Wednesday, 3 June 2015

JVlog #19: Tokyo Bay Cruise & A Japanese Garden

Good Day Everyone,

Hubby had a follow up appointment recently with the specialist about his back, near Tokyo Tower and so we decided to make a day of it. It was nice to admire Tokyo Tower again but this time against the backdrop of a bight blue sky. We also took this as an opportunity to head back to Le Pain for some delicious breakfast.
Tokyo Bay with Tokyo SkyTree in the distance
Since it was a beautiful blue sky day we decided to walk towards Tokyo Bay to see if we could get on a cruise. Along the way we came across a glasses cleaning machine placed outside an opticians that passersby could use for free, and hubby did... twice ;o). Very cool, don't you think? You can see more in the video below.
As we wandered towards the bay we came across the Kyu Shiba Rikyu Garden near Hamamatsucho Station. Given that it was such a warm sunny day we paid the ¥150 (each) to enjoy this classic Japanese landscape garden.
The garden consists of a pond with turtles and koi carp fish, little man made hills, beautiful bamboo fencing and red maple trees.This little oasis is surrounded by tall office buildings in the middle of Tokyo, and there were several office workers having their lunch in the garden whilst enjoying the glorious weather.    
Hubby and I love Japanese gardens. They are very tranquil places even when surrounded by the craziness of a 24hr city like Tokyo. We especially love the use of bamboo, which is an incredibly versatile and beautiful material, and water for it's calming effect. There was also a couple in traditional Japanese dress having their wedding photos taken which was really interesting to see :o).

As we left the garden, we took the escalators across the road to watch the Shinkansen (bullet) trains go by. Hubby and I never tire of watching these beauties that epitomise Japanese engineering. The bullet trains have a rather majestic aura, with their long sleek noses and even longer bodies.

We then followed the main road down to the bay which brought us to New Pier Takeshiba. From there we followed the monorail line, pass The Intercontinental Tokyo Bay hotel, to Hinode Pier. At the Hinode Terminal there was a counter for cruise company, Symphony Cruise, and so we inquired about availability for that afternoon.

Whilst none of the employees spoke enough English for us to communicate with them, the cruise company did have leaflets with both English and Japanese information about the different cruise options, routes, prices and times. With a bit of pointing and hand gesturing we are able to convey what we wanted :o). We opted for the afternoon cruise which was 50mins and cost ¥1,500 (each). 
Rainbow Bridge
Daikanransha ferris wheel at Odaiba in the distance
The iconic Fuji TV building at Odaiba
The cruise was a lovely way to give our feet some rest and enjoy the sights of Tokyo. I'd definitely recommend it if you're ever in Tokyo as it's a great way to see some iconic structures. We could see both Tokyo Tower and Tokyo SkyTree, as well as iconic landmarks at Odaiba island. As it was quite a clear day we could even see planes coming into land, just above the water line in the distance, at Haneda airport.

The Tokyo Towers - Mid Tower & Sea Tower
A plane coming into land at Haneda Airport in the distance

Symphony Cruise also do a lunch, sunset and dinner cruise with a choice of French, Italian or Japanese cuisine. These cruises are longer (2-2.5hrs) and the cruise route goes further out than the afternoon cruise that we did. Prices range from ¥5,000 - ¥20,000. The Symphony Cruise website is in both Japanese and English and here is the link, in case you're interested :o).

I hope you enjoyed this blog post and video of our day out in Tokyo. I'm sorry that I'm a bit slow in getting my blog posts and videos up at the moment but things are pretty hectic with our move. Hopefully, when things settle down in a few weeks, I can get in to a routine again.

Love Sheen xxx
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