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Cruising the Sumida River

Visitors to Tokyo tend to do a lot of walking while touring the city.  The routine goes something like this, walk to the nearest Tokyo Metro Station, navigate your way to your destination, possibly transiting one or more stations on foot in the process, walk to and around your desired destination and finally,when you have had your fill of the sights or your feet are just too tired to walk anymore, do it all again in reverse to get back to your accommodations.  Now that’s a lot of walking! It’s good for you and you see a lot more by walking through the neighborhoods of Tokyo than traversing them any other way but if your feet need a break why not cruise the Sumida River on the Suijo Waterbus?

The Suijio Waterbus operates five different routes up and down the Sumida River on a daily basis and each offer great views of the Tokyo skyline and an opportunity to rest your feet while heading to some interesting destinations.

Sumida River Line

The main line of the Suijo Water bus, this 40 minute cruise will take you past a twelve bridges, each unique in style and color, spanning the river between Asakusa and Hinode Pier.  The Sumida River Line offers great views of the often ridiculed Asahi Beer Headquarters building and Tokyo Tower before making a brief stop at Hamarikyu Garden, where for Y300 you can enjoy the peaceful and historic garden sitting amidst the high rise buildings of the Shiodome business area, before continuing on the Hinode Pier.

Odaiba Line

This line connects Hinode Pier and Odaiba Seaside Park passing by the famous Rainbow Bridge along the way.  The Odaiba area offers a vast array of entertainment, dining and shopping options along with a man made beach that is poplar with the locals due to its location in the heart of the city.  The area is also home to some interesting modern architecture and a miniature version of the Statue of Liberty and is worth a visit if you need a break from temples and shrines.

Asakusa to Odaiba Direct Line

Running periodically throughout the day the Asakusa to Odaiba Direct Line combines the Sumida River Line and the Odaiba line, skipping the stops at Hamarikyu Garden and Hinode Pier.  The newly constructed and ultra modern and futuristic Water Bus “Himiko” operates one this line and offers 360 degree panoramic views from its sleek silver and glass hull.

Tokyo Big Sight & Palette Town Line

Palette Town is home to one of the world’s biggest Ferris wheels that I told you about in 16 minutes of Terror, Mega Web, where you can see and drive the latest vehicles from Toyota, and a variety of other shopping, dining and entertainment options.  Also in the area is Tokyo Big Sight where many special events and exhibitions are held throughout the year.

Museum of Maritime Science/Shinagawa Aquarium Line

This line connects the Museum of Maritime Science, the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, and the Shinagawa Aquarium.

How to Take the Suijo Waterbus

Rates per person for the the various lines range from Y200, for the short trip from Hamarikyu Garden to Hinode Pier to Y1,520 for the Asakusa to Odaiba Direct Line, with discounted rates for children on all routes.  For more details, including access information to the various docks, review the Suijo Waterbus route map or click on the route names above.

With all there is to do and see around the Sumida River why not give your feet a rest and take the Suijo Waterbus?  It’s fun and kid’s of all ages will enjoy the ride!

Photo Credit: Personal Collection