Yakatabune, is a unique Japanese-style wooden tour boat. Now, Yakatabune are changed which was made from fiber-reinforced plastic. From the artwork which created around the end of the Taisho era by Tomekichi Inagaki, called “Fujimi-bashi no kei” (a view of Fujimi bridge). This picture captures two boathouses next to the Fujimi bridge, “Hamaya” and “Fujimi”.
Fujimi, one of two boathouses was founded around mid 1800’s. Until now, its history already is longer than 150 years. Before the Yakatabune was created, fishing was their main business. People used to go to fishing points by rowing the “robune” which was small-sized hand rowed wooden boat. This activity which was called “nerifune” was popular at that period that guests can enjoy goby fishing. However, this business went decline. The first reason is that not everyone has this skill, and the number of skilled boat carpenters reduced. And secondly, the number of gobies were decreased numerously. Later, when the 4th master started managing, because of the water pollution, guests had less interest in this activity. They needed to find a way to survive.
Fortunately, in 1985, the 5th master established Yakatabunes. At first, people just changed fishing boats to Yakatabunes. At that time, not really a lot of boathouses had Yakatabune operations. But now, Fujimi becomes the largest Yakatabune operator in Tokyo since it has 8 Yakatabunes which can carry up to 120 passengers. After the change, it got guests and it continued as a family business. During the Edo Period, it reached the height of popularity in the 17th to 18th centuries. Now, although modern Yakatabune tour boats are different from those in the past, some traditional details are still kept, like “miyoshi” which is a bow that protrudes upward and “omotenashi”. On the Yakatabune, tourists can enjoy the beautiful views of either side of the river while enjoy the delicious food provided. And also, the night view and special events during each seasons are very popular.