Yakatabune are, literally "night ships," which are floating party boats. The vast majority are rented out to groups. Some, however, are open for individuals, couples, and small groups.
Traditionally, yakatabune serve tempura as the main course. In Tokyo, one of the highlights has been anago, ocean eel, caught in the Tokyo Bay. However, recently, many yakatabune serve monja, a Tokyo alternative to the more famous okonomiyaki, served in Osaka, Hiroshima, and western Japan. Many of these yakatabune serve okonomiyaki, yakisoba, yakiniku, and other foods, cooked on the teppan, or iron skillet, that serves as the dining table. This shift is because the teppan food is easier to serve than tempura.
Of course, many customers don't particularly care, as long as the food is good, because their main purpose is to drink (alcohol). Shochu was once the preferred drink, but now, like in bars onshore, beer and sake have become the most common alcoholic beverages on yakatabune.
In the Tokyo area, many yakatabune are rented out from Asakusa, Tsukishima, Shinagawa, and the Yokohama areas.