Okayama: Riverboat Cruises Available Year-Round

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A sightseeing boat navigates the Asahi River that flows between Okayama Castle and Okayama Korakuen Garden in Okayama.

OKAYAMA — A sightseeing boat cruise around Okayama Castle has begun year-round operations in response to increasing popularity among tourists. The Asahi River cruise services had been limited to only spring and summer.

Boats set off from a newly built pier near Ishiyama Park, which is close to Okayama Castle’s tower. They navigate an about three-kilometer course in approximately 30 minutes, turning around at Aioi Bridge, which is located east of the Okayama Prefectural Office. They then head to Tsurumi Bridge west of Okayama Korakuen Garden. Passengers can listen to an audio guide that explains the history and culture of the area during the tour.

The boats were operating for a limited time in 2021 and 2022, but year-round cruises started on April 18 as demand increased.

The operator, Okayama Asahigawa Yuran Cruise, takes safety measures, including ensuring that all passengers wear life jackets, in response to a boating accident that occurred in March on the Hozu River in Kameoka, Kyoto Prefecture.

Tickets cost ¥1,500 for junior high school students and older and are sold at a ticket booth located in front of Ishiyama Park. Eight trips per hour run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tours may be canceled due to the weather.