Yokohama is an excellent city to explore on land, but for a whole new view of the place, hop aboard the Sky Duck Cruise. This land-driving, water cruising bus-boat hybrid is arguably one of the most out-there transport methods not only in Japan but the world. Launching here in 2016, the Sky Duck Cruise is one of the Minato Mirai area’s newest tourist attractions, but it’s quickly gained a lot of attention from both local and international guests alike. If you’re in the waterfront area of the city, it’s hard to miss the bus emblazoned in bright red and blue signage. This uniquely shaped amphibious vehicle looks at first glance like nothing more than a strangely shaped bus, but in James Bond fashion it transforms into a fully functioning cruising boat once it hits the water of Yokohama Bay.
An excellent way to learn more about the history of Yokohama city, the tour departs from the Nippon Maru Park and Red Brick Warehouse district before embarking on a land tour, passing by the city’s most historically famous buildings. After about 10 or so minutes on land, it’s back to the bay for the water tour. If you haven’t explored the city yet in great depth this short on land tour is a great way to get a rough outline of the city’s most interesting landmarks, which you can easily visit later on, on foot.
Then it’s time to hit the bay in all its, loud, rowdy, adrenalin-inducing fun. Guests are given duck noise-making whistles and are encouraged to make as much noise as possible as the boat makes its grand aquatic entrance. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart, or for those afraid to have a bit of fun at the cost of making fools of themselves. Do be warned that if you’re in the front rows or by the windows, you may get a little wet.
The water tour travels along Yokohama Bay and passes by Osanbashi Terminal, Akarenga (Red Brick Warehouse district), before heading deeper out to sea so guests can get a proper view of Yokohama Bridge too. Once in the water, the cruise route travels at a very leisurely pace, allowing plenty of time for guests to soak up the scenery and snap plenty of landscape photos. Sailing past some of the gigantic cruise ships that call the Yokohama Bay area home is also a definite tour highlight.
The tour departs from its two locations Nippon-maru Memorial Park and Red Brick Warehouse three to four times daily depending on the season. Generally, it’s at 11am, 1pm, 2:30pm, and 4pm, but be sure to double check online beforehand. The trip takes about 50 minutes in total. Tours are typically held in Japanese, but you don’t need to understand Japanese to admire the incredible scenery on offer. Tickets cost 3,500 yen for adults and 1,700 yen for children and can be purchased from the departure points. To book in advance, you can reserve tickets via the Skybus website www.skybus.jp. If you plan on visiting during school holidays, national holidays or on weekends, it’s highly recommended you reserve tickets online to avoid disappointment.
SKY BUS TOKYO : https://www.skybus.jp/ https://www.skybus.jp/