Tired of dealing with crowded trains on your commute to work every morning? Though the transition to remote work has subtly improved weekday rush hour on our local trains, it can still be quite a stressful travel experience. But Tokyo is now testing another solution to the hectic conditions of public transport. According to Nikkei, Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike has said that using boats to commute will expand opportunities for different lifestyles and potentially improve community development.
On the day of the launch – October 17 – Koike took a 15-minute boat ride from the Asashio Canal in the central Chuo ward to Hinode in Minato. The test runs will continue through November 4, with three to five round-trip boat rides scheduled for each day from morning to night. If the trial proves successful, the city may commercialise permanent water taxis for everyday commuters.
There are five routes in total, with ports in Nihonbashi, Ryogoku, Toyosu, Tennozu and Gotanda. Fares begin at ¥200 for a one-way trip from Tennozu to Gotanda. Meanwhile, the two-and-a-half-hour route from Tennozu to Ichinoe via Hinode is ¥1,000 per person for a one-way trip. Those who wish to ride the water taxis will have to reserve a seat in advance, but might have a small chance of catching a last-minute ride if some spots remain vacant.
Look up upcoming boat journeys here.
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