Himiko Tokyo Boat Cruise

POSTED BY DANNY CHOO On Mon 2011/01/24 22:50 JST in Places to visit in Japan
Have always wanted to take a trip on one of the boats that cruise along the rivers of Tokyo - especially the Himiko which has to be one of the coolest looking boats I've clapped my mince pies on - possibly the closest one will get to taking a ride on a space cruiser.
Fans of Leiji Matsumoto - the man who brought us galactic titles such as Yamato, Galaxy Express 999, Herlock and more may be interested to know that he is also the designer of the Himiko vessel.
The boat has been around for a while now since March 2004. Have seen it a few times cruising down Sumida River and finally got to take a trip on it yesterday.
To take a cruise on the Himiko, you need to get to one of the ports at either Asakusa, Toyosu or Odaiba.
Then you need to either try to decipher the information on the official site (I failed) or give them a call on free dial 0120 977311. They most probably have English speaking staff.
You need not make reservations - just show up at the pier and buy tickets. Not many people get on at Toyosu but a load of people get on at Asakusa and I imagine many get on at Odaiba too. I recommend getting on at Toyosu for a stress free trip unless you like waiting in queues.
The trip from Toyosu to Asakusa takes about 40 mins and costs 1060 yen for a one way trip.
And this is what it looks like inside. The Windows are greenish so there is a shade of green inside - photos will turn out a shade of green too.
Himiko can fit 90 people seated and probably a bit more standing. Folks who have the monies can also charter the whole boat and even have live bands performing just like how vividblaze done a while ago.
The back of the boat has a small shop which sells drinks and snacks at the intergalactic rate (twice the normal price).
The door is kinda cool ^^;
This page at the official site shows the various lines that the cruise company serves. Himiko only serves a few and its not clear which lines so I recommend just giving them a call to find out the latest times and prices.
Our map and tickets for the day.
If you are the type who likes to catch a breeze outside on the deck then you wont like the Himiko as there is no way out once you are inside.
The Himiko travels along Sumida River which cuts through Tokyo heading North away from Tokyo Bay. Speaking of Tokyo Bay, one of the first sentences a Japanese friend taught me was "Tokyo Wan ni Shizumeru zo" or "I shall down you in Tokyo Bay." Have not had the opportunity to use that term until today - about 15 years after he taught it to me ^^;
As the Himiko cruises along, you will hear characters from Galaxy Railways 999 taking to each other about the various landmarks that you pass.
The cruise involves going under a load of bridges with varying historical stories.
The cruise will take you through many residential areas of Tokyo - a very peaceful area of Tokyo. If you have the time, you could consider taking the boat up to Asakusa and then maybe walking back down the river side down to Kachidoki where you can eat some Monja Yaki at Tsukishima. The Sumida River post has some photos taken from the river banks.
More views from the boat.
Approaching the port in Asakusa.
Himiko docked awaiting the queues of folks to get on.
I would have probably given you funny looks if you told me a few years ago that 38 year old grown men go around carrying dolls ^^;
The golden thingy on the black building is the Asahi Beer headquarters. Many folks over here call it the Poo Building or "Unchi Biru" うんちビル].
Asakusa is a popular tourist spot so the queues for the boat cruises are much longer here.
The tower under construction is the Tokyo Sky Tree. Its due for completion next year and will be the tallest building in the world. Its main purpose is to be of a certain height which can then broadcast digital TV across Japan. The other purpose is to allow Gundams to refill and reload ammo mid flight.
Having seen Tokyo from trains, car, bike and on foot, seeing it from the river is a new experience that I recommend all to give a whirl.
These photos of the Himiko taken at Lalaport in Toyosu. To get to Toyosu, get off at Toyosu station on the Yurakucho line.