The overwhelming beauty of industry plants, like in sci-fi movies! An exploratory cruise for evening views of factories, from the sea.

2019-03-22   Visit: Modern Japan, 1-day trip from Tokyo,


The “Evening views in factory zones tour” has grown in popularity in recent years, regardless of gender and age.

I know this is awkward, but do you like factories?
Let me introduce the “Exploratory cruise for evening views in factory zones”. Some people may be interested, and others may not. I hope you’ll try it sometime!

In 2008, Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture conducted this type of tour on a trial basis. It became a big hit and turned into a fad. After that, similar tours operated in various areas throughout the country and were featured on TV shows and in magazines.
The word “Koujou-moe”, referring to factory enthusiasts, was eventually created and became popular among young women in recent years.
I even enjoyed factory scenes many years ago. The intricate piping over a steel-framed machine, a flash of light emitted from a machine in the back, and the odor of oil drifting around the factory… I have always been attracted to those types of bleak and rough looking sights.

I’m a sucker for the sights of lunar-like factories emerging out of the darkness!

I took the tour in a small crew boat around the Keihin Industrial Area.
There are also bus tours available, but I chose the boat tour on the “SANTA-BARCA”, because of it’s high-speeds and ability to turn on a dime. Rows of factories can be seen from the sea.


This is a 90-minute cruise on the Keihin canal, starting at 19:00.
Guests gathered on the 1st floor of the Osanbashi Pier Building at 18:30. There was a waiting area beside main window, where you pick up your orange colored life vest.

alt:koujouyakei_life jacket

With 25 people ready to go, we walked 2-3 minutes to our boarding site at Osanbashi Pier.
This is the SANTA-BARCA, which means “small holy boat” in Italian. It’s a cute boat, isn’t it?


This particular boat has a cabin with air conditioners, a rear deck for about 15 people, and even a bathroom!
The boat rushes down the Keihin canal at a speed of about 35 km/h, creating waves and splashes in the beautiful evening view of Minatomirai.
We saw large foreign tankers and unique-shaped factories on the way. Captain Nagai
explained every sight around in a pleasant, but funny manner.
Although Keihin canal is very quiet at night, it’s a very important industrial area where factory infrastructures sustain the metropolitan region.

Taking pictures of the beautiful factory areas was very difficult! The strobe light was of no use at all and surrounding lights weren’t bright enough. If I would’ve tried taking pictures without a strobe light, they would’ve been very blurring from the constant motion of the boat.
One good thing about this tour is that Captain Nagai stops the boat at great locations for a photo-opp. Captain Nagai hopes that all the visitors go home with great satisfaction.

Captain Nagai of “SANTA-BARCA”

The view of the factory zone fortresses emerging out of the darkness right before your eyes!

20 minutes after we departed, we could smell the gasoline fumes when the boat approached the Shiohama and Daishi canals. The boat stops in front of the factories, so you can get an idea of their size. My favorite factory on this cruise was the Kawasaki thermal power station Tokyo Electric Power Company, along the Daishi canal. I was fascinated with its bleak and mysterious beauty. The sudden flares from chimneys in the darkness, and other neo-futuristic radiant plants are breathtakingly beautiful! The cruise was approaching the end, as I was enjoying the extraordinary sights of this cruise. We were greeted with a giant illuminated Ferris wheel in Minatomirai near the docking point. It was so romantic!
Please try out this 90-minute cruise, where parents and their children, friends, lovers can enjoy a nice cruise!

Participants need to make a reservation through the Keihin ferry boat Co. Ltd. web site, or by phone.
If you need to make a reservation or query in English, please use e-mail, because there might be a time when the staff person who speaks English is absent or busy.
■ Mail address for reservation and

The beautiful SHOWA DENKO K.K.
along the Daishi canal.
The Keihin Refinery of TOA Oil Co., Ltd.
as Mont Saint-Michel of Kawasaki.
koujouyakei_ flare stack
A flare stack which suddenly emerges out of the darkness.
Kawasaki thermal power station/Tokyo Electric Power Company
with mysterious beauty.
koujouyakei_umi-shibaura station
The station that appears at the end of the cruise,
Umi-Shibaura station of the Umi-Shibaura branch on the Tsurumi Line.
The giant illuminated Ferris wheel greets us
on the docking pier.


1 Chome Kaigandōri, Naka-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa-ken

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Address 1st floor of Osanbashi Pier Building (Meeting point), 1 Chome Kaigandōri, Naka-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa-ken 231-0002
Hours January and February Departure Time (Visit the meeting point 30mins before your departure time) 【Keihin Canal Course】90 minutes cruise Saturdays, Sundays and National Holidays 5pm/ Fridays 7pm/ Thursdays 8pm With the exception of Sunday, January 24th 6pm /Saturday, February 6th 7pm/ Between Feb.22nd and 26th not available 【Honmoku and Negishi Course】 Wednesday 7pm/ Saturdays 8pm (Only February) With the exception of the second and fourth Saturday in February 7pm/ February 24th not available This cruise on national holidays will be changed to “Yokohama Keihin Canal Course”. ※Ask Keihin ferry boat Co.Ltd. regarding the timetable after March 2016
Access 8 min walk from exit 1 of the Minatomirai Line, “Nihon-odori” station
Phone 045-201-0821 (Keihin ferry boat Co.Ltd.) Reservation and Inquiry:
Website (Japanese text only)