See Tokyo Bay and Sumida River by Boat! The Appeal of Ferries
Why not try a novel mode of transportation when seeing the sights in Tokyo? Here is some information so you can learn about the appeal of ferry services by Tokyo Cruise!
How to Enjoy the Ferries
Tokyo Cruise's ferries are boats that connect major tourist spots along Sumida River such as Asakusa, Hamarikyu, and Odaiba. They run on numerous routes and are convenient as a means of transportation. Tokyo Cruise also offers attractive packages such as cruises to watch fireworks and to see cherry blossoms. It has a selection of varied styles of boats including Himiko and Hotaluna, with spacecraft-like metallic bodies designed by the famous animation and manga artist, Leiji Matsumoto, as well as the bright red Ryuma, designed in the early-American style.
How to Ride the Ferries (Boarding Information)
To ride the ferries, you must make reservations online in advance (from one month to three days in advance) or purchase tickets at the pier on the day. There are seven piers and the fares differ by destination. Drinks and sweets are available at a kiosk on board, so you can feel like you are on a little cruise. Some ferries have rooftop decks and others don't so be sure to check in advance.
Following is information on each pier.
*A limited number of Hotaluna and Himiko tickets for designated times can be bought on the day at the pier.
*The ferries run every day unless canceled due to storms or unusual tide levels.
*Fares vary by pier and destination. Refer to the official website for details.
Asakusa (Destinations: Hinode Pier, Odaiba Seaside Park, Hamarikyu, Toyosu)
The ferry can be boarded near the popular tourist destination of Kaminarimon in Asakusa. Why not travel by boat while enjoying views of bridges over Sumida River, such as Azuma Bridge and Kiyosu Bridge, and the Asakusa townscape?
Hinode Pier (Destinations: Asakusa, Odaiba Seaside Park, Palette Town, Tokyo Big Sight)
At Hinode Pier, you can enjoy tea and light fare at the onsite cafe and the snacks shop, Air Stream. There is a perfect opportunity to take a photograph of the Rainbow Bridge en route to Odaiba Seaside Park.
Odaiba Seaside Park (Destinations: Asakusa, Hinode Pier, Toyosu)
Odaiba Seaside Park has a fabulous view in the evenings and at night. You can enjoy an alternate view of Rainbow Bridge, Tokyo Tower and other sites from the water.
Hamarikyu (Destinations: Asakusa Hinode Pier)
Hamarikyu is a city park that incorporates seawater from Tokyo Bay, offering a change in scenery depending on the tide. It is in a business district on the banks of Sumida River. Many people go to Asakusa from here.
Hamarikyu Gardens entrance fee: 300 JPY/general
Palette Town (Destinations: Hinode Pier, Tokyo Big Site)
Palette Town is in Odaiba in Tokyo. There are many shopping and other commercial facilities nearby, such as Palette Town, Venus Fort and Megaweb. See Tokyo from the water by taking a ferry ride after shopping.
Toyosu (Destination: Asakusa)
The boat that leaves from Toyosu is the Himiko designed by Leiji Matsumoto. The announcements made by characters from the famous Japanese animation, Galaxy Express 999, add to the charm of this ride.
Tokyo Big Site (Destination: Hinode Pier)
There is also a pier in front of Tokyo Big Site, a vast site with exhibition and conference spaces. Tokyo Big Site has a variety of events, including conferences and comic markets, held throughout the year. A ferry ride may be a nice, leisurely way to travel back from an event.
There are routes such as the Sumidagawa Line, Asakusa/Odaiba Direct Line, Odaiba Line, and Tokyo Big Site/Palette Town Line. The most popular route is the Sumidagawa Line, which starts from Asakusa and passes under 12 bridges to arrive at either Hamarikyu or Hinode Pier. The changing view of Tokyo seen from the water is sure to become a wonderful memory of your travels. It is particularly beautiful during the cherry blossom season, and in the evenings when the city is lit up.
What Event Cruises Are There?
There is a selection of cruises linked to seasonal events, such as one that leaves early in the morning to see the first sunrise of the year, those to see the cherry blossoms both during the day and in the evening, and those to see the Sumida River and Tokyo Bay fireworks. The cruises come with services linked to the event, such as bento boxes, free drinks, and live violin performances. Popular cruises book up quickly, so be sure to make your reservations early.
Riding the ferries will make your travel time fun as well. Please try them when seeing the sights in Tokyo.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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