Excel Air Helicopter Cruising
14 Chidori, Urayasu, Chiba 279-0032, Japan
| +81 47-380-5555
Tokyo Fly-by-NightI am high above Tokyo at night in a helicopter somewhere near Roppongi.
Excel Air Service offers a number of excellent helicopter cruising packages that allow you to experience Tokyo and Yokohama in a way no other method of transportation can—flying above the world's largest metropolis. It is simultaneously exhilarating, beautiful, even surreal, and really cements the feeling of being on the set of Blade Runner.
Flight times can be booked from 3:30 in the afternoon until 8:30 at night, depending upon the season, with flight times ranging from 15 to 30 minutes, and you can either fly with other passengers or opt to charter the copter all to yourself (which of course raises the price accordingly). The helicopter (an 8-passenger Sikorsky S-76, I believe) departs from Urayasu Heliport (located directly behind Disney Sea in Maihama on the eastern outskirts of Tokyo and about a 20-minute drive from the city center) every 15 minutes. Before boarding, you can enjoy free soft drinks and COD alcoholic beverages in the elegant lounge area at Excel's hangar.
Rates range 19,800 per person for group tours to 130,000 yen for exclusive use depending on the day and time; the company also offers luxury charter flights around Mt. Fuji and the Kamakura/Shonan area for a cool 920,000 yen per hour in a S-76 (and about half that in a Eurocpoter AS355). Better starting saving now.