Opt for a bus ride on water

Hop on a boat to see the rivers and waterways of Tokyo this summer
Suijo Bus in Asakusa | Time Out Tokyo
By Youka Nagase |

Trains are obviously the most popular form of public transport in Tokyo, but if you have the time why not avoid the squeeze and take to the water to get around instead? These are our favourite water-based transportation options, which not only take you from A to B but also work as casual sightseeing trips.

Himiko by Tokyo Cruise

This eye-catching water bus boasts a cartoonish look courtesy of manga artist Leiji Matsumoto. The streamlined body is based on the image of a teardrop, giving it a futuristic look, and the glass-heavy sides and roof mean you can enjoy great views of Tokyo while cruising through the city. Himiko takes you from Asakusa to Odaiba or Toyosu and back, with boarding stops at Asakusa and Odaiba Seaside Park. A one-way ticket for adults costs ¥1,560, children aged six to 12 pay ¥930 and children under six ¥300. Tickets from suijobus.co.jp

Hotaluna by Tokyo Cruise

A revamped version of Himiko, Hotaluna looks like a spaceship with its silver, ultra-streamlined silhouette. You can walk around the deck of the boat and enjoy the views outdoors, perhaps accompanied by a vanilla gelato, served in a mille-feuille cone with rich espresso poured on top – the perfect pick-me-up on a hot summer’s day. A trip from Asakusa via Hinode Pier to Odaiba costs ¥1,560, Asakusa-Hinode is ¥1,080, and Hinode to Odaiba will set you back ¥780. Children ride for half price. Tickets from suijobus.co.jp

Kawasemi Waterbus by Tokyo Mizube Cruising Line

If you’re looking for a more intimate ride, it’s all aboard the Kawasemi Waterbus, which only has a capacity of 64. Its compact size means it can make its way through the city’s many narrow waterways, offering views the big boys cannot. You can choose either their Nihonbashi/Kanda River Cruise (adults ¥2,060, children ¥1,030), or the Asakusa-Nihonbashi Cruise (prices vary by distance). The former justifies its extra cost with a rare glimpse of Tokyo’s smaller canals complete with beautiful bridges. Tickets from tokyo-park.or.jp/waterbus/english/index.html

Asakusa-Odaiba Cruise by Tokyo Mizube Cruising Line

This cruise starts at Ryogoku, also known as Sumo Town, and swans along the Sumida River to Asakusa before heading to Odaiba and back to Ryogoku – roughly an hour’s worth of cruising. The views of Kachidoki’s towers and Rainbow Bridge from the river are pretty spectacular. Fares start from ¥310, but can go up to ¥2,160 depending on where you get off. Playing with extra cash? Add a meal plan for lunch or dinner at a restaurant near Asakusa, Odaiba, Ryogoku or Kasai (check the website for a list of options). Tickets from tokyo-park.or.jp/waterbus/english/index.html

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