banks of the canals are a riot of peach and cherry blossoms, while in summer, a major attraction is the Kabashima Iris Garden, where some 30,000 flowers bloom. Autumn brings the changing foliage while in winter, in the heated kotatsu-bune, you gaze upon the picturesque snowy landscape passing by. 
Monuments and statues of Hakushu Kitahara are found around Yanagawa. Listening to the children's songs sung by the boatman brings the scenes in his poems to life.  Most tours explore the inner canals, but there are some departures that take in the outer canals of Yanagawa and one boat even serves passengers the local steamed eel specialty dish. Find the Yanagawa punting trip that suits you best.

Basic Information

Address (Japanese) 832-0065 福岡県柳川市沖端町35 柳川市観光協会
Address 35 Okibata-cho, Yanagawa, Fukuoka, Japan Yanagawa City Tourist Association
Telephone Number 0944-73-2145(柳川市観光協会)
Fax Number 0944-72-9013
Open Around 9:00 - evening (depending on each shipping company)
Closed without a holiday
Price From 1,500 yen
*Please contact the respective shipping company directly for more information.
Car Park Parking available nearby.
Access There are four boarding stations about 5-10 minutes' walk from Nishitetsu Yanagawa Station on the Nishitetsu Tenjin Omuta Line.
15 minutes from the Miyama Yanagawa IC on the Kyushu Expressway.
Website https://www.yanagawa-net.com/en/cruise/

*Information on facilities is subject to change. Please check each official website for the latest information.

Seasonal River Rafting Seasonal River Rafting

  • akari-bune(July-September)-0


    In the cool of evening, a completely new atmosphere descends. The akari-bune canal tour will give you a very special night to remember. Available only for charter, the boat covers 4km of illuminated canal in about 70 minutes.

  • Kotatsu-bune(December to February)-1

    Kotatsu-bune(December to February)

    Kotatsu-bune are available for punting in the winter season. In the traditional style, be warmed by a kotatsu in donko-bune as you drift downstream.
    *In the case of rain, kotatsu cannot be used. Therefore, normal punt service will operate.


Chikugo Area
Lakes, Rivers, Valleys & Waterfalls Historic Buildings, Towns & Gardens Historic Sites, Tombs & Ruins Sightseeing Train & River Cruising
Travel Inspiration
Fukuoka highlights

Neighborhood Sightseeing spots Neighborhood Sightseeing spots

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