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How to Use Tokyo Water Taxis to Cruise Across Tokyo

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The Tokyo Water Taxi service is a fun addition to any trip to Tokyo, whether you want to whip across the city to see the sights, or just float around Tokyo Bay in the sunlight. Find out how to reserve a Tokyo Water Taxi for your own adventures!

What Is a Tokyo Water Taxi?



Unique sightseeing, convenient transportation, plus a relaxing cruise across Tokyo Bay – Tokyo Water Taxi offers a whole new way to see Tokyo. These small boats can be hired for a quick trip zipping through Tokyo's narrow canals, or a more leisurely escapade down the city's rivers and out onto Tokyo Bay, and all along the way the experience offers up views of the city that you won't find anywhere else. See Tokyo Skytree from the water and Odaiba across the waves, hold a party out in the open air, and enjoy this secret side of Tokyo!



Just like Tokyo's crowded trains, a Tokyo Water Taxi can take you between some of the city's most popular neighborhoods and must-see attractions, but the similarities probably end there. Instead of getting bodily squished into a crowded train car, you can just hop on a Tokyo Water Taxi for a private trip through the city in a comfortable cabin (heated and cooled) with a total of up to eight of your friends (or more for families with young kids), complete with its own deck for taking pictures and enjoying the fresh air. The recently updated online reservation system makes it easier than ever to call a water taxi, so bring some snacks and drinks, even bring your dog if you want, and get ready to take a peek at the hidden heart of Tokyo!

 
Tokyo Water Taxi (東京ウォータータクシー)
Official Website (jp)

Popular Water Taxi Routes

① The Tokyo Cruise

Tokyo Skytree ~ Odaiba | Bay Zone Cruise | 90 min | 32,000 yen



For travelers looking to experience the ultimate Tokyo Water Taxi ride, dive right in with this trip that starts from Tokyo Skytree, cuts through the peaceful canals of busy central Tokyo, and ends at the bayside parks and attractions of Odaiba. Not only does the route take you past Tokyo's two biggest towers (Tokyo Skytree and Tokyo Tower itself), under scenic bridges too low and waterways too narrow for big ferries, and within view of other Tokyo landmarks, but the "Bay Zone" option adds extra time out on the water. Bring your friends, your family, even your dog (allowed on board at most docks) for a relaxing outing on the water!



This particular plan heads out into Tokyo Bay, offering glimpses of Tokyo's port area that the average sightseer will miss out on entirely. See Rainbow Bridge and its "loop" from below, check out fortifications that have been standing in the water since the Edo period (1603-1868), and get surprisingly close to the enormous container ships and cranes that make Tokyo a working port to this day. Then head back towards Odaiba to see the iconic Fuji TV building, wave hello to Tokyo's own Statue of Liberty, and step off the boat right into Odaiba Seaside Park (steps away from the life-size Gundam robot).



Hoping to see a little local wildlife on your trip to Tokyo? The concrete and steel of the big city doesn't give animals a lot to work with, but out on Tokyo Bay, the gulls come out to play! Book a ride during the colder months of the year to see black-headed gulls on their yearly migration, and call them over with bits of bread to help Tokyo Water Taxi collect data on the birds to share with a local wildlife research organization that tracks global migrations.

② The Sightseer’s Delight

Asakusa ~ Toyosu | Heritage Zone Cruise | 75 min | 29,000 yen



Is your travel itinerary all about packing historic Tokyo and its modern attractions together into one adventure? The city has actually had "water taxis" for hundreds of years (although they weren't always sunny yellow with purple detailing), so this is the traditional way to do it – with a route made for the consummate sightseer! Start your day in Asakusa at Tokyo's oldest temple, Sensoji, before catching your Tokyo Water Taxi at the nearby dock for a cruise down the Sumida River. You can even enjoy lunch aboard, either by picking up something to-go from around Asakusa, or ordering delivery right to the boat before you set off! (You can totally arrange a pizza party on board, or just bring some cold beers and blast your favorite tunes. Trust us, we checked.)



This route heads downstream past the sumo stables of Ryogoku and the busy office buildings spreading out from Tokyo Station, and offers views of Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree as well (although not from quite as close as Skytree dock). Choosing the "Heritage Zone" option for this trip also adds some extra sights – the boat will veer off into the narrow canals around Asakusabashi, and then slip through the maze of recaptured land that fills the mouth of Tokyo Bay, passing by both Tsukiji Market and the wild beauty of Hamarikyu Gardens, which once belonged to the city's samurai. This trip finally finishes at Tokyo Water Taxi's Toyosu port, which is just a few minutes on foot from one of Tokyo's most innovative attractions, TeamLab Planets. Traverse your way from an ancient Buddhist temple to a modern digital art experience in the course of one relaxing cruise!

