Waters Takeshiba - Visiting a Newly Opened Leisure Destination Down the River from Asakusa

Tokyo Entertainment Takeshiba 2020.07.14
The new Waters Takeshiba facility in southern Tokyo is a breezy spot to grab a bite to eat.

Waters Takeshiba (ウォーターズ竹芝)

Image Source: Official Website
Waters Takeshiba, a brand new shopping, eating, and leisure facility off of Tokyo Bay, opened this June as part of a wave of new spots delayed by the COVID-19 outbreak. So, after our recent trips to With Harajuku and Tokyo Mizumachi, the Japankuru team decided we had to head towards the water to take a look at what makes this compound unique and different from the others!

As a new stop on the Sumida River cruise lines, clearly constructed to be a place where visitors can just hang out and enjoy a breezy afternoon on the water, even with quite a few of the businesses in the compound still unopened, we could tell it had its own appeal.
There are three main facilities encompassed by Waters TakeshibaーAtre Takeshiba, a small shopping mall mostly full of food shops of various kinds, Hotel Mesm Tokyo, a new high-end hotel above the mall, and a theater for the Shiki Theatre Company, who perform mainly Broadway musicals. With plans to just drop by and take a look around (and many spaces still not yet open), we mostly stuck to the outdoor area and the mall.

A wide-open lawn, plenty of freely available outdoor seating, and trendy eateriesーafter an afternoon at Waters Takeshiba, the Japankuru team decided that while it might not be a must-see destination in and of itself (unless you're there for a show), it's definitely worth adding to your plans if you're in the area.
Waters Takeshiba is easily accessible from either JR Hamamatsu Station or the Yurikamome Takeshiba Station, meaning it might make a nice lunch or cafe stop on an itinerary that includes either Tokyo Tower, or any of nearby Odaiba's attractions (like teamLab). But perhaps even more intriguing is the fact that it's a new stop on a Sumida River cruise/water bus line. If you've ever noticed the boats on the river while walking in Asakusa or crossing the water to see Tokyo Skytree, well, if you board one you'll find that it follows the river all the way south towards Tokyo Bay. The "water buses" are fairly easy to ride, they're a fun way to see the city from a whole new perspective, and the boarding dock is actually quite near the Sumida River Walk. If you're up for a day of shopping and leisure, combining Asakusa, Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Mizumachi, and Waters Takeshiba would all be pretty convenient. Just make sure you check the water bus schedule beforehandーit doesn't operate all day every day.
All of the outdoor seating at Waters Takeshiba looks out onto a lovely view of the area where Tokyo's rivers join and meet Tokyo Bay. We could definitely imagine doing a little sunbathing on the lawn or grabbing a coffee and watching the little water bus boats come and go, floating over the green water. Additionally, right across from the facility is Hama-rikyu Gardens (once a 17th-century villa for nobles, and now a beautiful sculpted green space open to the public), making the view green and refreshing.
We're interested to see what happens with this area, named the "Tideland" and intended as a natural swimming and recreation area connected to and protecting the local ecosystem. (Eagle-eyed readers might even be able to spot some surprisingly large cormorants in the background of the low tide picture above.) When we visited it was closed off to visitors, so perhaps we'll have to come back again another time!

Indoor Shopping & Eating

Atre is a shopping mall chain, and while most locations contain dozens of shops selling fashion, home goods, books, etc., Atre Takeshiba is a little more concentrated on one theme: food. Inside the stylishly decorated building, there are currently two floors open, with a third floor that's one big "coming soon." Shopping is limited to a Natural Lawson (a convenience store with a particularly large selection of organic and imported goods), and a Bio c' Bon (a "natural" grocery store). And while the restaurant selection isn't extensive, it does offer a reasonable variety: casual Japanese fare at Tsumugi, German meat and beer at Brauertafel, coffee at Coffee-Kan, and trendy burgers at The 3rd Burger. (August will bring the opening of the more high-end Sud Restaurant/Terakoya.)
The interior design is all very trendy, and definitely a change from the fairly minimalist look you'll see in most Japanese malls and department stores!
We were particularly intrigued by the selection at Bio c' Bon, which sold organic fresh produce, bulk nuts and organic chocolate, imported pasta, cereal, bread, beer, cookies, etc. etc., and even a selection of wines. While some of us had seen this particular grocery store brand elsewhere, this location is fairly large, allowing for a wide variety of products.
Obviously a bit less popular during the COVID-19 pandemic, we were definitely drawn to the small counter right inside the grocery store itself! In less anxious times, we could definitely imagine skipping the next-door coffee shop and grabbing a glass of wine with a snack instead.
When our stomachs started to rumble, though, we instead opted for burgers. When we first arrived at Waters Takeshiba, the friendly waterbus dock worker told us that The 3rd Burger is a favorite among young local office workers.
A look at the interior design and the menu definitely gave us some idea of why it was popularーall very trendy, with toppings like wasabi and avocado, and most burgers coming in grilled chicken options as well. While not as cheap as something like Mcdonald's, prices were certainly reasonable as well (and quality was clearly better), making it a good lunch spot!

Above is the wasabi avocado burger, which was topped with lettuce, tomato, avocado, and wasabi sauce. For those afraid of the heat, the wasabi was more flavorful and less nose-burning, so it's not an adventurous choice you'd end up regretting.

Hanging Out Outside

While we certainly enjoyed the burgers, we spent most of our time at Waters Takeshiba just wandering around outside and hanging out enjoying the weather. Aside from the seating right on the water, we feel sure this massive staircase will definitely become a popular hangout on sunny Tokyo weekends.
Growing in boxes set between seating platforms, the pretty plants add a refreshing swath of green to the area, and include quite a few aromatics. On a warm early summer afternoon, we wanted to just sit and breathe in the rosemary for hours.
We definitely recommend stopping by for an afternoon snack, grabbing something from the convenience store, and just relaxing for a while. If the crazy hustle and bustle of neighborhoods like Shinjuku or Shibuya is starting to get to you, take a little break in this more relaxed area of Tokyo.
The area is possibly even more lovely at night, when the stairs light up and you can even see Tokyo Skytree glowing as part of the skyline across the water.
(Remember how close it is to Tokyo Tower? If you head back for the night via the JR station, don't forget to check out the Eiffel-esque tower glowing in the night sky!)



Have you been to Waters Takeshiba yet? Been to any other new facilities in Tokyo recently that you're dying to tell someone about? We'd love to hear from you at the Japankuru twitter, instagram, and facebook!
Basic Info
NameWaters Takeshiba (ウォーターズ竹芝)
Address1-16 Kaigan, Minato City, Tokyo
StationTakeshiba Station, Hamamatsu Station
Websitehttps://waters-takeshiba.jp/
Columnist
Sophia

I came to Japan for a semester abroad, and have been here ever since, so I guess there's just something about it. Tell me all the cool Japan-related things you know on instagram or twitter @japankuru !

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