Start from Nihonbashi Station.
We head to Nihonbashi Boarding Dock, the starting point for a time warp to the Edo period. It is three-minute walk from the B12 Exit (direct connection with COREDO Nihonbashi) of Nihonbashi Station.
Let’s Board a Boat to Step into a Time Warp to Edo Period!
Consortiums of Rediscovery Edo-Tokyo Tourism Walk offers 6 courses for boat cruising, including Nihonbashi River course, Kanda River course, and Onagi River course. Among them, we choose Musashi (called 634, the height of the Tokyo Skytree) course today to cruise from Nihonbashi to the Tokyo Skytree. A nice little blue and white electric boat is waiting at the dock. For cruise schedules, visit their website: http://www.edo-tokyo.info/
Refering to the Ukiyo-e (which was given on our departure), we compare the old landscape and the current one to find out what has been remaining the same. It’s a pretty fun activity, as the guide gives us quizzes.
Overwhelmed by the Amazingly Large Sumida River!
Nihonbashi River flows into the Sumida River. As soon as you enter Sumida River, you will be amazed at its ‘ocean-like’ big splash! The section near the Nihonbashi Bridge is much wider than the one near Asakusa, as it is closer to the ocean. About 6 passengers are on board today, but everyone is amazed at the width and shouts for joy! By the way, you can catch many kinds of fish around here, as this is where the river meets the ocean.
Something smells good! Bread is made in the factory along the Sumida River, I hear.
The bridge up ahead is Kiyosu Bridge, the one I think is the most beautiful among others crossing over Sumida River. It can be one of Tokyo’s best night photo spots, as the bridge is stunningly lit as well as the Skytree, you can take both landmarks in one picture.
Ogibashi Komon, the Japanese Panama Canal.
Sumida River flows into Onagi River, but as there is a difference in water level between the two rivers, lock gate is required to make the rivers navigable. This is how the lock gate works: First, close both upper and lower gates once a boat enters into the lock chamber, then drain water from the chamber by opening the lower gate until the water level inside the lock is the same as the level ahead.
Both upper and lower gates are closed at the water level of Sumida River.
The water level falls very fast.
Right after passing through the lock gate, you will see a factory of Tokyo Seifun (flour milling) on the right. This company was established in 1948, and still uses boats on Onagi River to transport wheat to the factory.
Clover Bridge on Onagi River for Good Love Fortune.
There is a bridge called ‘Clover Bridge’ on Onagi River. Thanks to the shape, it is believed to bring good love luck. Make a wish with your partner when the boat comes under the ‘clover-shaped’ bridge.
The ‘Upside-Down’ Skytree Is a Symbol of Successful Love! Jikken-bashi Bridge.
We arrive at the dock of the Oshinari Park, located just in front of the Tokyo Skytree. Then we head to Jikken-bashi Bridge, where the upside-down Skytree reflected on the river is visible. If you can see the lucky symbol, you will be happy!
Once you see the upside-down Skytree, don’t miss to take a photo!
Lunch at Takesue Tokyo, a Popular Ramen Shop.
Let’s have lunch at Takesue, a ramen shop nearby, which is known for its good ‘tsukemen’(dip ramen). This area has been redeveloped after the opening of the Skytree; Nevertheless, ‘shitamachi’(old downtown) mood still remains here.
Though this place is cozy with only 8 seats available, it’s a very popular ramen shop. I order ‘chuka-soba’ (ramen noodle soup), not tsukemen, tempted by the hearty ramen the customer sitting next to me is eating. I ask for a boiled egg as a topping for ramen. (900 yen).
‘Rediscover Japan’ Themed ‘Zakka’ Hunting at the Tokyo Skytree.
Now, we are going Japanese ‘zakka’ hunting on the 2nd and 4th floor of Solamachi, a shopping complex in the Skytree, to rediscover the charm of traditional culture of Japan. Walking in the Solamachi with a certain theme is recommended for couples, as working together requires cooperation, which helps them strengthen their bonds. On top of that, you can find out more about your partner (preference, values and sensibilities) through this task.
Merrifactury (2F Block 8) This icing cookie shop offers special cookies with messages on top. You can use these cookies to create messages for your family, friends, or loved ones. This is a new unique communication tool other than ordinary text messages or greeting cards. Well, I will take one for myself in case I need to make up with my girlfriend after a fight.
Nippon-Ichi (Japan Market, 4F Block 10) I’ve found a perfect shop to rediscover Japan! At Nippon-Ichi, a collection of souvenir items from all over Japan is available. They have many interesting goods that are a fusion of antiquity and novelty. It must be fun to find souvenir from your hometown!
Ganso Shokuhin Sample-ya (4F Block 10) This food sample store has become a popular ‘must-see’ spot now, not only for foreigners but also Japanese. Recently, they have been producing a variety of useful lifestyle goods too, such as sushi magnets and muffin accessory cases.
Finally, let’s take a photo with the huge Skytree at the garden, located on the 5th floor of the Skytree. Panoramic photography is recommended here; as we are so close to the tower, it is very difficult to take the entire Skytree from head to toe in one picture.