Spending time on the river in the cool breeze makes the hot summer days and nights more pleasant. During this season, many cruise companies provide the opportunity to view Tokyo from a different angle. Some boats even specialise in providing a set meal during the ride. Here is a list of recommended boat cruises that you should try while you can.
Day Boat Cruises
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Symphony Tokyo Bay Cruise
The Symphony Tokyo Bay Cruise is the classic image of a cruise ship. There is a variety of cruise plans available for you to choose from, including a lunch cruise and a sunset cruise. The inside has a classy dining area with large glass windows, which gives a spectacular view of the bay as you enjoy your meal. You can also head to the fourth floor and onto the open deck if you wish to feel the breeze.
Tokyo Bay Fishing Boat
Want to try your hand at fishing? Tokyo Japan Fishing Guide has a charted boat that you can reserve to fish in Tokyo Bay. They allow you to rent any equipment you need, making it the perfect cruise if you are a beginner. It is suitable for a group of friends or families, as even children can catch large fish! Tokyo Bay hosts a few different fish, including Seabass, Black Seabream, and Scorpionfish. You can hop on from Asakusa and view a few famous landmarks before stopping under the Rainbow Bridge to fish from there.
Want to cruise somewhere other than Tokyo Bay? Downtown Cruise specialises in courses along a couple of rivers for a different view of Tokyo. You can ride along the Arakawa River and even the smaller rivers, such as the Kitajukken River that flows by the Skytree. If you want to go past the Skytree, under the famous Nihonbashi Bridge, and learn about the significance of the area, then book that route with Downtown Cruise.
Day or Night Boat Cruises
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Tokyo Cruise‘s futuristic-looking boats run throughout the day into the night. Their latest boat in their fleet, Emeraldas, was launched in early August. Despite their modern looks, Tokyo Cruise offers a reasonable price for all their courses. They have a great variety too, as they have 7 different piers that you can board from within the Sumida River and Tokyo Bay area, with their routes ranging from 20 to 80 minutes in duration. Some cruises run late in the afternoon, so you might get to catch the sun setting
Nihonbashi Cruise’s boarding dock is located in a central and convenient location, just minutes away from Mitsukoshimae and Nihonbashi Station. Explore downtown on the Nihonbashi River Course or Onagigawa River Course. You will be amazed at the number of bridges you will pass on these courses! If you prefer more open spaces, then the Tokyo Bay Course or Sumida River Course is perfect for you. All courses start at the iconic Nihonbashi Bridge and some days run until 7:30pm, so you’re even able to admire the city at night.
Water Taxi Tokyo
Water Taxi Tokyo combines an Edo tradition with a modern twist. During the Edo period, people often used water taxis to get around Tokyo because of the great network of rivers that run throughout the city. With Water Taxi’s service, you can choose your own time and place from the 20 docks they have around east Tokyo. You will also avoid any crowds or traffic jams that you see on land, making it a smooth trip to your desired destination. Water Taxi is dog-friendly, so you can book a cruise for you to enjoy the water with your beloved pup. They have a hose to keep cool and a slip-proof grassed area. If you reserve up to the day before your desired date, the company provides a dog water bowl.
Boat Cruises With Set Meals
Photo Credits: Tomoe Yoneko
Yakatabune is the name for traditional Japanese restaurant boats. Harumiya’s fleet of Yakatabune boasts a sky deck and a dining area that has a sunken floor that allows customers to stretch their legs and sit more comfortably than tatami mat flooring. You can hire the boat for a group of over 20 people at your preferred time, or if you are a smaller group, then you can reserve a space on a scheduled cruise. If you hire the boat for a private charter, Haryumiya has additional options for entertainment, such as a show by Geisha women or Japanese performers.
Nawayasu caters to a true Japanese summer experience. They have a traditional-looking houseboat made out of Hinoki (Japanese Cyprus) wood, as well as a modern-style houseboat that can host up to 63 people. The meals include fresh sashimi and tempura. If you want to have a full traditional dining experience, you can rent a Yukata for the duration of your ride. Before boarding, trained staff at Sakra will assist you in putting on the traditional dress.
Want to enjoy all-you-can-eat Monjayaki on a boat? Look no further than Edomae Kisen. The company prides itself on being clean, safe and providing great value for money. Before boarding, there is a shuttle bus with sumo motifs that will take you from Shinkiba station to Shinkiba pier and while waiting there, you can check out their Edomae Museum. The ride lasts for around 2 hours, mainly cruising along the Odaiba area, and also includes all-you-can-drink.
Night Boat Cruises
Photo Credits: Aleksandar Pasaric
Noryousen is my favourite night cruise. Each year during the Summer Months, Noryousen offers a 2-hour boat cruise around Tokyo Bay on a large ship that can fit hundreds of people. They have shows onboard that you can enjoy while sipping on a chilled beverage or eating food that is associated with summer festivals from the night stalls they have throughout the ship. To get you in even more of a summer mood, they promote customers to wear a Yukata and have their own Yukata shop inside Takeshiba Pier Terminal. The shop offers patrons to either rent a Yukata for the evening or bring their own in. If you choose to buy a ticket to board, it is only 1500 yen, making it a fairly inexpensive night on the water. If you prefer to dine in the restaurant space, they do have plans that include the ticket fare, a meal, and free-flow drinks.
Which Boat Cruise Will You Take a Journey On?
Photo Credits: Kaki Tsubata
Tokyo has a variety of interesting cruises on offer from day to night, which can be a great way to spend time outdoors with family, friends, or a significant other. Most of these Boat Cruises are only available during summer, as the cool winds are refreshing at this time of year. The cruises can be booked online, so reserve your space before your preferred trip gets booked out!
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Featured Photo Credits: Shirokame