Yanagawa: the HIDDEN City of Water in Fukuoka

Cruise around the riverside district Yanagawa City, Fukuoka

Yanagawa (柳川) is a small town in southwestern Fukuoka Prefecture, Kyushu region, which is located approx 1 hour away from Hakata City. The town is known as “the City of Water” such as Venice in Italy, and the river cruising is the best attraction.

The whole town is surrounded by the small river since the town used to be a Castle Town in Sengoku period and the river was used as water filled moats to protect the castle from enemies. Although the castle was burnt out in 1872, the nostalgic streetscape of the old town has remained till today and the town has been attracting tourists.

The main attraction of Yanagawa is river cruising around the town. Local boatman with a long pole pushes small sightseeing boats called “Donko” and entertains passengers by singing songs or showing their rowing skills. The cruise goes through the beautiful surrounding nature and the town by willow trees for about 4 km.

River cruise is run by several operators in the town and they offer prices around 1,000~1,500 yen for 40–60 mins cruising.

Another biggest attraction of Yanagawa City is their local signature food, Japanese eel. The most significant dish is Seiromushi, which is broiled eel covering seasoned steamed rice, topped by sliced omelette comes in a traditional wooden box, then steamed all together to give more falvour. The dish are served at many local restaurants in every corner of the town, and costs around 2,000 to 3,000 yen regularly.

Yanagawa is a small town but it’s very much worth taking a day trip if you are around Hakata City or Dazaifu Shrine in Fukuoka, since the town is very pretty and full of history and old culture, and most importantly the town welcomes tourists with warm hearts.

-Yanagawa City (柳川市)

Map: https://goo.gl/KAFDG6

Access: Nishitetsu Yanagawa Station (Nishitetsu Tenjin Omuta Line from Fukuoka Tenjin Station or Dazaifu Station)

Official website: http://www.yanagawa-net.com/eng/index.html

Did you enjoy the story?? Yanagawa is a lesser known spot in Japan, but it’s a great destination if you want to explore off the major tourist route! If you are looking for more hideaways in Japan, you may wanna check out these articles below, too!

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"The world is my oyster" A globetrotter 🌎 and hammock lover 🌞 who loves taking adventures to fuel wanderlust. Born and raised in Japan, I have lived and explored countries around the world. As a resident of Japan and based on my travel experience, I'd love to share my knowledge and tips for travelling Japan with my readers. I hope my story will help you plan your trip and have a great time in Japan 🌈