Enjoy the south of Osaka from a different perspective, during a river cruise starting in the “must see” Namba district!
During the cruise
The Tombori River Cruise starts in front of Don Quijote Store Dotombori; there should be no problem for you two to be side by side during the whole cruise. After boarding, the boat heads East, going under Tazaemon-bashi bridge, Aiau-bashi bridge and Nippon-bashi bridge before turning and heading west, going past Don Quijote Store Dotombori,going under Ebisu-bashi bridge, Dotombori-bashi bridge, Shin-ebisu-bashi bridge, Daikoku-bashi Bridge, Fukari-bashi Bridge, and finally Ukiniwa-bashi bridge. Then the boat returns to the boarding point. Through this 20-minute cruise on Dotombori River, you get a chance to see a few famous spots from a different perspective, notably Glico Running Man and Minatomachi River Place.
The guide accompanying the group during the cruise speaks Japanese; do not expect to hear interesting explanations in English. This has its advantage for foreign tourists: it is easy to enjoy the cityscape and to imagine stories associated to the area, and there is no distraction when there is a good view that should be admired or photographed. Globally, this cruise is a good way to do something new, rest a bit your feet if you have been walking a lot, and to kill time. Besides, you can enjoy the cruise at night time, which is kind of romantic, isn’t it?
About the cruise
You cannot buy tickets online. You must pay for your ticket at the boarding reception centre between Don Quijote Store Dotombori and the river. It is small but very easy to recognize.
A ticket for the cruise costs 900 yen per adult, and is valid only the day of issue.
A boat departs every hour, starting at 13:00 on weekdays but 11:00 on weekends and holidays, and ending with a departure at 21:00. On busy days, there may be a boat every 10-15 minutes from 11:00.
The cruise operates normally in case of light rain but may be cancelled if the weather worsens.
About the other cruise
There is also the Naniwa Osaka Exploration Cruise with Rakugoka (comedian practising storytelling with a fan and piece of cloth). There are two routes for this 90-minute cruise finishing at Minatomachi Pier: “Loop” departing from Minatomachi Pier at 12:00 and 14:00 (plus 16:00 on weekends & holidays and 19:00 at the beginning of spring) and “Yumesaki” departing from Universal City Port at 10:00. A ticket for this cruise costs 3000 yen, and reservations are possible 3 months in advance.
Check the weather forecast and avoid the cruise on days with strong cold wind or very unstable weather.
On a rainy look at a group of tourists with/without umbrellas and make a decision to join the cruise accordingly because there is no roof on the boat to protect the customers from the rain.
The flow is very gentle but be careful not to drop your camera in the river when trying to get a special photography.
While waiting for your departure time, walk a bit around and try a local snack, for example takoyaki balls of rice containing octopus. I saw man people queue and buy takoyaki at the shop on the right of the boarding reception centre, in front of the bridge. I personally do not like takoyaki very much but we all have different tastes! Buy a small quantity and share it with your lover then maybe decide to buy more immediately or after the cruise.