③ The Goodbye Tour

Nihonbashi ~ Haneda Tenkubashi | Direct Cruise | 77 min | 34,000 yen



There's nothing so bittersweet as leaving Tokyo after a jam-packed stay in the city, but if you're flying out of Haneda Airport, you can at least use Tokyo Water Taxi to say one final farewell to Tokyo as you enjoy a relaxing trip across town! This is a great option if you're staying in a hotel near any one of Tokyo Water Taxi's dozen or more boat docks, including Nihonbashi – an area many travelers choose for its proximity to Tokyo Station. One of the missions of the Tokyo Water Taxi operators is to have a fleet of boats ready to help in case of a natural disaster emergency, which means the taxis have access to lots of little boat docks close to convenient hotels.

Even the "Direct" option for this route takes you on a unique path through Tokyo's waterways and past the Odaiba landmarks, offering up a chance to see Tokyo from a brand new angle! And after motoring quickly through the water, the boat drops you off at the port of Haneda Tenkubashi, which is just one stop (under five minutes) from Haneda Airport on the Tokyo Monorail. Forget busy trains or city traffic – getting to the airport has never been so refreshing.



This journey might be even more magical at night, when Tokyo is lit with glittering lights. You can even do the trip backwards to get from the airport into the city when you arrive – let your first view of Tokyo be the twinkling skyline and the glowing beacon of Tokyo Tower in the distance!

How to Reserve a Tokyo Water Taxi

Thanks to Tokyo Water Taxi's brand new reservation page, it's easier than ever to plan your next trip across Tokyo Bay – or decide on something a little more spur of the moment. The reservation system allows you to book trips up to two months in advance, so while last-minute plans aren't out of the question, booking early will give you the best flexibility! It really is a convenient way to get across the city, before you even get to the great views that sweeten the deal. The reservation process isn't overly complicated, but you can follow the directions below for a step-by-step walk-through!



① Once you've arrived at the reservation page, tap the translation icon to make sure you're it's set your preferred language. Options now include English, Chinese, Korean, and of course Japanese.
② Plan your trip with all the customizable options! You can choose departure and arrival spots, the date and time, and even adjust the length/route of the outing. As you might have noticed from the popular routes above, "Direct" is for a quick, direct ride, "Bay Zone" lets you spend some extra time out on Tokyo Bay, and "Heritage Zone" will shift the route to take you past extra historical sites. As you adjust your trip, the possible routes will show up color-coded on the map, alongside icons indicating landmarks and popular photo spots.
③ Up to eight adults, or a slightly larger number of adults and children, can ride a Tokyo Water Taxi. Choose the correct number of passengers, check the terms of use, and head to the next page!



④ But first, a quick pop-up! The language is a little confusing, but it's just confirming the time and location of your departure and arrival.
⑤ To complete the reservation, a Horai account is required. If you already have one, great! Otherwise, click "Create an account," enter your information and…
⑥ Confirm your e-mail address. Then continue on by pressing "certification."



⑦ The next page lists all your trip details, so once you've confirmed that all the information looks right, you can move onto entering payment information. Click "Add or select payment method" and then "add a payment" to enter your credit card details, and then confirm it by pressing "Go to application screen."

⑧ Once you're back on the confirmation screen with your credit card information submitted, just press "Make a request" at the bottom of the page to submit your reservation request, and you'll get an e-mail from the taxi operators once they've confirmed your reservation details. Now you're all set!



With your trip reserved and the route all planned out, all that's left is to enjoy the ride! Don't forget your camera, or at least an extra phone charger, and some snacks to enjoy on board. A new side of Tokyo is just waiting to be discovered!

For more info and updates from Japan, check Japankuru for new articles, and don't forget to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!

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NAME:Tokyo Water Taxi (東京ウォータータクシー)

OFFICIAL WEBSITE:

https://water-taxi.tokyo/

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    • HOKKAIDO

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      Hokkaido (北海道) is the northernmost of the four main islands that make up Japan. The area is famous for Sapporo Beer, plus brewing and distilling in general, along with fantastic snow festivals and breathtaking national parks. Foodies should look for Hokkaido's famous potatoes, cantaloupe, dairy products, soup curry, and miso ramen!

