Tokyo Cruise

posted in: Japan Trip 2012 | 0

Today, John takes a Tokyo Cruise river bus down the Sumidagawa to Hamarikyu Park in Odaiba. This is going to be a great videography opportunity, so I’m excited to get started! Only problem is that it’s a dreary day and it might rain…

12:30pm JST

Like every adventure, this bold explorer starts his day with a hearty breakfast at Mister Donut! After tanking up, I board the Oedo subway line (right next to the Mister Donut), followed by the Ginza line for Asakusa, where the river busses dock. I also notice that I’m the only person in Tokyo that is carrying an umbrella, not a good sign. What I also hadn’t realized in previous trips is how close Asakusa is to the Sumidagawa.

My ultimate destination is Hamarikyu Park, the same park that the apartment maintenance guy had recommended earlier in my stay. Because the Matsumoto Bus doesn’t dock at Hamarikyu Park, I have to take the more pedestrian “Ryoma” bus (dang)…

2:40pm JST

We board and find good viewing spots at the back of the bus. The engines ramp up and roar like a hundred lions under our feet, the bus departs and we steam… ur diesel… down the Sumidagawa to Odaiba! The river bus offers great views of Tokyo Sky Tree, highly visible from Asukusa. As we churn towards Odaiba, we pass many other water craft including both Matsumoto busses. We cruise further down the Sumidagawa and cruise beneath the many bridges that cross the river, including our old friend the Eitaibashi Bridge where I photographed river busses last week. Just wish the weather today wasn’t as dreary!

3:30pm JST

My cruise ship arrives at Hamarikyu Park and I disembark directly into the park. Most museums and parks in Japan require an admission fee but the entrance fee is apparently included in the river bus ticket. This is a great park, varying between rough wild wood to manicured traditional Japanese garden. There is a Shinto shrine, Land of the Lost sized pine cones, a tea garden on a lake, temple kitties looking for luvz.. and crows, lots and lots of crows, oh murder!

5:00pm JST

The sun is quickly setting and Andrew notices that this park has no street lights or illumination of any kind. The park’s closing is also announced over a loud speaker, politely thanking you for visiting and also for leaving, now. By the time I reach the exit and the street, the sun has set and the office buildings light up the Tokyo skyline. Andrew and I meet at the main gate and agree that the next stop in our travels should be Shiodome and the Myazaki-inspired clock.

5:45pm JST

Much to photograph at Shiodome including the Yurikamome line automatic train, passing Shinkansen trains, unbelievable Ghost in the Shell style cityscapes and of course “The Clock” built by sculptor Shachimaru Kunio who also built the giant Laputa robot on the rooftop of the Ghibli Museum.

6:00pm JST

The clock begins its animation sequence! Although I found the show to be a bit lackluster, its still worth seeing, particularly if you’re a Miyazki fan. Check it out if you ever get the chance.

6:42pm JST

After much photography and videography, I board the Oedo line train for Monzen Nakacho and, within 45 minutes, am sitting in Chikara Tokyo, chowing down on the extra large size beef bowl and miso set. That’s how convenient and fast the Tokyo Metro subway lines are, particularly to Monzen Nakacho.

After a quick trip to the kusuriya for packing tape, I’m settling down for the evening with hot tea and snacks…