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A riverside district near the mouth of the Chikugo-gawa River. Old town scenes are viewed by "Donko" boat cruises.

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  3. Fukuoka
  4. Yanagawa

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A riverside district near the mouth of the Chikugo-gawa River. Old town scenes are viewed by "Donko" boat cruises.

Yanagawa in the southwestern part of Fukuoka lies in a rural area near the mouth of the Chikugo-gawa River that empties into the Sea of Ariake. A cruise on a poled boat called "Donko" down the river is the chief attraction of this old castle town. The boat goes through the moat around the old Yanagawa Castle, with the willow trees on its banks reflecting in the water. As the boat slowly goes downstream, passengers can enjoy a view of red brick warehouses of the early 20th century and traditional Japanese-style storehouses with 'namako' walls, covered with square tiles jointed with raised plaster. The cruise takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes. The boatman's masterly use of his pole is a sight to see. He addresses the passengers from time to time, briefly explaining popular sightseeing spots on the way. The boat service is available all year round. Seasonal flowers such as cherry and peach blossoms and irises please the eyes of the passengers. In winter, the passengers can warm themselves with 'hibachi' braziers on 'kotatsu' (Japanese heating equipment) boats.
Boats for clam-digging or sightseeing are put in service on the Sea of Ariake. Boats for clam-digging are in service from early spring to early autumn. These boats go 2 to 4 kilometers offshore. After the tide ebbs, the passengers get down to the tideland and dig out 'asari' clams and ark shells. Sightseeing boats are also in service, going on a cruise for approximately 3 hours. The routes are decided depending on the tide. If you are interested, you will need to book in advance. Yanagawa on the Sea of Ariake is abundant with nature's resources.

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From Tokyo:
[Air] 1h 45 min from Haneda to Fukuoka Airport, and 5 min from the airport to Hakata Station by subway.
[Rail] 4h 50 min from Tokyo to Hakata Station by JR Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen Line. 48 min from Hakata via Tenjin (subway) and Fukuoka (Nishitetsu Line, limited express) to Nishitetsu Yanagawa Station.


From Osaka:
[Air] 1h 15 min from Itami to Fukuoka Airport.
[Rail] 2h 20 min from Shin-Osaka to Hakata Station by Shinkansen.


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