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February 15 2013

Yakatabune Dinner Cruise - via A Japan Photo per Day -


One of the fine things to do when you’re in Japan is a trip on a yakatabune. Yakatabune are Japanese traditional cruising boats, built with a roof and arranged inside like a traditional Japanese restaurant, with low tables, tatami mats and paper lantern decorations. Exactly like it was during the Shoguns era… well, actually better, because now there’s air conditioning. (^_^)

It is a great opportunity to spend 2 or 3 hours serving a fine meal, “all you can drink” and to admire the landscape… A trip like this usually costs around 10000 yen and you must always reserve in advance.

November 08 2012

Unusual Toba Bay Cruise - via A Japan Photo per Day -

Toba Bay Cruise ship, Toba, Mie Prefecture

If you enjoy taking a cruise, Japan offers many places to enjoy pleasant trips in unusual sightseeing ships. I already wrote about the pirate ships from Lake Ashi in Hakone and about the Santa Maria ship replica from Osaka. These are replica ships, inspired after real historical sailing ships, but in Toba, in the Mie Prefecture, I discovered a ship inspired by… a castle.

The castle is called Ryūgū-jō and comes from a classical Japanese folktale, Urashima-Tarō. The fact of having a ship modeled after a castle may seem strange, but considering how the medieval Japanese warships (atakebune) were built, like floating fortresses, the design doesn’t seem so strange… Plus, the castle from the folktale was owned by Ryūjin, the dragon god of the sea, and was located under the sea.

Travel tip: The Toba Bay Cruise departs nearby the Toba Station, close to the Mikomoto Pear Island. The trip takes about 50 minutes and costs 1700 yen.

February 14 2012

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Gyroscopic self-leveling pool table on the cruise ship "Radiance of the Seas" - YouTube
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