Kaiju Sites Along the Sumida River

A pleasant boat ride, rich with monster history

By Armand Vaquer    - 2 min read

When visiting Tokyo, there are always plenty of things to see and do in the city. One of the most pleasant activities I undertook during a visit to Tokyo was a cruise down the Sumida river to Tokyo Bay.The cruise boat was comfortable and offered great views on both sides. The water taxi station is located at Asakusa, it is next to the Azuma Bridge that is directly across the river from the Asahi Beer Hall with its gleaming "Golden Flame" sculpture along with a great view of the Tokyo Skytree.

The cruise affords views of several landmarks featured in Godzilla and Gamera movies of the past 60 years.

After leaving the water taxi station, the cruise boat passed docked Yakatabune dinner/party boats.

The cruise passes under several bridges as it heads towards Tokyo Bay. Along the way, it passed an encampment of Tokyo's homeless under an overpass. I found it interesting that, although homeless, the people at encampment were very orderly with their makeshift tents and belongings.

As the cruise boat makes its way to Tokyo bay, it passes both commercial and residential buildings of all kinds and sizes. It also afforded great views of Tokyo Tower in the distance. For those of you who are kaiju (monster) fans,Tokyo Tower was featured in several Japanese monster movies including Mothra (1961), King Kong Escapes (1967), Gamera, Guardian of the Universe(1995) and Godzilla x Mothra x Mechagodzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003).

Along the way, the cruise passes the famed Tsukiji Fish Market. It also passes under the Kachidoki Bridge, the bridge that was toppled over in Godzilla (1954).

When the cruise boat enters Tokyo Bay, passengers are treated to a view of the Rainbow Bridge and Odaiba. Both the bridge and Odaiba were featured in Godzilla x Megaguirus (2000).

As the cruise boat turns to dock at the Hama Rikyu Gardens, the passengers are able to see an upriver view of the Kachidoki Bridge. The bridge is dwarfed by many commerical and apartment buildings.

I highly recommend taking a Sumida River Cruise. It is relaxing and kaiju fans can see several monster movie landmarks during the cruise. There are several Sumida River cruise boat companies to choose from. The one I took was the Hinode Pier route, but some passengers disembarked at the Hamarikyu Garden to enjoy the gardens. The Hinode Pier is five minutes beyond.

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Armand Vaquer

Armand Vaquer @armand.vaquer

Armand Vaquer is the author of "The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan." He has visited Japan eight times researching locations and landmarks used in Japanese science-fiction and fantasy movies and kaiju-related attractions. He has spoken on the subject at Monsterpalooza, G-Fest, Mad Monster Party and Stan Lee's Comikaze Expo conventions and at Distant Lands Travel Bookstore and Outfitters in Pasadena, California. He has his own blog, "Armand's Rancho Del Cielo" and contributes to "Monster Island News." He is an insurance claims examiner and resides in Tarzana, California.

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