Water Bus Service on the Nakagawa Canal

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Water Bus Service on the Nakagawa Canal
中川運河で水上交通の運航

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A water bus service began operating on the Nakagawa Canal (which connects the Sasashima Live 24 area just south of Nagoya Station with the Port of Nagoya) in October 2017.
You can take one of the brightly colored boats down the canal to Garden Pier (convenient to Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium and Sea Train Land), or further on to Kinjo Pier (金城ふ頭 / Kinjō Futō), where you can spend a day exploring SCMAGLEV and Railway Park, Maker’s Pier, LEGOLAND® Japan, and more.

The Nakagawa Canal was formerly a natural river (the upper reaches known as the Oisegawa River, the lower the Nakagawa River) which supplied water to nearby reclaimed rice fields. Despite being blessed with a good supply of water, the surrounding low-lying lands were susceptible to flood damage during heavy rains.

The Nakagawa Canal was proposed as part of a network of canals to enable the flow of goods between the Port of Nagoya and the urban center, contributing to Nagoya’s further development.

Construction of the Nakagawa Canal began in October 1926, and partial operation began in October 1930 (the full length of the canal came into operation in October 1932).

As Nagoya’s economy improved after the war, the canal carried an increasing amount of cargo year by year, reaching a peak of around 4 million tons in 1964. Usage of the canal decreased, however, as more and more cargo came to be shipped overland, so that by 2016 the total volume of cargo was around 6.5 tons, only 1.6% of what it had been in the canal’s heyday.

The Cruise Nagoya Ticket Booth at Sasashima
The Cruise Nagoya Ticket Booth at Sasashima

Boarding a boat at Sasashima Live, the boat takes around 90 minutes to reach Kinjo Pier. There are certainly faster ways to travel; but the water bus gives passengers a chance to take time out as you experience another side of Nagoya, cruising past the old warehouses and under unique bridges. There’s also wildlife to spot, both in and out of the water. Keep an eye out for the several varieties of waterfowl perched overlooking the canal, and the jumping fish.

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As the boat nears the mouth, where the canal meets the waters of the Port of Nagoya, the boat enters a lock, a kind of ‘water elevator.’ While the water level of the canal is constant, the level of the Port of Nagoya depends on the tide, and is higher than that of the canal. The vessel comes to a halt before a set of closed gates, while another set of gates closes behind the boat. Water is pumped into the lock to elevate the boat before the front gates open and the boat enters the Port of Nagoya. This is a rare chance to experience in Japan the same system as that used in the Panama Canal.

The lock opens
The lock opens

After exiting the lock, the boat passes under the red Nakagawa Bridge, and the Ferris wheel at Sea Train Land welcomes you to the Port of Nagoya, a broad expanse of water following the confines of the lock.

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The boat stops at Garden Pier, before continuing through the Port of Nagoya.

Seeing the port from the water is perhaps the best way to get an impression of just how big the Port of Nagoya is, and its importance to the city and surrounding area. Passing ships of various shapes and sizes, the boat rocks at times as it crosses the wake of another vessel. Near the Kinjo Pier terminus, the water bus also passes beneath the center section of the huge Meiko Triton, the bridge that carries the Isewangan Expressway over the port.

The Meiko Triton and a vehicle carrier
The Meiko Triton and a vehicle carrier

Explore the Nakagawa Canal and the Port of Nagoya, and discover more of Nagoya with the water bus.

Route

Sasashima Live ⇔ Kinjo Pier 3 round trips (6 one-way) per day

Sasashima Live ⇔ Garden Pier (Port of Nagoya) 6 round trips (12 one-way) per day (Change at Garden Pier to the Toriton Line (トリトンライン) for Blue Bonnet and Kinjo Pier)

Fares

Sector (one-way) 

Adults

(Junior HS students and above) 

Children

(Elementary school students) 

 Sasashima Live ⇔ Canal Resort  500 Yen  250 Yen
 Sasashima Live ⇔ Garden Pier  900 Yen  450 Yen
 Sasashima Live ⇔ Blue Bonnet  1,200 Yen  600 Yen
 Sasashima Live ⇔ Kinjo Pier  1,500 Yen  750 Yen

 ※1 pre-school-aged child may travel for free with an adult. Child fare applies for 2 or more pre-school-aged children traveling with one adult.
See http://cruise-nagoya.jp/ticket (Japanese) for ticket information for other sectors and timetable.

Days of operation

Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays (Service may also be available on weekdays during holiday periods. Check the Cruise Nagoya website for current schedules.) ※Service will not operate during stormy weather, or when boat races, etc. are held on the Nakagawa Canal

Inquiries:

Nagoya Port Development Promotion Division, City of Nagoya Housing and City Planning Bureau, Phone: 052-972-2784 (Japanese)

Japanese flyer available on the City of Nagoya website (see below) and at ward and branch offices

City of Nagoya website: http://www.city.nagoya.jp/jutakutoshi/page/0000098054.html

Cruise Nagoya website: http://cruise-nagoya.jp/ (Japanese)

To learn more about the Nagoya International Center,
please watch our video.

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