This cruise, along with most cruises of Osaka, is operated by the Ipponmatsu Ferry Company and is the first of its kind, focusing on central Osaka. It operates in the evening between 17 and 21:00, with departures every 30 minutes. Nakanoshima is renowned for being the center of politics, economy and even culture of Osaka, with many impressive buildings, charming cafes and stylish restaurants lining the riverbanks.
The cruise departs from the Hotarumachi pier and sails around the Dojima River for approximately 20 minutes, offering a unique glance at the illuminated Hanshin speedway and Tamae Bridge among other sights. Even the special low ceiling almost scrapes the underside of the bridges as it sails beneath, adding a bit of excitement to the cruise.
The maximum capacity of this luxurious boat is 12 passengers, with all seats being comfortable sofas. Kickback and enjoy the ride as you sail past both modern and retro buildings and marvel at the stunning nightly cityscape illuminated with countless dazzling lights. Explanations are provided via digital wireless headsets MOTO iD in multiple languages, so you can fully enjoy the cruise both as a group or even as an individual traveler.
However please be advised that due to the smaller size of the boat no restrooms are available on board. As this cruise offers a unique view of the Nakanoshima area from the river, we highly recommend this experience to all visitors.
Bring your own!
It is perfectly fine to bring your own refreshments on board, so stopping by at any of the many restaurants in the area for a takeout is also highly recommended.
Even though something small and light from a convenience store would also do the trick, why not enjoy the occasion to the fullest with something slightly different? Whilst a cup of coffee sounds good on its own, how about making the trip a bit more special with some of the iconic local delicacies like takoyaki or kushikatsu skewers? Or surprise your fellow travelers with a cake or a dessert, a lovely ice cream in the summer, or a hot drink in the winter. Since there are both sofas and tables on board, it is quite easy to enjoy a lovely meal.
As the cruise takes you quite close to the river banks, you also get to see the beautiful scenery and cityscape from up close.
Romantic scenery with illuminated bridges
The 20 minute long cruise passes underneath 6 illuminated bridges, creating a memorable romantic scenery as the boat passes underneath each bridge. There are also illuminations set up in several spots along the river bank, brightening the night and creating a wonderful symphony of colors as the lights reflect from the river surface. At first the boat passes underneath the Taminobashi, Watanabebashi and Nakanoshima Garden Bridge, before making a u-turn in front of the Oedobashi Bridge and passing underneath the Tamae and by the Dojima Bridge. Nakanoshima Garden Bridge is illuminated with changing red and blue lights, offering a breathtakingly beautiful sight as the colors gradually change. Even the underside of the Tamae and Nakanoshima Garden Bridge are illuminated, lighting up the boat as it passes underneath. The area around the river features both modern skyscrapers as well as nostalgic retro buildings, creating a unique sight to enjoy from the river.
As the boat cruises along the river bank pedestrians may wave at the boat, adding an extra nice touch to the experience. Even though the cruise is a great experience at sunset, it truly “shines” in the late hours when the bridge illuminations create a contrast of light and dark.
Live music performances also available!
Even though they are time-limited, there are special cruises available that feature live musical performances by various musicians, singers and songwriters. The outdoors offer a unique scenery with fresh air and excellent acoustics as the boat sails under the bridges.
As a special offer the cruise accompanied with live music is priced at the same price as the standard cruise, adding an extra layer of enjoyment to the activity. The specific performance differs by time, so please be sure to check the details in advance. Since the boat has a maximum capacity of 12 passengers, this special cruise offers a unique, up close and personal experience with the musicians. Who knows, perhaps between the songs you could even strike up a conversation! An opportunity like this rarely presents itself, so being able to enjoy a live performance from the front row, in a unique setting and what’s more, free of extra charge, is quite a rare opportunity indeed. However please be advised that this option does not apply to privately chartered boat cruises.
The Nakanoshima River Cruise is also available for private chartering for groups of up to 12 passengers. The course duration can extend from 20 to 90 minutes so it is really worth the investment, especially if you split the cost with your friends. Whether you would like to create an unforgettable romantic scenery to confess your love to that special someone, commemorate an occasion with closest friends or family, or just do something special with your friends, classmates or colleagues, the private charter is a great option to create a special time and place just for your group. With 90 minutes you will have plenty of time to use the cruise to its fullest. Secretly smuggle a birthday cake on board, or whip out a bottle of special vintage wine as you enjoy the scenery to make the cruise truly unforgettable.
