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Updated: January 7, 2021

Which to ride? The many boats found on Tokyo’s waterways.

The boats which come and go through Tokyo’s rivers and along the waterfront range from small dinghies to massive liners. There are almost as many boats as there are ways to enjoy them, including the water bus, with a design from the not-too-distant future, to the yakatabune pleasure boats which brim with the spirit of old Tokyo. Trying out the many varieties is just one way to enjoy your time in the city.


  • New water buses “Himiko” and “Hotaluna” designed by manga maestro Leiji Matsumoto
  • Yakatabune houseboats brimming with Edo flavor
  • Cruise through the pristine ocean air

Water bus

A network of ferries, or water buses, serve Tokyo Bay and the Sumida River connecting Odaiba and Asakusa. The different lines follow slightly different routes, but all offer prime views of Tokyo landmarks such as Tokyo Skytree, Rainbow Bridge, and the unusually-shaped Asahi Group Headquarters Building. Taking the route from Kasai Rinkai Park to Odaiba, you will be able to see the Tokyo Gate Bridge, Tokyo Bay, and planes arriving and departing from Haneda Airport.
Regular Water Bus Routes



Manga and anime artist Leiji Matsumoto was inspired by the image of a teardrop when designing this futuristic-looking ship.
Himiko Line



Also the work of Leiji Matsumoto, Hotaluna was designed to look like a spacecraft. The design includes a viewing deck, and at night the ship lights up the Sumida river with a firefly-like luminescence.
Hotaluna Line



Go back to old Japan in a yakatabune. These uniquely Japanese party boats are a reminder of Tokyo’s forgotten past. At night, when the paper lanterns are lit, the ship takes on an eerie, ethereal atmosphere of the old city. Not only available for private rental, but some Yakatabune offer shared tours.
Yakatabune Routes



As dusk falls, dinner cruises set sail along the Sumida River and out to Tokyo Bay for views of the glittering skyline. There are a variety of cruises and operators, but dinner cruises tend to be popular and will need to be reserved in advance.
Non-regular Routes


Easy Access to Popular Places

Tokyo’s waterways are a fantastic way to reach popular places in the city. Ride on the water, free from traffic or train transfers. Regularly-scheduled boats connect Odaiba and Asakusa, and you can board in other places like the beautiful Hamarikyu Garden as well. Only by boat will you enjoy stunning sights like passing beneath Tokyo’s Rainbow Bridge.
Cruise Ships & Waterbuses

River Cruises


Waterfront Guides


Nearby Attractions