Kotatsu boat

Information for the Kotatsu Boat Nagatoro in 2022, one of several winter only activities in Nagatoro in the Chichibu district of Saitama Prefecture.

Its all happening in Nagatoro and Chichibu in January! Icicles, strawberry picking, wintersweet festival and a truly only in Japan activity of Kotatsu boat riding! From January 1st until February 28th you can ride a boat on the Arakawa in Japanese style: sitting under a warm Kotatsu. The organizers confirmed that they plan to go ahead with the event in January and February 2022. But please do check with the official website for any changes if the situation with the Coronavirus worsens. However, in 2021 this event went ahead even though there was a State of Emergency, so it is quite unlikely they will cancel. Bad weather, such as heavy rain, snow or high wind, does effect the schedule though.

Kotatsu Boat

A kotatsu is a type of table you’ll find in almost every Japanese home. It is a low table with a removable top and a heater under the frame below the top. In Winter families put a kotatsu blanket between the frame and table top and turn on the heater for coziness to the max!

On the kotatsu boat they do the same thing. A blanket is placed between a frame of a long table and a removable table top. A heater below the frame keeps you warm as you sail down the Arakawa, Nagatoro’s most famous and beloved river.

Kotatsu Boat 2022 Information

Date: Saturday January 1st to Monday February 28th

Time: Available between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm – weather permitting. Please do check with the official website to see if the boat is operating on the day you hope to ride.

Cost: 1000 yen for adults, 600 yen for children over three years old.

Reservations: none required.

Access: from Iwadatami kudari Line depot, a three minute walk from the Chichibu Railway Nagatoro Station

In the area:

Mt Hodo is relatively close to the kotatsu boat ride. At the top of the mountain there is a wintersweet grove where there is a wintersweet festival during half of January and half of February. More information about the wintersweet festival in English here. For the last week of February and of the boat ride, there is a plum blossom festival on Mt Hodo.

There are three famous icicles of Chichibu that you can see during some of the period of the Kotatsu boat. The Otaki Ice Festival is the only naturally formed icicle display. In 2020 due to the warmer than normal winter, they never really did form and the event was cancelled early. But this winter looks to be a cold one, so hopefully they won’t have that problem. However, the pandemic may influence the situation. The other two icicles are Ashigakubo and Onouchi Hyakkei. It is best advised to travel by car to the icicles.

waterpark nagatoro kotatsu boat
Small sized kotatsu boat out of commission at Waterpark Nagatoro (photo taken 2019)

There are several campsites in the area. For example, two of the most popular campsites – Waterpark Nagatoro and Autocamp Nagatoro. Waterpark Nagatoro is also a port for the spring to autumn river boating on the Arakawa.

The featured image in thumbnail is from the official website.

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