Escape the City Chaos: A Tokyo River Cruise That Will Take Your Breath Away

The bustling metropolis of Tokyo is a labyrinth of low-rise sprawl interlaced with highways and railways, teeming with the constant movement of millions of commuters.

While tourists flock to popular attractions like Yoyogi Park, Ueno Park, and the Imperial Palace grounds, they may fail to recognize that the city’s green space makes up a meager 7.5 percent of the total area.

Despite this, Japan is a country largely composed of forested mountains, and the Tokyo locals’ desire for nature is evident in the city’s side streets, where every opportunity to cultivate something green is seized upon.

City dwellers grow pocket-sized gardens and window boxes and transform railway embankments into flourishing flower beds. Even the small backstreet shrines are adorned with topiary, and this love for horticulture extends to the opulent hotels towering over the city.


At The Café at Aman Tokyo, guests can savor delicate pastries amidst the hotel’s very own “forest”- a sprawling 3,600 square meters of untamed woodland transplanted from beyond the city’s limits and allowed to flourish naturally in the heart of the Ōtemachi financial district.

The Park Hyatt hotel boasts a bamboo grove beneath a glass pyramid soaring high above the city, while the Mandarin Oriental’s luxurious wallpaper, carpets, and furnishings are woven with nature-inspired designs.

The hotel itself is presented as a colossal tree, with roots and branches serving as decor in the lobby, and leaves and branches on the check-in level, situated on the 38th floor.

However, despite being obscured by the hustle and bustle of city life, the roots of plants still seek out water, and this vital connection between nature and urbanity is primarily facilitated by the city’s watercourses.


Found at the renowned Nihonbashi, a bridge constructed in 1911, are imposing cast iron mythical creatures perched atop low arches that oversee a wooden boat tethered on the Nihonbashi River below.

This particular vessel, known as the Riverboat Mizuha, can accommodate roughly twelve individuals in its deck or cabin areas and offers bilingual 90-minute tours (in both Japanese and English) of Tokyo through four river circuits.

The vessel appears tiny compared to massive cargo ships being offloaded and illuminated by floodlights. Illegally entering through an unauthorized entrance adds an air of intimidation, however, while heading back to Yokohama, a brightly lit carnival catches our eye and the travelers burst into cheers.

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Meet Noah, a full-time news writer based in New York City. With a passion for investigative journalism and a keen eye for detail, Noah has made a name for himself in the fast-paced world of news writing.