Some advice from a local: Tokyo Bay isn’t always in Tokyo Prefecture!
This isn’t a Tokyo travel tip post (I’ll let Jo at The Tokyo Chapter handle that because she’s ridiculously awesome at what she does!).
But, as a longtime resident of East Tokyo, I’ve noticed a fascinating trend among certain cities in Chiba, namely Urayasu and Funabashi. It’s trendy to add “Tokyo” or “Tokyo Bay” when naming or renaming properties. It’s funny because I can’t recall anything in Yokohama that claims to be Tokyo Bay…
Honestly, I feel like they’re going to rename Minami Funabashi Station “Tokyo Bay Something Something Station” in a few years, mark my words.
Here’s a look at a few Tokyo Disney Resort official hotels. They all have “Tokyo Bay” in the property name…and none of them are in Tokyo Prefecture!
- Tokyo Bay Maihama Hotel
- Tokyo Bay Maihama Hotel Club Resort
- Hilton Tokyo Bay
- Hotel Okura Tokyo Bay
- Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel (Read my family staycation review!)
Ichikawa actually has the audacity to add “Tokyo” in the names of its new buildings and condominiums even though it’s not even on Tokyo Bay. It’s inland, facing the Edo River!
Tokyo Travel PSA: Tokyo Bay Isn’t Always in Tokyo Prefecture! Here Are The Biggest Offenders
Narita International Airport
Formerly known as New Tokyo International Airport, it can take anywhere from 80 to 120 minutes to reach your Tokyo destination from Narita City
Tokyo Disney Resort
Home of Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disneysea, it’s in Chiba, right across the Edogawa River facing the Kasai area in Tokyo’s Edogawa Ward
Tokyo German Village
This “theme park exploring rural German life” is inland and not even close to Tokyo Bay!
IKEA Tokyo Bay
Changed its name from Funabashi to IKEA Tokyo Bay to celebrate its 10th anniversary.
LaLaport Tokyo Bay
You’d think that Lalaport Toyosu, the one actually on Tokyo Bay and built in Tokyo Prefecture would be called “Lalaport Tokyo Bay” but no, it’s not. It’s also in Funabashi, across the street from “IKEA Tokyo Bay.”
The hotel complexes opening up around Urayasu Sogo Park prompted me to write this whole post in the first place!
Every. Single. Hotel. is “Tokyo Bay” this and “Tokyo Bay” that.
Instead of “Tokyo Bay” Search For…
96%* of time, anything with “Tokyo Bay” in its title is likely to be somewhere in Chiba Prefecture.
Again, that’s just my observation as a local who lives in East Tokyo and works in Chiba. (And I totally made up the 96% part but I’m pretty sure I’m not that far off.)
If it’s views of Rainbow Bridge that you’re after, search for “Ariake,” “Odaiba,” or “Daiba.” I think the InterContinental Tokyo Bay is the only hotel that lives up to its name!
I think the “trend” all started with Tokyo Narita Airport and Tokyo Disney Resorts. At least now they now have the decency to remove “Tokyo” from the airport’s name after so many travelers complained about being catfished. To be fair, there’s plenty to do in the Narita area, though! (READ: 15 Awesome Things To Do On The Narita Airport Transit & Stay Program)
Tokyo Disney Resort, on the other hand, was officially christened with Tokyo, reasoning that Tokyo had more recognition among foreign travelers that Chiba.
This was in 1977, more than a decade after the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, so it makes sense for the time. But with smartphones and digital maps, do we really need to carry on this charade?
I used to live in Edogawa Ward from 2009 to 2012, and even “back then” it was dismissed as a part of Chiba. Now, cities in Chiba are trying steal recognition from places that are actually in Tokyo!
At least this year, Edogawa Ward is hosting the Olympic athletes from the Netherlands and is also hosting the canoeing games, so we’re on our way to Tokyo-wide recognition!
For what it’s worth, I think the renaming in Urayasu is part of an effort to rebrand after all the news stories about liquefaction immediately following the 3/11 earthquake. This makes sense for the residents who must have been concerned with falling property value (the ones who chose to stay, at least).
At any rate, it seems like naming Chiba properties “Tokyo” or “Tokyo Bay” is a trend that is not about to slow down. So, if you’re wondering how to get from A to B in Tokyo, make sure you’re actually in Tokyo first!
If the primary purpose of your Tokyo visit is Tokyo Disney Resort, by all means, a “Tokyo Bay” hotel is for you. I’ve got a post coming up with a few new hotels for travelers.
UPDATE: Tokyo Bay Transportation
Urayasu is on the Tozai Subway Line, which runs directly to the heart of Tokyo (Nihombashi and Otemachi). BUT, the Tozai line is notorious for running at 199-200% percent capacity sometimes.
The Keiyo line connects Minami Funabashi, Shin Urayasu and Maihama Stations with Tokyo Station. BUT, the Keiyo line service frequently experiences delays due to the winds from Tokyo Bay.
Keep this in mind when considering a “Tokyo Bay” hotel, especially when traveling with little ones!