A Ship with Summer Inside: Experiencing the Tokyo Bay Night Cruise

Source: Gaijin Pot
Noryosen Yukata Boat Cruise 9

It’s the opening night of Tokyo’s most popular (and boozy) evening boat cruise, back again this July for a three-month run of all-you-can-drink beer, wine and cocktails, festival food, twinkling city views, dancing and summer romance on the sea.

Upon arriving at the Takeshiba Passenger Terminal around 18:30 p.m., it’s clear that the bustling crowd of college students, families and salary men and women have been looking forward to this party all week.

There’s an atmosphere of excitement like it’s the beginning of a show or a summer matsuri (festival). As if a curtain might lift momentarily. There are yukata (summer kimono) everywhere — a discount if you wear one — and an escape from Tokyo city mode.

Boarding Ship

Walking towards the ship, my heart skips a beat. Before we enter we catch a glimpse of the boat, Salvia Maru, in the same family of multi-level cruise ships that transport summer travelers overnight to the remote Izu and Ogasawara island chains. This time though, we’ll be doing a slow cruise of Tokyo Bay, up to Haneda airport and back again.

Noryosen Yukata Boat Cruise 3

Kebab sandwiches, french fries, bowls of karaage (fried chicken), edamame, and castella (sponge cake), boxes of sushi and giant sticks of butabara (pork belly) fill this first scene. It’s tempting to use our blue food coupons — included in in our cruise ticket — on everything in sight, but we decide to grab our first of many free beers and to explore our new environment.

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