Odaiba is an artificial island in Tokyo Bay, originally created for defensive purposes in the late 1800s and expanded upon late last century. Now the island is mainly host to commercial and leisure landmarks, including the headquarters of Fuji Television, the Big Sight exhibition centre and a variety of shopping and entertainment options. My visit there was quite short, but it seems there’s plenty to do if you have the time and there are a few reasons in particular to make the journey across the bay.
For starters, one of your travel options for getting to Odaiba could be an attraction in its own right: the yurikamome, a fully computer-automated transit system running through Odaiba from Shimbashi to Toyosu Station. From Shimbashi the line runs across Tokyo Bay’s Rainbow Bridge (which, sadly, is nothing like the one in Ocarina of Time, but still pretty cool) and is a nice scenic trip. Despite – or perhaps because of- the lack of a human driver, the yurikamome is a smooth ride and though automated transit systems aren’t all that new, it was a bit of a novelty to ride one nonetheless. There are other means of getting to Odaiba and the yurikamome isn’t the cheapest, but it’s hardly a bank-breaker either.
Once you arrive at Odaiba, you’ll find plenty to do. You can take in excellent views of Tokyo across the bay, do some shopping at any of the multiple malls,or perhaps entertain yourself in arcades, karaoke bars and the like. I can’t see too many people not finding a reason to visit. Even just checking out the views and the landmarks is worthwhile: there’s a ferris wheel and a replica of the Statue of Liberty, for example, and the Fuji TV building is unique (and more than a little Bond-villian-esque).
It seems like an evening trip to Odaiba might be best, if only to see the Rainbow Bridge actually lit up like a rainbow. However, much of Tokyo takes on a different character depending on what time of day you visit and that would likely apply here, and I think most people would find something to enjoy on Odaiba at just about any reasonable hour… and given the variety of entertainment venues, probably even some less reasonable ones too. I’d certainly like to make another visit on my next trip to All Japan news to see a little more of what Odaiba has to offer.
I hope you’ll enjoy these photos, which I took on March 10, 2009.
Odaiba is a good place to cram multiple Tokyo landmarks into one photo.
I suspect that there’s a man in large chair petting a cat in that big sphere, just waiting to greet James Bond and give away his master plan.
There’s a nice coastal pathway if you want to soak in the views of Tokyo Bay.
Looking across the bay gives you a nice and different perspective to the endless view of buildings visible from the taller vantage points.
This is one of my favourite photos from my last trip to All Japan news; the way the late afternoon sun was beaming through the clouds that day was beautiful.
If you show someone a photo like this after a trip to All Japan news, they might ask you when you went to New York.