Photo:Yakatabune cruising down the river

Ninja Cruise in Tokyo, A New Sightseeing Cruise

The Yakatabune

Yakatabune is a traditional sightseeing cruise and is a great way to see the city. Not only can you see the beautiful skyline of Tokyo, but you can eat your fill of Japanese cuisine and drink the night away. Yakatabune has all the luxury of a traditional Japanese restaurant and bar, as well as floating on Tokyo bay with a great view of the skyline.

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The inside of a traditional yakatabune – Janglish Jerry

Book a meal on a yakatabune and you’ll be relaxing on a tatami mat, drinking sake, slurping noodles, and training to become a ninja.

Yes, Ninjas.

The Tokyo Yakatabune Association is promoting a new spin on the traditional ride. Not only will you be able to enjoy a luxurious yakatabune ride, you’ll be doing it dressed as a ninja, playing with ninja weapons, and partaking in ninja games.

Drinking beer, on a boat, on Tokyo Bay, dressed like a ninja – Janglish Jerry

The Tokyo Bay Ninja Cruise

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Jason and his ninja crew – Janglish Jerry

The Ninja of the Tokyo Bay Cruise

Ninja of the past were ruthless spies and assassins who trained under rigorous conditions to change the tide of war and win battles before they were fought. But the Ninja of Tokyo bay learned a new skill, hospitality. When on this ride, just call out Ninja, and they will pop out of the shadows and give you beer, take your order, or take your picture.

On this cruise, you’ll be outfitted with your own ninja furokushi and be taught how to use it. Turns out not only can you put it over your face to quiet your breath on your next assassination attempt, but you can wrap your lunch with it as well. Make your furokushi into a bottle holder for your beer, your leftovers, or even a fancy handbag.

Ninja Food

Food on a yakatabune has always been one of the biggest reasons why tourists would want to go on a yakatabune. The ninja yakatabune is no different. You’ll receive a giant bento box with lots of different goodies of all shapes and sizes, specifically ninja star shapes. You might even see a little ninja inside the food. Many of the different items have been blackened because the ninja believed that eating black things gave you power. The bento box is delicious and nutritious and will prepare you with the stamina of the next ninja trial.

Ninja Weapons

After being liquored up with sake and revitalized with ninja power food, you’ll be given the opportunity to test your dexterity with a blowdart, a shuriken, or a kanai. Take these weapons and aim carefully. If your aim is truer than the other ninja recruits, you’ll win a prize.

These are rubber weapons and you throw them at things like balloons. Kids will enjoy it.

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A ninja showing off his weapons – Janglish Jerry

Ninja Games

The ninja can display three sacred hand signs to boost their natural powers.


Ninja Technique One: First start with a fist. This is a symbol of raw natural power, a stone that can withstand the test of time and crush any weapon.


Ninja Technique Two: Starting with the first technique, open your hand out all the way, until it is flat, like the ground beneath you. This is a delicate but effective blocking technique that can stop projectiles, like stones.


Ninja Technique Three: Again, start with technique one. Ninja often chant “Saisho wa gu” meaning start with the stone. Extend your index and middle finger, and separate them and bring them together, like the deadly scissors that can cut technique two, but be harmed by technique one. As technique two can defeat technique one, but not three.

Now that you understand the symbols of Ninja power, you can play the sacred ninja training game of “Janken Pon


Fierce Ninja Competition – Janglish Jerry
Rock Paper Scissor images from Wikicommons

Defeat the other ninjas for a prize. The competition is fierce.

Ninja Art

When in a bind in the modern day ninja environment, the office, sometimes you run out of shuriken to toss at your enemies. That is why you will be taught how to make your own shuriken, out of colorful paper. Remember, this is not so much a test of dexterity and the ability to follow step by step picture directions, but a test of creativity as well. The secret I will share with you, is be resourceful and aware of your surroundings.

The ancient art of making a ninja weapon out of paper – Janglish Jerry

If you are interested in the Yakatabune or the Tokyo Bay Ninja cruise, check out the Yakatabune association website. The first cruise will be on June 25th, 2016. If you cannot make it to Tokyo but still want to experience this, check out my virtual tour on the ninja cruise’s maiden voyage.

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