Cruisin in Tokyo Bay
By Eric Burton
Nothing screams summer louder than being out at sea with a bunch of lads and lassies. The wind blowing across your face, while skyscrapers light up in the distance. This the Tokyo Bay Nouryousen! Or roughly in English: Evening Boat Cruise.
If you’re looking for a unique experience to check off your summertime bucket list, why not see Tokyo from a different perspective? The perspective a ship floating off into the sunset as fireworks light up the night sky in the distance.
Every evening throughout the summer, hundreds of yukata-wearing cruise-goers make the seven minute walk east of Hamamatsucho station. In late July, I, along with a group of friends to see what all the hype was about. We weren’t disappointed.
After getting tickets we boarded the ship and made our way to one of the beer stations on the lower deck. After fueling up, we made our way topside to find a nice view. At 7:15 we set sail, toasting with everyone around us.
Each deck had a different vibe. Lower decks were more laid-back. Patrons having conversations in private rooms; others quietly looking out at the hypnotizing ebb of waves. As we climbed higher the energy picked up and the music got louder. On B deck, which was just below the top, dance shows were occurring on the half-hour. People gathered around the stage, trying to get pictures of the perpetually smiling performers.
Each leg of the cruise seemed almost too picture perfect. Odaiba lit up as we passed by. A plane was landing as we neared Haneda Airport. In the far distance, fireworks were going off at Tokyo DisneyLand. People on nearby yachts waved to us. On the return leg of the journey, the crowds on the top deck dispersed and headed for B deck. There, the DJ spun a megamix of tunes from the late-60s up to the 00s. Smiles all around. So many cheesy billboard hits. It was like prom all over again.
At 9:00pm we set our anchor down where we originally started. So much had happened in just two hours. And those drinks were catching up to me. The Tokyo Bay Nouryousen is quite a popular event that I’d recommend doing before summer is out. Cruises are every evening until September 30th. Head to www.nouryousen.jp to make your reservation for this fun-filled booze cruise today.
Prices (nomihoudai included accept for the kids prices, of course)
2,600 yen for adults
1,600 yen if wearing a yukata (Monday-Thursday only, not including public holidays)
1,050 yen for junior high/high school students
550 yen for school-aged children
*Reservations can be made online at http://www.nouryousen.jp, via phone 03-3437-6119 (between 9:30-2:00), or at most convenience stores.
From Hamamatsucho Station North Exit: Make a right after exiting and walk for 7 minutes. Follow the crowd. Head toward what looks like the mast of a boat in the distance.
From Takeshiba Station: Lets you off right at the entrance, but the Yurikamome line maybe difficult to get to if you don’t live somewhere on the line.
From Daimon Station: Take an exit that leads to Hamamatsucho Station and then follow the directions above.