Sky Duck

The tour bus that navigates on land and river

By Erika Clark   Jul 9, 2013 - 3 min read

For those looking for a tour of Tokyo, there's a new kind of bus in town, and it's called Sky Duck. The Sky Duck is a bus that can drive on land and also navigate the river, just like a duck! The tour starts from the newly built Kameido Umeyashiki, a mansion build in the style of the Edo period, and then takes you through Kameido. Kameido is a town that holds perfect unison between the old and new. While modern buildings stand tall, cultural symbols such as the Tenjin Shrine and streets filled with stores built after the second world war. Kameido has been established as a sub-center by the Tokyo government and is a lively town filled with culture.

On the Sky Duck, the charming tour guide incorporated many interactive components into her speech. She gave out whistles that make quacking sounds and short quizzes to allow the audience to join in. It was fun to watch as the Japanese tourists (who under any other circumstance would be easily embarrassed) follow along and contributed to the tour, giggling at the sounds their whistles made. Don't forget to wave at the passersby as their curious glances follow; the strangers on the streets are sure to smile back as the bus takes you through Kameido.

The most anticipated moment during this tour was when the Sky Duck prepared to swim. The crowd cheered as the bus silently switched to its water engine, and with an exciting splash the Duck was now floating in the river. The ride on the water was smooth and cool. The Sky Duck navigated the river as the tour guide walked us through the history and information regarding the area.

During the tour, there is a small break at the "Boat Station". It is named so because it's a place that boats gather. The Boat Station sells refreshments, old-time Japanese candy and cute, Sky Duck goods that are only available at this stop. You can also purchase tickets to ride the Sky Duck for a discounted price (¥1,000) if you would like to take it from the Boat Station. Make sure to stand by the water and enjoy the light breeze.

The Duck takes you through the shopping streets of Kameido which is famous for its tasty food. The tour guide, who is familiar with the stores, made suggestions about the best places to stop by. We also passed a cute little pond called "Kawaranu Koi no Ike" (the pond of unchanging love) according to the announcement. It is filled with 600 Koi fish; this was one of my favorite spots during the tour, along with several other places in Kameido.

The tour was a little over an hour and ended where we began. Don't forget to examine the vehicle before you leave. The driver was eager to show us and explain how it works; although he didn't speak English, it was still interesting to see. The Sky Duck is a great and unique way to tour the city of Kameido. If you're interested, they also have a tour that goes to Tokyo Skytree for only about ¥300 more. So if you're planning on a trip to Tokyo, keep Sky Duck in mind. It's sure to take you on a fun ride.

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Erika Clark

Erika Clark @erika.clark

Hello, My name is Erika and I am a Japanese American currently studying in Long Beach State University. CA. I was born and raised in Kobe Japan untill I was 15 and am fluent in both English and Japanese. I find that Japan has so much to offer and hope to share my experiences with you as I explore and discover new favorite spots! Thank you for reading :)