A Comprehensive Guide to New Transit Yurikamome, a Futuristic View of Tokyo
Yurikamome starts from the business district of Shimbashi and goes through Tokyo's waterfront, including Odaiba and Toyosu Market (to open in October 2018). There are great views of the futuristic skyscrapers and Tokyo Bay and many tourist spots along the way. Here is a comprehensive guide to using New Transit Yurikamome.
1. What is New Transit Yurikamome?
New Transit Yurikamome is a new electric transportation system that runs a route of 15km, connecting 16 stations between Shimbashi and Toyosu. Unlike a monorail that runs on one rail, it runs along a dedicated, concrete road with four rubber tires per carriage. The exclusive road used by this transit runs above the roads for cars. Yurikamome is controlled by computers, so it stops accurately at stations even though there are no drivers or conductors on board. There are many tourist destinations along its route, and venues for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to be constructed along the route as well, so it will serve as transportation to those venues during the games.
2. Access, Fares, etc.
The best way to get to Yurikamome is through one of the stations along its route that have access to other train lines:
・Shimbashi Station: JR lines, Ginza Line, Asakusa Line
・Shiodome Station: Oedo Line
・Kokusai-tenjijo Station (Ariake Station on Yurikamome): Rinkai Line
・Toyosu Station: Yurakucho Line
Fares are between 190 JPY and 380 JPY. If you want to get on and off at several stations, get the one-day pass (820 JPY/adult). There are also Tokyo Cruise piers at Toyosu, Odaiba Marine Park, Palette Town, and Tokyo Big Sight, so a recommended route is to take the cruise from Asakusa to Toyosu (2,040 JPY/adult) and board Yurikamome at Toyosu.
3. Where Does it Go?
New Transit Yurikamome starts at Shimbashi Station, goes through a business district, then passes over the Rainbow Bridge famous for its beautiful nightscape with a view of Tokyo Bay. Beyond that are areas for families and couples to enjoy, with shopping, cafes, an urban beach resort, and onsen (hot springs). It then continues through Kokusai-tenjijo-seimon Station by the international exhibition center that hosts the world's largest comic book convention, and Shijo-mae Station, where the world's largest fish market will be located after moving from its current location in Tsukiji (the new market is to open in October 2018), and ends at Toyosu Station. New Transit Yurikamome runs through an area where many of the competition sites for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be located.
4. Things to Remember When Riding Yurikamome
Remember that the first carriage is the best carriage to ride on the Yurikamome. You can see the buildings pass by at great speed and enjoy the feeling of being the conductor. If you run out of battery on your phone taking videos of the scenery, use the mobile battery rental service JUREN (300 JPY/each and up (excl. tax)), available at major stations and commercial facilities along Yurikamome. You can return the battery at any JUREN stand.
One thing that is not widely known is that if you get off at Shimbashi Station or Toyosu Station, you can have your ticket stamped with a commemorative stamp and take it home as a souvenir.
*Note that Yurikamome gets crowded with commuters for about two hours starting from around 8:00 am on weekdays. Regardless of whether it is commuting time, be considerate when it is crowded and refrain from pushing your way into the front carriage or taking pictures.
5. Sights to Note Along Yurikamome
There is wonderful scenery all along Yurikamome. Here are some highlights!
Shiodome Business District
After leaving Shimbashi Station, Yurikamome goes through a business district around Shiodome filled with skyscrapers.
Rainbow Bridge as Seen from Yurikamome
Go over the spiral bridge and see a view of the Rainbow Bridge right up close.
The route loops around to connect the Shibaura-futo Station and the beginning of Rainbow Bridge, which has a height difference of about 30m.
Cross Rainbow Bridge to the Odaiba area. There is a road with cars parallel to the Yurikamome's route.
When the Yurikamome curves left after leaving Odaiba Station, you will see a life-size Gundam to the left.
6. Enjoy the Nightscape
When the sun goes down, you'll see a futuristic scenery quite different from the daytime, with the buildings lit up and the Rainbow Bridge illuminated in different colors over time. The area between Shimbashi and Odaiba, where the skyscrapers are, is highly recommended for its views.
The Skyscrapers Around Shimbashi and Shiodome
This is the night version of the photograph shown in "5. Sights to note along Yurikamome". It looks quite different from the daytime, doesn't it!
The building lit up in the dark on the left of the photograph is the headquarters of Fuji TV, and the spherical observatory is Fuji TV's symbol. The lights on the sea are yakatabune boats, a classic low barge style boat, on which you can enjoy traditional dinner cruises.
Central Tokyo Seen from Odaiba
The skyscrapers of central Tokyo seen from beyond the lit up Rainbow Bridge. This is a popular spot to take pictures that include Tokyo Tower.
7. Ride to Fun Destinations on the Yurikamome!
Near Shimbashi Station, which is the starting point of Yurikamome, there are many cheap and tasty izakaya restaurants for business people to stop by, as well as the the nature-rich Hamarikyu Gardens.
Odaiba-kaihinkoen Station is popular as an area where you can enjoy an urban beach resort and take photographs of the skyscrapers beyond the beach. The indoor amusement park Tokyo Joypolis, and DECKS Tokyo Beach, which is a great place for shopping, are also in this area. There is also a walking path to cross Rainbow Bridge on foot (Odaiba-kaihinkoen ⇔ Shibaura-futo).
AQUA CITY ODAIBA at Odaiba Station has a deck (connected to DECKS Tokyo Beach) with a fantastic view that is a popular spot for dates. The ramen theme park, Tokyo Ramen Kokugikan Mai, is in this building as well.
Ooedo-Onsen Monogatari, a hot spring theme park where you can go to enjoy hot spring baths, is near Telecom Center Station.
Yurikamome is fun to ride and also has many spots to visit along its route. Riding Yurikamome to see the sights may just change your image of 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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