About Ozu Castle Town River Cruises (Regularly scheduled)
Ozu Castle Town River Cruises offer visitors the experience of scenery viewed from aboard a yakata-bune pleasure boat while drifting along the Hijikawa River that flows through the city. Spend a leisurely and enjoyable time taking in unique views of the townscape of the historic castle town of Ozu and its sightseeing highlights from perspectives only a river cruise can provide.
Cruises are offered yearly from June through Nov. 20, with seven 45-minute cruises daily. Enjoy a relaxing cruise along the river with stunning views of Ozu Castle, the Garyū Sansō Villa, and other representative historical resources of the town.
Advance reservations are not required. Please purchase tickets when you visit Ozu, at the Ozu Tourist Information Center (located inside Machi-no-eki Asamoya) or Ozu Akarenga-kan (Ozu Redbrick Hall).
Business hours: 9:00–17:00.
* Please specify the time of the cruise you wish to take when purchasing tickets.
Be sure to arrive at the Konangawara Landing at least 5 minutes before boarding time.
Points of Note
- No river cruises are conducted on Tuesdays or Thursdays (* Tuesdays only during August)
- River cruises last 45 minutes.
- If you wish, you may disembark below Ozu Castle, at the Kohokugawara, or at the river beach below the Garyū Sansō Villa. (Please note that you will not be able to reboard the boat after you have disembarked.)
- After tickets have been purchased, no refunds or changes to the time of the cruise can be made.
- To ensure safety during boat travel, please be sure to follow crew members’ instructions.
- Some locations may be inaccessible due to river conditions, including seasonal factors and water levels.
- Cruises may be canceled on short notice, due to weather conditions or other factors. In such events, notices will be posted on the Machi-no-eki Asamoya and Ozu Tourist Information Center Facebook pages, so be sure to check for the latest information, or telephone the Ozu Tourist Information Center at 0893-57-6655.
June 1 through Sept. 20:
Konangawara Landing (embark) → Below Ozu Castle → Kohokugawara → Below Garyū Sansō Villa → Konangawara Landing (disembark)
Sept. 21 through Nov. 20:
Konangawara Landing (embark) → Below Ozu Castle → Kohokugawara → Konangawara Landing (disembark)
Hours of Operation
(7 regularly scheduled cruises daily)
From the Konangawara Landing
Cruise 1: 10:00 departure
Cruise 2: 10:45 departure
Cruise 3: 11:30 departure
Cruise 4: 13:00 departure
Cruise 5: 13:45 departure
Cruise 6: 14:30 departure
Cruise 7: 15:15 departure
Adults ¥1,100, children (junior high school students and younger) ¥550 *Babies and young children free
Scenery Viewed from the Boat
From views gazing up at Ozu’s famous architectural wonder, the Garyū Sansō Villa, to the form of Ozu Castle reflected on the surface of the river waterscape, ayu sweetfish swimming in the water, and more, the river cruise experience is bound to offer glimpses of stunning scenery and special moments not to be encountered in the course of ordinary strolls.
Days when the breeze is tranquil offer charming views of scenery reflected on the water’s surface.
Take in a sense of Ozu ambience, a castle town with an extensive history of life along the Hijikawa River.
Other Options for Enjoying the Hijikawa River
Several different sightseeing options aboard boats in the Hijikawa River are offered.
Hijikawa River Excursions
Hijikawa River Excursions allow visitors to enjoy meals while drifting along the river taking in the scenery. Advance reservations are required. Enjoy the experience of a cruise along the Hijikawa River with a comfortable, relaxed air, feeling the breeze off the river.
Ukai Cormorant Fishing in Ozu
Ukai cormorant fishing practiced in Ozu is counted as one of the three most notable instances of the tradition in Japan. Here, a technique called awase-ukai (paired cormorant fishing), a rarity in Japan, is employed, with yakata-bune pleasure boats for spectators running alongside the fishermen’s boats, which are lit with blazing braziers. This allows participants to view the spectacle of cormorant fishing up close, as the birds catch fish in their beaks, sending up sprays of water.
Hijikawa River Kayaking Experience
Enjoy the experience of kayaking in the river, accompanied by a guide so that even beginners can have peace of mind. Includes a 30-minute explanatory lecture. The gentle flow of the Hijikawa River makes it enjoyable even for first-time kayakers, and the presence of the guide offers safe experiences for all.
Ozu was recently awarded in the Culture & Tradition category at the Green Destinations Story Awards held at ITB Berlin in March 2023. Ozu’s efforts to draw on the city’s historical resources to preserve its townscape and contribute to the local economy have earned it acclaim as a Good Practice Story, an example of regional excellence.
The history and culture of Ozu have always co-existed with the Hijikawa River. We hope you will take the opportunity to enjoy an Ozu Castle Town River Cruise and take in a fuller, deeper experience of Ozu when you visit this special, historic locale.