By Chris Barnes
Tokyo Bay is a winding stretch of water that offers extraordinary views of the city's skyline — not just on land. Near Shiba Celestine Hotel, there are cruises around the bay that let you appreciate Tokyo's beauty while gliding on the waters.
1. Symphony Tokyo Bay Cruise
Symphony Tokyo Bay Cruise lets you experience the high life for a couple of hours. With lunch, afternoon, sunset and dinner cruises available, all you need to do is sit on the top deck and enjoy a drink while feasting on local and international cuisine. The Classica yacht brings you to the most popular sights across Tokyo Bay, including the Rainbow Bridge, Tokyo Tower, Tokyo Skytree, and Odaiba before concluding at the Hinode Passenger Terminal.
Cruise and restaurant packages start from ¥1,500 for the shorter afternoon cruise to lavish dinner packages up to ¥20,000. If you decide to splurge it all, the entire yacht is available for booking, and you can have a peaceful afternoon to yourself or your friends.
2. Sumida River Cruise Ship
This cruise ship service might be notable for its futuristic Himiko ship that runs from Asakusa to Odaiba, but the cruise destinations are not too shabby either. You can travel between 12 locations in the Tokyo Bay area, including Hamarikyu Pier for Hamarikyu Garden, Odaiba, and Kasai Rinkai Park — all picturesque locations.
Making the cruise more attractive are its distance-based fares that range from ¥200 for a 5-minute trip (for example, from Hinode to Harumi Pier) to ¥2,000 (for the 70-minute ride from Asakusa to Toyosu).
3. Gozabune Atakemaru Cruise
Gozabune Atakemaru, also known as the Samurai Ship, takes cruising to the next level, by bringing a brand new experience to Tokyo's waterways. Offering a bay cruise, traditional kabuki-inspired show and Japanese dinner course, the Gozabune combines tradition with modern style. The luxury vessel, an Edo period replica liner like that owned by feudal lords such as shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu, sets itself apart on the waters with its majestic design.
Guests are naturally encouraged to move freely around the boat's deck too during the cruise, with the route providing good views of landmarks such as Rainbow Bridge, Tokyo Gate Bridge and even Tokyo Tower along the way.
The cruise caters to several dining plans, with the whole ship even available to charter for larger groups of up to 500 guests. You can pick from a 40-minute day cruise that departs from Hinode Pier at 14:50, a 75-minute evening cruise departing at 17:30 that includes a show and one drink, or a 120-minute night cruise departing at 19:15 that includes a show and all-you-can-eat food and drink.
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I'm Ignatius Koh, a third-year undergraduate at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI) at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. I have a keen interest in journalism - most particularly in sports and human interest stories. I do a little photography on the side and would love to combine words and pictures to create riveting content.