Cruising: Another Option of Transportation in Tokyo, Japan

The major transportation system in Tokyo is undoubtedly trains. That’s why I made The Easiest JR Train Map & Subway Maps in Tokyo Direct Guide so that visitors will never get lost in the maze.

But there is another option of transportation I push. It’s ferries.

Fast Facts

  1. Ferries are cruising in Tokyo Bay and Sumida River in Tokyo City.
  2. They connect Odaiba district, Asakusa and Hamamatsucho district.
  3. Some of them also stop at Hamarikyu Gardens (= one of the largest Japanese garden in Tokyo) and LaLaport Toyosu (= a large, new, cool shopping center near Odaiba district)
  4. They are for sightseeing, not for daily transport.

So it is very easy to understand ferries in Tokyo, which is so different from the complicated train routes.

The important thing is that we can see beautiful views that can be seen only from ferries. For example, see this!


The BACK of Statue of Liberty in Tokyo

Did you know? Statue of Liberty is in Tokyo, too, although it is not historical like that in New York. We can see her BACK from a ferry.

I talked about the outstanding amusement centers inside Decks Tokyo Beach to enjoy Tokyo indoors in summer. This is how Decks looks from the sea.

DECKS Tokyo Beach from the bay (and the Giant Wheel over there)

Rainbow Bridge is one of the icons of Tokyo City as a new, cool megalopolis.

Rainbow Bridge

Not just seeing the entire from the sea. We go under Rainbow Bridge!

Going under Rainbow Bridge (The outstanding building on the right is Fuji TV Station)

Ferries are for sightseeing in Tokyo, so they will never fail to show you that landmark of Tokyo. See it?

It’s Tokyo Tower!

Tokyo Tower from Tokyo Bay

Visualizing is more tactful than words – Google Map will be the best explanation to learn the locations of Hinode Pier to catch a ferry and Tokyo Tower.

The wide greenery is Hamarikyu Gardens. It is one of the most beautiful Japanese gardens in Tokyo which is especially famous for spring with pale pink cherry blossoms and bright yellow flowers on the field.

Hamarikyu Gardens from Tokyo Bay

One of the silver buildings is Conrad Tokyo, a 5-Star fabulous hotel. Imagine the great views from there!

The ferries pass the business area of Tsukiji Market and go up Sumida River to AsakusaYou get off the ferry at this spot, which is near Kaminari-mon Gate, Nakamise Street and Sensoji Temple – everything in any travel guides. Then, you’ll meet Tokyo Skytree instead of Tokyo Tower. (Sorry, no photo of Skytree – I wanted to shoot it with Sumida River, but I realized that I’d got a wrong seat for it. But you can see it here!) …Cherry blossoms bloom along Sumida River and the ferries go up and down Sumida River. You can imagine how popular they are in spring!

I’d like to refer to LaLaport Toyosu a little.

The Wharf of LaLaport Toyosu

The main business area of Tsukiji Market moves to Toyosu in some years. (*)

Anyway, Toyosu will become more important in the future than now. And I really believe that this shopping and amusement center is cool enough to deserve it. Look at the clear wide windows, ship-like buildings, deck-like garden in my event report… and the departing ferry in the photo! You are right if you felt that it’s like something SF; It was designed by Reiji Matsumoto, an SF manga artist.

Very Japanese!

Some ships feature exciting designs and interesting food services to attract domestic and international tourists.

In my opinion, it is a good idea to visit two places in Tokyo a day. I know that travel schedule is quite tight for some of you, but if you have enough time, you go out to one of the must-sees in the morning, explore it and have lunch, move to the second place in the afternoon, enjoy it a lot and return to the hotel to relax at night.

How about visiting Asakusa and Odaiba to experience traditional Tokyo and new Tokyo in one day by ferry?

Links to Official Websites

Tokyo Cruise Tokyo Cruise offers the interesting ferries in the photos of this post.
cf: If you are going to Odaiba from Asakusa, which is the longest distance in this cruising line, it takes 50 minutes, 1560 yen for Adult.

Tokyo Mizube Cruising Line
cf: From Asakusa to Odaiba – 1130 yen for Adult

When you take a ferry, you just go to the wharf, check out the destination of the ferry and buy a ticket at the counter. I don’t think that the routes are something to learn in advance.


Hotels in Odaiba – There are two fantastic hotels which offer stunning views of Tokyo Bay.

Hotels in Asakusa

Hotels in Hamamatsucho – It is a very convenient place to stay; The reasons and hotel lists are all here.

This time, remember that the pier for ferries (Hinode Pier) is an 8 minutes walk from Hamamatsucho Station. So it is not very near from Prince Park Tower and Tokyo Prince Hotel that are at the foot of Tokyo Tower although they are in the same district. (Check it out in Google Maps.)
If you expect a great access to ferries, InterContinental Tokyo Bay is the best choice – It’s just next to the wharf.

(* Tsukiji Outer Market that we can visit is going to remain in Tsukiji. Stubborn sellers in Tsukiji insisted so against Tokyo Metropolitan Government. Personally, I’m happy about this. The new market in Toyosu seen from Yurikamome Line is under construction now.)

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