    • Niki, in south-west Hokkaido, is about 30 minutes from Otaru. The small town is rich with natural resources, fresh water, and clean air, making it a thriving center for fruit farms. Cherries, tomatoes, and grapes are all cultivated in the area, and thanks to a growing local wine industry, it's quickly becoming a food and wine hotspot. Together with the neighboring town of Yoichi, it's a noted area for wine tourism.

    • Niseko is about two hours from New Chitose Airport, in the western part of Hokkaido. It's one of Japan's most noted winter resort areas, and a frequent destination for international visitors. That's all because of the super high-quality powder snow, which wins the hearts of beginners and experts alike, bringing them back for repeat visits. That's not all, though, it's also a great place to enjoy Hokkaido's culinary scene and some beautiful onsen (hot springs).

    • Otaru is in western Hokkaido, about 30 minutes from Sapporo Station. The city thrived around its busy harbor in the 19th and 20th centuries thanks to active trade and fishing, and the buildings remaining from that period are still popular attractions, centered around Otaru Canal. With its history as a center of fishing, it's no surprise that the area's fresh sushi is a must-try. Otaru has over 100 sushi shops, quite a few of which are lined up on Sushiya Dori (Sushi Street).

    • SAPPORO

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      Sapporo, in the south-western part of Hokkaido, is the prefecture's political and economic capital. The local New Chitose Airport see arrivals from major cities like Tokyo and Osaka, alongside international flights. Every February, the Sapporo Snow Festival is held in Odori Park―one of the biggest events in Hokkaido. It's also a hotspot for great food, known as a culinary treasure chest, and Sapporo is a destination for ramen, grilled mutton, soup curry, and of course Hokkaido's beloved seafood.

    • Consisting of six prefectures, the Tohoku Region (東北地方) is up in the northeastern part of Japan's main island. It's the source of plenty of the nation's agriculture (which means great food), and packed with beautiful scenery. Explore the region's stunning mountains, lakes, and hot springs!

    • Akita Prefecture is on the Sea of Japan, in the northern reaches of Japan's northern Tohoku region. Akita has more officially registered important intangible culture assets than anywhere else in Japan, and to this day visitors can experience traditional culture throughout the prefecture, from the Oga Peninsula's Namahage (registered with UNESCO as a part of Japan's intangible cultural heritage), to the Tohoku top 3 Kanto Festival. Mysterious little spots like the Oyu Stone Circle Site and Ryu no Atama (Dragon's Head) are also worth a visit!

    • FUKUSHIMA

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      Fukushima Prefecture sits at the southern tip of Japan's northern Tohoku region, and is divided into three parts with their own different charms: the Coastal Area (Hama-dori), the Central Area (Naka-dori), and the Aizu Area. There's Aizu-Wakamatsu with its Edo-era history and medieval castles, Oze National Park, Kitakata ramen, and Bandai Ski Resort (with its famous powder snow). Fukushima is a beautiful place to enjoy the vivid colors and sightseeing of Japan's beloved four seasons.

    • YAMAGATA

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      Yamagata Prefecture is up against the Sea of Japan, in the southern part of the Tohoku region, and it's especially popular in winter, when travelers soak in the onsen (hot springs) and ski down snowy slopes. International skiiers are especially fond of Zao Onsen Ski Resort and Gassan Ski Resort, and in recent years visitors have been drawn to the area to see the mystical sight of local frost-covered trees. Some destinations are popular regardless of the season, like Risshakuji Temple, AKA Yamadera, Ginzan Onsen's nostalgic old-fashioned streets, and Zao's Okama Lake, all great for taking pictures. Yamagata is also the place to try Yonezawa beef, one of the top 3 varieties of wagyu beef.

    • Japan's most densely populated area, the Kanto Region (関東地方) includes 7 prefectures: Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Saitama, Tokyo, Chiba, and Kanagawa, which means it also contains the Tokyo Metropolitan Area. In modern-day Japan, Kanto is the cultural, political, and economic heartland of the country, and each prefecture offers something a little different from its neighbors.

    • Gunma Prefecture is easily accessible from Tokyo, and in addition to the area's popular natural attractions like Oze Marshland and Fukiware Falls, Gunma also has a number of popular hot springs (Kusatsu, Ikaho, Minakami, Shima)―it's even called an Onsen Kingdom. The prefecture is popular with history buffs and train lovers, thanks to spots like world heritage site Tomioka Silk Mill, the historic Megane-bashi Bridge, and the Watarase Keikoku Sightseeing Railway.

