Our exploration of Odaiba, the largest artificial island in Tokyo Bay starts by boarding the ‘Hotaluna’ from it’s pier on Sumida river in Asakusa. Operated by Tokyo Cruise, the Hotaluna is a futuristic looking vessel more like a spacecraft with gull-wing doors.
We took the cruise down Sumida river from Asakusa Pier to Odaiba Seaside Park. There is lots of room on the boat and it is spacious, comfortable, air conditioned and fully enclosed. Good to know the vessel is wheelchair accessible. On the day we took the cruise, the weather was sunny and only a few passengers were on board. One would not feel nausea as the cruise was smooth and steady even when passing another vessel. The cruise took approximately 60 mins with a short stop at Hinode pier for passengers to get-off or onto the boat.
Along the way, you’ll get to see Tokyo’s city scape of office buildings and apartments from a different perspective as well as cruising under a number of bridges. You can purchase refreshment and light snack onboard and there are three washrooms, one for disabled passengers.
Before approaching Hinode pier, access to the upper deck was opened and we got onto the observation platform. Feeling the fresh breeze and being able to see attractions 360° makes for an enjoyable experience. The rainbow bridge is one of the main attractions as the cruise sails along and underneath the bridge.
The Odaiba Seaside Pier is next to Odaiba Marine Park. It is to your left as you exit the pier. The park’s Odaiba Beach provide visitors enjoyable walks on it’s 800 meter long sandy beach. As this is a spot for seaside sports like paddle boarding and windsurfing, thus swimming is not allowed.
To the right is Daiba Park where you’ll find Isohama Beach. A short walk along the paved path along the beach brings you into view, a replica of the Statue of Liberty. It’s about 1/7th the size of the original statue in New York. Walk up the flights of stairs to the elevated concrete semi-circle Grand Observation Deck for a view of Tokyo Bay. Then proceed to the statue for a closer view and some photos. From hereon, several shopping complexes are nearby, including Aqua City and DECKS which are a couple of minutes walk away.