Tokyo’s Boats: ducking bridges and sea sick romance

Sumida River at dusk

Sumida River at dusk

With rivers cutting through and the ocean at its toes, Tokyo has the advantage of water for a slower and softer way of getting around. Two options are the waterbus to cross the Sumida River and a night cruise around Tokyo Bay.

Mizube Line

My parents and I discovered the Mizube Line by accident. After visiting the thorough Edo Tokyo Museum and tiny display in the Sumo Hall (Ryougoku Kokugikan), we saw a sign for a nearby pier.

Sumo Hall, Tokyo

Sumo Hall, Tokyo

At Hinode Pier’s ticket office, we found out about the Mizube Line. This line traverses waterways in Tokyo and one of the lines went to our next stop, Asakusa.

We had just missed the boat so we wandered down the street and found the free Kyu Yasuda Garden. Even though the garden was simple, it was a nice spot to pass the time.

bridge over pond in Japanese garden

red bridge in the serene Kyu Yasuda Garden, Tokyo

Back at the pier, we took the long ramp down to the water where our boat was pulling up. The craft was closer to a barge and had two levels. We went upstairs to the open deck for a better view. My parents had a good laugh because the crew were anxious about my tall dad smacking his head. Every time we came to a bridge, we had to duck low!

warning sign on deck railing

Danger! Duck for bridges! (The sign actually says to not climb over the railing and no smoking.)

Our destination was Sakurabashi, which dropped us near Asakusa Station. This was the perfect spot because it was then an easy walk to the Sensoji Temple complex.

Sensoji Complex, Asakusa

Sensoji Complex, Asakusa

Suijobus

Another option is the Suijobus. I haven’t taken it but it reminds me of a futuristic space vessel or a big bug.

futuristic boat leaving pier

Suijobus leaving the pier, Asakusa

Tokyo Bay Dinner Cruise

My husband surprised me with a dinner cruise on Tokyo Bay for my birthday one year.

To get to the pier, we took the Yurikamome train. Dressed up for the night, it was odd getting off the train and realizing that our destination was an industrial area. We plonked down concrete steps to street level, then through empty parking lots, and finally to a nondescript building where we waited to board the ship. Despite this unexpected start and my fickle sea sickness kicking in as soon as we were seated at our table, the evening improved.

After a woozy dinner, our waiter delivered a little cake to our table. The pianist began playing Happy Birthday to me and all the other couples celebrating. We finished the evening admiring the lights around Tokyo Bay from the decks. It was dreamily romantic ♥.

Hitoshi found several companies that do dinner cruises. If you’re not confident with Japanese, a suggestion is to find a friend or get help from your accommodation to book. If you want to arrive in more style than we did, consider a taxi!

Have you tried any boats in Tokyo? What about a cruise? Would you go again?

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2 thoughts on “Tokyo’s Boats: ducking bridges and sea sick romance

    • Really?! I was hesitant about mentioning it since I haven’t directly experienced it. We were wandering along the pier/concrete “board”walk on the Asakusa side and the Suijobus pulled up while we were playing with the black and white setting on our camera. It’s such a wacky looking vessel and even more so in black and white. So I had to post it.

      Tell me… what was it like? Did you do a full cruise? I think they have meals on some of their boats, too??

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