Sea Bus to Kasai Rinkan

Today is a national holiday over here – National Foundation Day – which means most people are about and about, which means that it’s generally a terrible day to go to a public place. That said, this is also the day when a lot of Tokyo-ites seem to go to various snow resorts, for elevated prices, for the long weekend.

We then, as a family, decided to go over to Chiba, on the sadly not often used sea bus (水上バス) to Kasai Rinkan Park. The trip took us about an hour and twenty minutes in both directions, but it’s very relaxing and picturesque, especially on a day like today – blue skies and very pleasant weather – and it was more like a sight seeing cruise, which is what some passengers treated is as, having a picnic in the stern. you can also get off at Tokyo Big Site and Odaiba if the feeling takes you.

It’s not a cheap jaunt at 1,500 yen per person, one way, but on balance, especially given the sunset run coming back, it was worth it. Kasai Rinkan is quite a decent park, but it seems to be suffering from multiple personalty disorder. On one hand it has some very nice wooded areas, picnic areas and nice walking trails, like a real park, then it has a small aquarium, which we went to which was also a nice touch, but then it has a huge ferris wheel with some other minor ‘attractions’, which, given the fact that it’s a stone’s throw from Disney Land is a bit odd. That said, the park is free to enter and the rides cost, pay per play.

On the whole I really like Kasai Rinkan, with the only real downside being the terrible options for food: McDonalds, a tiny ramen place and back-of-van food, which whilst fine for a snack, wont keep you going a whole day. Our advice: take a bento or a full-on picnic.

We had a good look around the aquarium, which isn’t bad for it’s size, and did have some medium sized tuna in as part of a campaign, and some small penguins as park of another exhibit which was quite good – another 700 yen for entry fee though.

For us it was great to give our daughter space and time to run in some sunshine and fresh air, test her sea legs on her first boat – a test she passed with flying colours – and let he see some real fish for a change. Also a bit of a first – a day out on a national holiday to a park where it wasn’t at all busy. I guess everyone was at Disney or on the slopes.

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