Megan Waters

Gengo-dō: Sailing the Sumida

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Photos: Eutah Mizushima

The long, hot Japanese summer is (finally) almost over! Yakatabune (屋形船), or home-style boats, originated in the Heian period (794–1185) and were popular among the shogun and samurai classes. Lavishly decorated with gold, silver and lacquer, they were used for entertaining guests at cherry-blossom viewings or haiku-reading parties along the Sumida River in central Tokyo.

Now, the modern version of these pleasure boats host gatherings for company employees and groups of friends to enjoy a traditional Japanese dinner and drinks, as well as dazzling views together on special occasions throughout the year.

To celebrate the end of the sticky summer months, and spend some time together outside the office, we organized our very first Gengo yakatabune party.

Check out the snaps below.





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Megan Waters
Megan Waters
Megan manages all things translator-related as Gengo’s Community and Digital Content Manager. Born in South Africa but now based in Tokyo, she’s passionate about languages and people. Megan spends her free time exploring secondhand shops, camping in the mountains and hosting the occasional dinner party.