Waterbus & Ferry, Tokyo
It's hard to believe that in the midst of 30 million people - the population of the Greater Tokyo area - you can find such a tranquil scene as this. The yagiri-no-watashi ferry has been taking passengers across the Edo river for nearly 400 years. Slip the boatman a 100-yen coin and he'll row you across the river. Apart from the distant hum of the city, the only sound you will hear will be the gentle slap of the oar as the boatman slowly steers you to the other side
a mouse licking up
The Sumida River runs for 27 kilometers through Tokyo from the Arakawa River to Tokyo Bay. Th path of the Sumida was originally the route of the Arakawa, but the Arakawa was rerouted late in the Meiji Period to reduce the risk of flooding in central Tokyo.
Along its length there are 26 bridges connecting east and west between neighborhoods like Ryokogu and Asakusa. The oldest bridges date back to the 1920s and a few actually survived the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake.
The Kanda River, or Kandagawa (神田川) in Japanese, runs through central Tokyo for a distance of 26.4 kilometers, connecting Kichijoji’s Inokashira Park with the Sumida River. The river corridor is used for highway routes, train tracks, and other recreation such as walking and biking trails.
An interesting fact about the Kanda River: the city is building an underground channel for the river to divert flood waters under the city to Tokyo Bay. This is basically the creation of a second Kanda River.
Yagirino-Watashi -- it is one of the ferries of 15 reservoirs-along-the-Tone-River rivers which Tokugawa shogunate prepared in the early stages of the Edo period for the purposes, such as worship only for cultivation and purchasing daily-necessaries, or paying a visit to shrines and temples.
It run across Ara River come and go between Matsudo, Chiba-pref. and Shibamata, Katsushika-ku, Tokyo.
Fee: One way Adult 100yen, Kids 50yen
Sumida River/ Tokyo Bay boat cruise. These boats depart from Asakusa every 40 minutes, and stop at the Hamarikyu Gardens (close to the Tsukiji Fish Market) and Hinode Pier. From there, you can transfer to other boats that ply Tokyo Bay, or get on the new 'Yurikamome' light-rail line that travels over the Rainbow Bridge to Odaiba. The one-way fare from Asakusa to Hinode is 660 yen. Commentary is in Japanese and English, and refreshments are available on board. The only drawback is that the boat is enclosed, so it can get stuffy.
The famous tokyo waterbus that takes you to Asakusa and back. The Assorted cruising boats owned by a company called suijobus takes persons on a 40 minute ride from Hinode Pier (its a 7 minute walk from the JR Hamammatsucho to Hinode Pier) to Asakusa for a price of 720 yen one way and one can see the Odaiba area and along the way are 12 unique bridges on the Sumida River: Azuma Bridge, Komagata Bridge, Umaya Bridge, Kuramae Bridge, Ryogoku Bridge, Shinohashi Bridge, Kiyosu Bridge, Sumidagawa ohashi Bridge, Eitai Bridge, Chuo-ohashi Bridge, Tsukuda-ohashi Bridge, Kachidoki Bridge. The boats stop near the Asahi Beer Building located near Asakusa Terminal.
The company uses a few different kinds of ship. Since I've lived in Asakusa, I've chosen to take the direct line to Odaiba one day. The boat (Himiko) has a modern, 23rd century shape, but not much special aboard. I was alittle disappointed by the smell of gasoline on board of the ship. Don't get me wrong! I do not travel by boat a lot and maybe it was perfectly "normal". Just that smell.... Brrrrrrr!!! The ticket was 1520 yen one-way.
The Water Bus marina (ticket counter and boarding place in one) is just at the end of Kaminarimon Dori street, next to Asakusa station of Tokyo Metro Ginza line.
Sumida River Line (隅田川ライン) is a water bus that runs from Asakusa near Senso-ji Temple and Tokyo SkyTree south to Hinode, and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge to Odaiba. On the southern route, some water buses stop at Hama Rikyu Gardens during its business hours (requiring an extra 300 Yen per person to embark or disembark here).
The ferry is a modern steel and glass spaceship-looking boat. Inside is clean and stylish, with lots of windows, a bar, a small menu, and an outdoor viewing deck on the roof. There are announcements in Japanese describing landmarks along the route. Headphones are available for English explanations.
Fares on the Hotaluna Ferry:
Asakusa to Hinode: 1080 Yen
Asakusa to Odaiba: 1560 Yen
Hinode to Odaiba: 780 Yen
The ferry from Asakusa to Hinode passes under 12 bridges on the Sumida.
International ferries service from North Korea, Korea, China and any other countries. Besides, it connects to other islands surrounding Tokyo Bay Area.
A good way to discover an other side of Tokyo is to use the water buses. There are multiple line as you can find on their web site below.
It's cheap and pretty fast.
Yakatabune are always available, but Tokyoites really cheerish the trip during New Year celebrations, cherry blossom viewing, hanabi (fireworks) in summer, and bonenkai (year-end parties).
These are cherry trees. When they are in full bloom they are one of the most beautiful scenes in Tokyo. Seeing them when you cruise along the river is a must do activity.
Check the route at their website. The most recommended is Himiko, the spacecraft shape boat that travel from Asakusa to Odaiba.
If you want to see Tokyo by water there is no cheaper way than to use this method. You usually leave from Hinode Pier and head to ODaiba, Asakusa, or other ports. Departures are every 45 minutes.