    • TOCHIGI

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      Tochigi Prefecture's capital is Utsunomiya, known for famous gyoza, and just an hour from Tokyo. The prefecture is full of nature-related sightseeing opportunities year-round, from the blooming of spring flowers to color fall foliage. Tochigi also has plenty of extremely well-known sightseeing destinations, like World Heritage Site Nikko Toshogu Shrine, Lake Chuzenji, and Ashikaga Flower Park―famous for expansive wisteria trellises. In recent years the mountain resort town of Nasu has also become a popular excursion, thanks in part to the local imperial villa. Tochigi is a beautiful place to enjoy the world around you.

    • Tokyo (東京) is Japan's busy capital, and the most populous metropolitan area in the world. While the city as a whole is quite modern, crowded with skyscrapers and bustling crowds, Tokyo also holds onto its traditional side in places like the Imperial Palace and Asakusa neighborhood. It's one of the world's top cities when it comes to culture, the arts, fashion, games, high-tech industries, transportation, and more.

    • The Chubu Region (中部地方) is located right in the center of Japan's main island, and consists of 9 prefectures: Aichi, Fukui, Gifu, Ishikawa, Nagano, Niigata, Shizuoka, Toyama, and Yamanashi. It's primarily famous for its mountains, as the region contains both Mt. Fuji and the Japanese Alps. The ski resorts in Niigata and Nagano also draw visitors from around the world, making it a popular winter destination.

    • Nagano Prefecture's popularity starts with a wealth of historic treasures, like Matsumoto Castle, Zenkoji Temple, and Togakushi Shrine, but the highlight might just be the prefecture's natural vistas surrounded by the "Japanese Alps." Nagano's fruit is famous, and there are plenty of places to pick it fresh, and the area is full of hot springs, including Jigokudani Monkey Park―where monkeys take baths as well! Thanks to the construction of the Hokuriku shinkansen line, Nagano is easily reachable from the Tokyo area, adding it to plenty of travel itineraries. And after the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics, ski resorts like Hakuba and Shiga Kogen are known around the world.

    • Aichi Prefecture sits in the center of the Japanese islands, and its capital city, Nagoya, is a center of politics, commerce, and culture. While Aichi is home to major industry, and is even the birthplace of Toyota cars, it's proximity to the sea and the mountains means it's also a place with beautiful natural scenery, like Saku Island, Koijigahama Beach, Mt. Horaiji. Often used a stage for major battles in Japanese history, Sengoku era commanders like Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu left their own footprints on Aichi, and historic buildings like Nagoya Castle, Inuyama Castle, and those in Meiji Mura are still around to tell the tale.

    • NIIGATA

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      Niigata is a prefecture on Japan's main island of Honshu, situated right on the coast of the Sea of Japan, and abundant with the gifts of nature. It's known for popular ski resorts such as Echigo-Yuzawa, Japanese national parks, and natural hot spring baths, plus local products like fresh seafood, rice, and sake. Visitors often spend time in the prefectural capital, Niigata City, or venture across the water to Sado Island.

    • SHIZUOKA

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      Shizuoka Prefecture is sandwiched between eastern and western Japan, giving the prefecture easy access to both Tokyo and Osaka. Not only is it known for beautiful natural attractions, with everything from Mount Fuji to Suruga Bay, Lake Hamanako, and Sumata Pass―Shizuoka's Izu Peninsula is known as a go-to spot for hot springs lovers, with famous onsen like Atami, Ito, Shimoda, Shuzenji, and Dogashima. Shizuoka attracts all kinds of travelers thanks to historic connections with the Tokugawa clan, the Oigawa Railway, fresh eel cuisine, Hamamatsu gyoza, and famously high-quality green tea.

    • Kansai (関西) is a region that includes Mie, Nara, Wakayama, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, and Shiga Prefectures. Kansai contained Japan's ancient capital for hundreds of years, and it's making a comeback as one of the most popular parts of Japan. Kyoto's temples and shrines, Osaka Castle, and the deer of Nara are all considered must-sees. Plus, the people of Kansai are especially friendly, making it a fun place to hang out.

    • Kyoto flourished as the capital of Japan between the years 794 and 1100, becoming a center for poilitics and culture, and to this day it's a great place for close encounters with Japanese history. The cobbled streets of Gion, the atmospheric road to Kiyomizudera Temple, Kinkakuji's golden walls and countless historic attractions, even Arashiyama's Togetsukyo Bridge―Kyoto is a place of many attractions. With new charms to experience throughout the seasons, travelers can't stop themselves from returning again and again.

    • Nara Prefecture's important history reaches back to 710, a time now called the Nara era, when it was once capital of Japan. Called "Heijo-kyo" during its time as a capital, it's said that nara was once the end of the silk road, leading it to flourish as a uniquely international region and produce important cultural properties of all kinds. To make the most of each season, travelers head to Nara Park, where the Nara deer who wander freely, or climb Mount Yoshino, a famous cherry blossom spot.

