The One about the Himiko and Hotaluna

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If you are in Japan and happen to be near the Sumida River, you can get to Asakusa and Odaiba easily via riding the water buses, the Himiko and the Hotaluna.

The Himiko and Hotaline were both named by Leiji Matsumo.

Making its debut in July 2015, the Hotaluna is known for its sci-fi design.  Both Featuring a silver metallic futuristic look, the water bus received its name from Leiji Matsumoto (best known for manga/anime series “Galaxy Express 999”, “Queen Esmeraldas”, “Space Battleship Yamato”, “Space Pirate Captain Harlock”, “The Cockpit” and many other titles) as “luna” means moon and “hotalu” for firefly.

Both look similar but have a different mechanical design for its top section.  The Hotaluna has a little deck on top, which the Himiko doesn’t.

For the Hotaluna, one can travel from Asakusa to Hinode or Odaiba at 10:00, 13:15, 15:15 and 17:30.

The price is Y1080 to Hinode and Y1,560 to Odaiba for adults.  For children under 12 years old, Y690 tto Hinode and Y930 to Odaiba and or children under six years old, it’s Y300 yen to Hinode or Odaiba.

Inside the Hotalina, you can order a Hotaluna mojito (three types are offered, including an alcohol-free version).  Also, one can order an almon praline vanilla gelato or a chocolate chip hazelnut gelato.

And one can rent the Hotaluna for weddings and parties.

You can also visit the official Facebook site here.

Most will find the Himiko to be more accessible, as Hotaluna goes from Asakusa to Hinode and Odaiba Marine Park, the Himiko can go  from Asakusa to Toyosu to Odaiba Marine Park.

For those who want a waterbus with more stops, one will want to check out the Tokyo Mizube Line (Asakusa-Odaiba Cruise and the Kawasemi Waterbus), a Tokyo Waterway Line.

It’s important to note that the Sumida Bay doesn’t have the greatest scenery while in the water bus, but if you are heading to Odaiba, then you will see a much better view, especially if you are riding when the sun sets and can enjoy Odaiba from afar. If you are coming from Odaiba, then this is perfect in order to get to Asakusa to check out the Sensoji Temple or take the station to Tokyo Sky Tree.

But overall, the waterbus is for those who just want to cruise in the water and just chill and relax to travel from once city to the next. It’s about a 50-minute ride on either water bus.  So, just enjoy the speaker announcing the scenery nearby and just enjoy the view (which is strictly unique from the water bus).

If you are ever wanting to get from Asakusa to Odaiba and back, without having to worry about the crowds and are willing to pay a little more to ride through the bay instead of by train, then the Himiko and Hotaluna are worth checking out!


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Dennis A. Amith