All seats are comfortable sofas with tables placed in front of them, so having a small banquet and enjoying a meal or a few drinks are perfectly viable options. However please be advised that due to its size the boat is not equipped with a restroom so keep that in mind.
The price for a 90 minute private cruise is 30000 JPY as of 2021, with cancellation fees of 10% 10 to 7 days in advance, 20% 6 to 3 days in advance, 50% 2 days in advance or the day before and 100% cancellation fee on the day of departure or in case of a no show.
Enjoy the Nakanoshima Park illuminations after the cruise
Nakanoshima Park, located a brisk short walk from the landing port of the Nakanoshima River Cruise, is also famous for its seasonal illumination. The park itself is created in the image of “The water capital of Japan” as Osaka is known, incorporating streams and rivers into it, with an impressive fountain monument and plenty of flora to enjoy, including roses, zelkova, camellia, azalea and more. The rose garden section of the park features over 3700 roses of 310 different varieties, attracting large crowds of visitors in their peak season.
From the park promenade you can enjoy the illuminations of both the Tenmabashi and Tenjinbashi bridges. The fountain monument at the end of the park is also a popular spot among tourists for its aesthetic properties.
A romantic stroll through the park after the cruise is an excellent choice that we highly recommend not just to couples. The nearby Osaka City Central Public Hall and Osaka Prefectural Nakanoshima Library are both impressive buildings with long history and stunning architecture, further enhancing the atmosphere of the area.
In the vicinity
The boarding point for the Nakanoshima River Cruise is located in the Fukushima Ward of Osaka. This location is known for its typical scenery with countless skyscrapers as well as retro buildings with a unique architectural style and rich history. For example the nearby Dojima River Forum features not only office spaces, but also shops, restaurants and venue spaces like galleries and even a concert hall. The building faces the Dojima river and connects to a luxurious apartment complex. On the other hand Hotarumachi is a polyfunctional building complex built on the former site of the Osaka University Hospital. On its premises you can find the headquarters of the Asahi broadcasting station, a multifunctional event hall, restaurants, cafes, a supermarket, a sports gym and even luxurious apartments. It serves not only as a very practical residence, but also attracts many visitors both domestic and foreign. The former building of the old Kawasaki Savings Bank of the Minami Corporation, designed by the prominent architect Yabe Matakichi and built in the early Showa Era, is well preserved even today and registered as an important cultural property of Japan.
Then there is the Dojima Crosswalk, a great choice for all fans of fashionable restaurants or unique and quaint cafes. The complex also includes a sports gym, a shopping mall, multiple clinics and other facilities for visitors to enjoy. At the animal cafe Fuleca you can kick back and relax, whilst surrounded by various small animals like owls, hedgehogs, degu mice, meerkats and more. There’s both pizza and pasta, as well as smoothies and cakes on the menu so you can nourish both your body and soul in one go. If you would like to treat yourself to a bit of wellness you can opt for the Laxa Osaka, a natural spring water spa located in the Hanshin Hotel.
For families with children we recommend the ToyToy Park facility equipped with countless educational toys to play with. The toy park faces the Osaka rail and you can see the high speed trains like the Thunderbird zip by, an exciting sight for kids and adults alike.
Venue Name: Nakanoshima River Cruise
Business Hours: 17:00 - 21:00
Regular Closing Days: Irregular Closing Days (year end, New Year)
Address: 〒553-0003 Osaka, Fukushima Ward, Fukushima 1-chome 1
Phone Number: 06-6441-0532
Access: 4 minutes from Shin-Fukushima Station on the JR Tozai Line, Exit 2
4 minutes from Fukushima Station on the Hanshin Line, Exit 3
6 minutes from Nakanoshima Station on the Keihan Nakanoshima Line, Exit 6
8 minutes from Fukushima Station on the Osaka Loop Line
17 minutes from JR Osaka Station
Tour Osaka’s Sightseeing Spots with the “Osaka e-Pass” 1-Day Pass
Osaka City Kita Area(Umeda, Fukushima, Temma)
Recommended for familiesRecommended for couplesRecommended for groupsLone Wolves Welcome!Small GroupTraveling with the GirlsTrip with the GuysTo Make MemoriesCan't Decide!Mentioned in Magazines
Click here for details
Click here for details