Official

Hikone-jo Yakatabune

Japanese castles aren't only gorgeous. They were strategically designed for war.

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Live & Dine Like a Daimyo on an Exclusive Riverboat

Construction began on Hikone Castle in 1604 and more than 400 years have passed since it was completed. It incorporated structures and stone walls from castles in the surrounding area that fell during wartime, and as such is known as a "recycled castle."

You can take a private sightseeing tour around the castle moat in a reconstructed boat once reserved for use by daimyo! Viewing the unique stone walls, wooden bridges, the keep, and turrets that come into and go out of view, you can experience the unchanged style and air of the Edo period.

See an experience report for this facility!

Photos

  • There are two boatmen. On a private tour, the boatmen double as your guides.

    There are two boatmen. On a private tour, the boatmen double as your guides.

  • You can experience how the nobility would have relaxed. The boat has a low ceiling so that it can go under the bridges over the moat.

    You can experience how the nobility would have relaxed. The boat has a low ceiling so that it can go under the bridges over the moat.

  • This stone wall is called a "koshimaki stone wall," which is something rarely seen in the Kansai region.

    This stone wall is called a "koshimaki stone wall," which is something rarely seen in the Kansai region.

  • The keep can be seen between a grove of trees. Don't miss a perfect chance to take a picture!

    The keep can be seen between a grove of trees. Don't miss a perfect chance to take a picture!

  • This is the spring pleasure boat. Cherry blossom viewing season is buzzing with large numbers of visitors.

    This is the spring pleasure boat. Cherry blossom viewing season is buzzing with large numbers of visitors.

  • During the fall leaves season, you can enjoy the best scenery possible with the contrast of red and green leaves.

    During the fall leaves season, you can enjoy the best scenery possible with the contrast of red and green leaves.

Reviews

4
  • Dylan

    I thought the bento that was prepared for us was beautiful and tasted incredible. It was a really unique experience to be able to enjoy such amazing food whilst riding on the boat. I thought the information that the guide was giving us was really interesting but would have been better if it could have been done in English for those who can’t understand Japanese. It was also nice to see black swans which I’ve only seen perhaps once or twice in my home country. Would definitely recommend this tour.

  • socketjester

    The food was great and unique! I especially enjoyed the tempura. The riverboat was cozy.

  • LaurierTiernan

    I liked being on a traditional Japanese boat, on a moat, eating a Japanese obento.

  • unbeaten japan

    The boat ride was relaxing, the Bento box was tasty.

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Experience information

Name of facility
Hikone-jo Yakatabune
Name of experience
Go around the moat of Hikone Castle on a relaxing sightseeing tour in a private boat
Address
The wharf in front of Genkyuen Garden 3-40 Konkicho, Hikone City, Shiga 522-0061
Business hours
10 a.m. tour, 11 a.m. tour, 12 p.m. tour, 1 p.m. tour, 2 p.m. tour, 3 p.m. tour, and a 4 p.m. tour (only on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays)
*Additional tours are available during peak seasons
*Evening illumination tours during cherry blossom season in spring and during the fall leaves season are only available on weekends
*There may be a reduction in the number of tours offered between December and February, as well as during other times of the year.
Closed
No holidays
Estimate
30,000 yen (1.5 hours per boat, tax included)
Boat meal: 5,000 yen per person, tax included *Separate reservation required, and orders are accepted starting from 8 people
Payment methods
Cash only
Number of people acceptable (group)
11 people per group (at most 4 pleasure boats are available)
Telephone number
080-1461-4123
Languages spoken
Japanese only
Official Website
Official Website (Japanese)