Fukui: Eco-friendly Pleasure Boat Sets Sail Quietly on Scenic Lakes

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A battery-propelled excursion boat is seen at Mihama Lake Center in Mihama, Fukui Prefecture.

MIHAMA, Fukui — An environmentally friendly battery-propelled sightseeing boat recently began operating on lakes in Mihama, Fukui Prefecture.

Passengers board at Mihama Lake Center in the town for a 50-minute tour of about 9 kilometers around Lake Kugushi and Lake Suigetsu.

The boat was developed by the town of Mihama in cooperation with Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology. It has been in operation since April as a highlight of the tourist season.

The 18-meter-long, 4-meter-wide pleasure boat is powered by lithium-ion batteries that store electricity generated by solar panels installed on the boat. The boat is driven by a propeller.

There are no carbon emissions and virtually no noise or vibration because the boat is electric. Passengers can quietly enjoy the reflection of the mountains on the water and watch herons resting their wings.

The boat runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m, with five tours a day. There are no tours on Wednesdays and New Year’s holidays. The fare is ¥1,980 for adults, ¥990 for elementary school students and free for preschool children.