    • Osaka is known for friendly (and funny) people, but its history is nothing to laugh at, playing a major part in Toyotomi Hideyoshi's 16th century unification of Japan. Thanks to long years of economic activity, it's one of Japan's biggest cities, and Osaka's popular food culture earned it the nickname "The Kitchen of the Nation." To this day Osaka is the model of western Japan, and alongside historic structures like Osaka Castle, it also has major shopping malls like Umeda's Grand Front Osaka and Tennoji's Abeno Harukas. Osaka is a place to eat, eat, eat, with local specialties like takoyaki, okonomiyaki, and kushi-katsu, and for extra fun, it's home to Universal Studios Japan.

    • CHUGOKU

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      The Chugoku Region (中国地方) consists of five prefectures: Hiroshima, Okayama, Shimane, Tottori, and Yamaguchi. In Chugoku you’ll find the sand dunes of Tottori, and Hiroshima’s atomic bomb site, plus centers of ancient history like Grand Shrine of Izumo.

    • HIROSHIMA

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      Hiroshima Prefecture has everything, from world heritage sites to beautiful nature and delicious local cuisine, and it's either an hour and a half from Tokyo by plane, or four hours by train. Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island and the Atomic Bomb Dome, two Hiroshima UNESCO sites, are famous around the world, but in Japan it's also famous for food. Seafood from the Seto Inland Sea, especially oysters, Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, and Setouchi lemons are all popular, and the natural scenery alone is worth seeing.

    • SHIKOKU

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      On the other side of the Seto Inland Sea opposite Japan’s main island, Shikoku (四国) is a region made up of four prefectures: Ehime, Kagawa, Kochi, and Tokushima. The area is famous for its udon (in Kagawa), and the beautiful Dogo Onsen hot springs (in Ehime).

    • Kagawa Prefecture is on the northern part of the island of Shikoku, facing Japan's main island and the Seto Inland Sea. It's known for being the smallest prefecture in Japan, by area, but at the same time Kagawa is called the "Udon Prefecture" thanks to its famous sanuki udon. Aside from Kotohiragu Shrine and Ritsurin Garden, the prefecture's small islands are popular, and Kagawa is full of unique destinations, like Angel Road. They say that if you lay eyes on Zenigata Sunae, a huge Kagawa sand painting, you'll never have money troubles ever again.

    • Located in the most southwestern part of Japan, Kyushu (九州) is an island of 7 prefectures: Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Oita, Miyazaki, and Kagoshima. The island's unique culture has been influenced by Chinese and Dutch trade, along with missionaries coming in through Nagasaki's port. Modern-day travelers love the lush natural scenery and fresh food, plus the natural hot springs found all throughout the area (thanks to volcanic activity)!

    • FUKUOKA

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      Fukuoka Prefecture has the highest population on the southern island of Kyushu, with two major cities: Fukuoka and Kitakyushu. Thanks to growing transportation networks, Fukuoka is more accessible than ever, and so are the many local attractions. On top of historical spots like Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, travelers shouldn't miss Fukuoka's food scene, with motsu nabe (offal hotpot), mentaiko (spicy cod roe), and famous Hakata ramen―best eaten from a food stall in the Nakasu area of Hakata. Plus, it's full of all sorts of destinations for travelers, like trendy shopping centers, and the beautiful nature of Itoshima and Yanagawa.

    • KAGOSHIMA

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      Kagoshima Prefecture played a major role in Japan's modernization as a backdrop for famous historical figures like samurais Saigo Takamori and Okubo Toshimichi, who pushed Japan out of the Edo era and into the Meiji. Because of that, Sengan-en Garden is just one of many historical destinations, and when it comes to attractions Kagoshima has plenty: the active volcano of Sakurajima, popular hot springs Ibusuki Onsen and Kirishima Onsen, World Heritage Site Yakushima Island, even what Japan calls the "island closest to heaven," Amami Oshima. Kagoshima might be found on the very southernmost tip of the southern island of Kyushu, but there's plenty to see.

    • OKINAWA

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      The island chain of Okinawa (沖縄) makes up the southernmost tip of Japan, which is why it's also the most tropical area in the country. Thanks to a history of independence and totally distinct political and cultural events, Okinawa has a unique culture, and remnants of the Ryukyu Kingdom are still visible all over the islands. Food, language, traditional dress, it's all a little different! It's also said to be the birthplace of karate.

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