On a sunny day, relax while discovering different facets of Tokyo by boat thanks to a Sumida River Cruise, enjoy a romantic sunset or cherry blossoms, and explore together traditional or modern sightseeing destinations!
Personally, I have participated to cruises in Tokyo at least 7 times. My best memories are a cruise with fireworks near Odaiba island and a summer cruise with a big group of young people wearing traditional Japanese clothes; these times were fun and pleasing to the eyes! I hope you make good memories too on the Sumida River and in Tokyo Bay!
Japan & Tokyo from a different perspective
Couples in Japan usually use subways, trains, buses, and sometimes taxis; the opportunities to go on a short cruise are fairly rare. In Tokyo, you may enjoy a cruise on the Sumida River, Kanda River or in Tokyo Bay. The most exciting is the “Sumida-gawa” Sumida River, probably Tokyo’s most famous river. During a long stay in Japan or if you have already visited Tokyo several times, you should not hesitate: hop on a cool comfortable boat with transparent walls and a futuristic design for a great shared memory. In addition, lovers can easily sit side by side!
From your boat, enjoy the view and clash of styles with very modern buildings near small homes featuring laundry on their balconies! During the cruise, watch and photograph bridges with various designs, the Tokyo Skytree tallest tower in the world, the artistic Super Dry Hall topped by a giant golden flame, the beautiful Rainbow Bridge suspension bridge, small green islands with old cannons that used to protect Tokyo from foreign ships, the Odaiba man-made island of Tokyo Bay with its beach and surprising Fuji Television building… And do not forget to wave at people on the shore or on boats going the other way 🙂
Romantic sunset & cherry blossoms
As a couple, the most enjoyable experience is a magical sunset cruise on a sunny day! In spring, you may also admire rows of cherry blossoms on both banks of the Sumida River. In summer, you may enjoy the sight of many girls and women wearing a colourful yukata (Japanese summer dress) with gorgeous decorations in their hair, especially colourful flowers… If you or your partner wish to enjoy the cruise the same way, the best place in Tokyo to rent (or buy) a yukata and accessories is Asakusa district; perfect! Also, sweet lovers can get delicious ice-creams on their boat. Will you succumb to the temptation?
The boats of the Sumida River Cruise depart even on Japanese public holidays, approximately every 30 minutes between 10:00 and 18:00 (with variations depending on the route and date/season).
Traditional or modern destinations
With Tokyo Cruise water buses, you can travel by boat from Asakusa to Hamarikyu Gardens, Hinode Pier, and Odaiba Seaside Park. The two most exciting destinations are Hamarikyu Gardens for a green peaceful walk and Odaiba artificial island for shopping, gourmets breaks and exciting nightscapes! Hamarikyu Gardens are quiet and spacious, with many different flowers and types of grass visible depending on the season, cute wooden bridges and a traditional tea house in the middle of a pond. The admission fee of this Japanese garden is included in the cruise fare so do not worry when you disembark. Odaiba is more modern, with shopping malls, Joypolis amusement park, Decks Tokyo Beach, a lovely replica of the Statue of Liberty (12 metres) that makes a great background for a fun & unexpected memory photo for two, and restaurants with outdoor seats from which you can see the Rainbow Bridge, Tokyo Tower, and office buildings even after nightfall. As a couple, all these destinations can be fun; choose the one matching best your tastes 🙂
The Asakusa Pier is along the Sumida River, near Asakusa Station and a nice bridge. You can reach the Hamarikyu Pier in the Hamarikyu Gardens in 35 minutes for 980 yen. You can reach the Hinode Pier near Hinode Station in 40 minutes for 780 yen. You can reach the Odaiba Pier in front of Aqua City Odaiba shopping mall, near Odaiba Kaihin Park, Daiba Station, and Odaiba-Kaihinkoen Station in 70 minutes for 1260 yen or with the Asakusa-Odaiba direct line in 50 minutes for 1560 yen (2-4 boats only per day). Note that Tokyo Cruise water buses are accessible for passengers in wheelchair; you are all welcome! For up-to-date details, see Tokyo Cruise official site.
To wrap-up, here are a few travel tips for a cruise on the Sumida River:
- Check the weather and avoid rainy days.
- Visit Asakusa in the morning then enjoy your Sumida River cruise when you feel like sitting down and resting your feet.
- Spend the night at a hotel, hostel or ryokan in Asakusa district before the cruise to fully enjoy your day!
- Couples with short holidays in Japan should book tickets online (up to one month in advance) to optimize their visit and avoid waiting at the pier to buy tickets.
- Magical sunsets can also be enjoyed after the end of your cruise, from the beach and some restaurants of Odaiba island (couples do not usually need a reservation but arriving early is helpful).
A visit of traditional Asakusa hand in hand, cruise on the Sumida River side by side, and colourful views of Sumida River Fireworks Festival (end of July) close to each other… Wouldn’t that be a dream-like romantic day?