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Irregular "Under Jet" Boat Trips Connecting Haneda with Odaiba and Yokohama with Views of Aircraft Overhead

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An airplane approaching to land at Haneda.

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Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture-based KMC Corporation announced on March 25 that it has received permission for irregular boat trips along two routes connecting Haneda Airport Wharf with the water bus stop at Odaiba Seaside Park and Pukarisan Bridge in Yokohama's Minatomirai district.

The new water routes will utilize the airport's wharf, which was built at its southwest end along the Tama River in 2011, and will provide direct access to Odaiba and Minatomirai using the new Ocean Bleu cruiser that entered service last September and carries up to 144 passengers. On the Odaiba route the boat will enter Tokyo Bay from the mouth of the Tama River, then travel in a wide circle around Haneda's Runway D (which is built out over the water), pass through the Tokyo West Water Route near Oifuto and arrive at Odaiba Seaside Park. For the Minatomirai route, the Ocean Blue will leave the edge of Runway D and head south along the Keihin Canal toward Pukarisan Bridge. KMC is considering calling the service "Under Jet" since passengers will have an up-close look of aircraft taking off and landing at the nearby runways. They will be able to enjoy intimate views of downtown skyscrapers along the Odaiba route and the factories and other scenery in the Keihin industrial belt along the Minatomirai route. Until now KMC has needed permission for every trip, but now it will be able to provide service along the two routes in line with demand. Each trip takes around 60 to 90 minutes.

The Odaiba and Yokohama Minatomirai areas have been developed as part of Japan's international strategy, which places high hopes on expanded international landing slots at Haneda Airport to create a gateway to the region. Discussing the new service, a KMC spokesperson said, "The waters of Tokyo Bay have a lot of entertainment value and are a rich tourism resource. Our goal is to use the water routes connecting Haneda Airport with the two areas to also encourage tourism."

For the time being, KMC will provide a charter service on an irregular basis for tours and other trips. The company hopes to attract foreign visitors to Japan arriving on international flights and to eventually turn the trips into a regular "water bus" service.

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