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About Tokyo’s waterfront areas

Tokyo has inherited the infrastructure of the castle-town Edo up to the present day.
In the central Edo, the Shogunate built a city by reclaiming swamps and cutting the canals. An extensive network of waterways was laid out inside the city, and the water area accounted for 18 percent of the total area of land, creating an urban space as the Water Capital. As a result, goods were actively transported from across the country by ships and boats. Many warehouses with a pier were built along the river such as the Nihombashigawa River, and Edo developed into one of the biggest cities in the world with population over one million. Diaries and travelogues were written by foreign travelers visiting Edo/Tokyo from the last days of the Shogunate to the Meiji era, comparing Edo/Tokyo to Venice, the water capital in Western Europe.

Over 130 years after the Meiji era, the Edo region achieved economic growth by filling in part of these inland waterways to make way for new roads, etc., evolving into the central city area of the greater Tokyo region consisting of the metropolis of Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures. On the other hand, Tokyo has the Sumidagawa River and other diverse and rich waterfront areas across the city, including the Kandagawa River, the Nihombashigawa River, the moat around the Imperial Palace and the waterways in the Koto area and the port district. Today, Tokyo functions as a transport interchange city for a nationwide network of railways and roads, and also has extensive waterfront spaces ranging from the inland areas with many inner rivers to the newly constructed port districts. It is not exaggeration to say that Tokyo is one of the world's largest waterfront cities.

Waterfront area map

Waterfront area map Sumidagawa River Area Koto Inner River Area Lower Kandagawa River and Nihombashigawa River Area Seaside Area Canal Area

Enjoy the waterfront!

  • Water bus
  • Yakatabune houseboat
  • Tokyo Bay cruise