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A Tokyo Cruise Is the Perfect Way to Explore Your New City

Post: Tuesday June 26, 2018

Tokyo's image might be all tall gray buildings–a concrete jungle, if you will–but in fact it has many waterways that provide the perfect backdrop for the numerous cruising experiences that are offered. From the old-fashioned yakatabune (meaning "house-type" boat) to modern marine transport vehicles modeled after submarines, it is quite an amazing way to get familiar with your new city. Keep reading to find out which types of Tokyo cruises are available, and to learn more about the unique services each can offer.

Tokyo River Cruisesのコピー


Tokyo River Cruises

River Cruises are exploding in popularity over the recent years, and for a good reason. You can experience some form of travel and yet can pack light. You can also enjoy numerous sights in a short amount of time at a relaxing pace. Of course, the allure is that most cruises travel to the best sightseeing spots in the city, thanks to Tokyo's close proximity to various nearby waters. However, the routes depend on the services and the area's focal points.

 

Where Do Tokyo Cruises Travel?

Tokyo offers a wealth of landmarks, culinary hotspots and cultural experiences located throughout the city. Taking a cruise can be the most fun and convenient way of seeing them all. Here are some highlight locations that you can view and visit with the help of a Tokyo cruise. 

Asakusa

There's just so much embedded history in Asakusa. Perhaps one of the most memorable sights when visiting this part of Tokyo would be the golden "signature" of the Asahi Super Dry Hall. Beside the famous Sensoji Temple is the Asakusa Shrine. One might wonder why two religious sites would be side by side, but as with every contrast in Japan, it just seems to be syncretic.

Sumida river, asakusa


Odaiba Seaside Park

With its very own Statue of Liberty, Odaiba Seaside Park boasts a beach with a beautiful view, and is a popular tourist and school trip destination. Go there at night when the weather is clear to enjoy the full view of the Rainbow Bridge. When the weather is bad, the lights will be covered in fog. In that case, go to the Marine House overlooking the sea to enjoy a snack indoors. You can also take a ferry to Asakusa via the water bus beside the park. The "Sea Light Festival" (early July) and the "Odaiba Rainbow Fireworks" (November and December) are a must-watch aboard a boat.

Rainbow Bridge

Skytree

Often mistaken for Tokyo Tower, the Tokyo Skytree is a television broadcasting tower and one of the major tourist destinations in Tokyo. There are two observation decks at 350 meters and 450 meters offer a good view of Tokyo, and while it is more popular during the evening, the day view can be spectacular as well. A large shopping complex and aquarium are popular date spots. While the view from the observation decks in the tower are beautiful, the view from the deck of a yakatabune is also quite amazing.

Sky Tree

Nihombashi

Nihombashi literally means "Japan Bridge," and is located on the north of Ginza near Tokyo Station. The previously wooden bridge is the kilometer-zero marker for Japan's highway network since the Edo Period. Reconstructed in stone, it is now an area with bustling streets yet retains the spirit of traditional Japanese culture. While the Coredo Muromachi complex boasts three skyscrapers with shopping and dining establishments, small shops specializing traditional crafts also line the street.

Nihonbashi M

Ryogoku

Ryogoku is synonymous with sumo to Japanese people, and this is because the country's top sumo stadium is here. Although they actually host numerous events such as fashion shows, it is their sumo tournaments that draw the most crowds. The Edo-Tokyo Museum with its unique architectural design is also a must-see. Ryogoku Pier is also on the Asakusa-Odaiba route.

Ryogoku

 

 

English-Speaking Tokyo Cruise Providers, Routes and Features

There are simply so many cruising experiences offered to suit every occasion. Some Tokyo cruises offer live entertainment, feature luxury watercraft and even offer full meal services. Here is a summary of the cruise providers and their services, amenities, and other key points to match your desired cruising experience.

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Anniversary Cruise

Classy and often catered for parties, Anniversary Cruise offers 3 major routes, including the Tokyo-Odaiba area, Yokohama area, or Sumida River. Anniversary Cruise boasts an impressive 70 different vessels from small cruisers to large party cruisers. Cruise times depend on the seasonal event and route type.
 

Amitatsu

Enjoy the Odaiba-Skytree route with a full-course meal and drinks with Amitatsu’s shared yakatabune. Choose from 8 types of boats, including the Godzilla and the No. 12 Amitatsumaru, a Japanese-style yakatabune. Departure time is usually around 7:00pm on weekdays and 6:00pm on weekends.
 

Symphony Tokyo Bay Cruise

You can enjoy a high-class meal while cruising in a yacht through Tokyo Bay. Highlights include the Rainbow Bridge, Tokyo Tower, Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Gate Bridge and Odaiba Seaside Park. Symphony offers luxury-style Moderna and Classica yachts. Enjoy a lunch cruise from noon to 2:00pm, an afternoon cruise from 3:00pm to 4:00pm, a sunset cruise from 4:20pm to 6:20pm, or a dinner cruise from 7:00pm to 9:30pm.
  

Funasei Yakatabune

Able to accommodate groups of 20 to 120 people, you can experience a traditional Japanese Yakatabune complete with a kotatsu (Japanese traditional heating table). You can rent out a cruiser for a party of 20 or more people, or share with other passengers. The Odaiba-Skytree course lasts 2.5 hours, and a 3-hour hanami (flower viewing) option is also available.
 

Riverboat Mizuha

Get both the feeling of modern and traditional with custom-made boats, including the Funa-sajiki, which has an open deck to feel the air and breeze, or the Funa-mizuya with a cabin that allows you to retreat from the cold. Their Kanda River cruises have irregular start times and dates, so it is best to check their website.

Fukagawa Fujimi

Enjoy a 360 panoramic view from the viewing decks and see Tokyo bay. All 8 of their boats have viewing decks. Their Hokusai is one of the largest yakatabunes in Japan, and can accommodate groups of 80 to 120 guests. Their Odaiba Course and Skytree Course take 2.5 hours.
 

Vinght Et Un

French fine dining with the view around Tokyo Bay. Highlights include Raibow Bridge and the "Giraffe" shaped cranes. The Vinght Et Un is a massive watercraft that can accommodate a maximum of 700 people. Enjoy a lunchtime cruise from noon to 2:00pm, the Twilight Cruise that runs from 4:20pm to 6:20pm), or their dinner cruise 7:20pm to 9:20pm
  

Harumiya

Enjoy entertainment from a geisha show or other popular performances, in addition to three types of course menus. Five boats of different sizes have horigotatsu which has a sunken floor so one can stretch their legs even while seated on the floor. All three of their cruise routes (Odaiba-Skytree, Odaiba, and Cherry Blossom) take 2.5 hours each.
 

Tokai Kisen

Travel to the Izu Islands from Tokyo and Yokohama using Tokai Kisen's colorful high-speed jet ferries. Depending on the day and route, cruise times can start at roughly 8:20am.

 

It goes without saying that the best time to do cruising is during the peak of every season; in spring, when the cherry blossoms bloom; in summer, when the weather is perfect; in autumn, when the food is at its freshest and best; and in winter, when the rivers are not frozen even in the coldest days. Definitely give a Tokyo cruise a try for a more intimate knowledge of the city.

 

 

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