Odaiba, or rather the “Rinkai Fukutoshin” (Rainbow City) is Tokyo´s waterfront. Directly situated at the harbour, it´s a huge boulevard with hundreds of shops, shopping centers and even an indoor amusement park.
I really love Odaiba, it´s one of those places I regularily go to, beyond the hectic and noisy city limits, it´s just fun and so relaxing. At least to me. As a bonus, it will start to look wonderfully romantic and beautiful by the time of dusk. Not much of a surprise that it´s also a magnet for couples and families, too.
Especially on weekdays and in the evening hours it´s by far not as crowded as the city center. There are many shops, cafés and restaurants where you can sit down and have a chat or enjoy the view including the Rainbow Bridge. You´ll even find an sand beach section where you can settle down a bit, or head over to the “Aqua City” in order to pay the “Legoland Discovery Center,” the “Trick Art Museum” or the high tech indoor amusement park “Sega Joypolis” a visit. There´s also a huge cinema complex located in the building´s basement in case it started to rain or you just feel like watching the latest blockbuster.
How to get there:
from Shimbashi that’s really easy. Simply take the Monorail (“Yurikamome”) and get off at “Daiba.”
The 1 day ticket for the Yurikamome costs 820 Yen, for kids it´s 410 Yen. A single ticket from Shimbashi to Daiba is 320 Yen.
I can just recommend you to stay until nightfall, the sundowns are so beautiful, especially with the skyline of Tokyo in the background. Shortly afterwards, the nightly sky will be illuminated by all the reflected city lights and the Rainbow Bridge will be veiled in a symphony of lights and colors.
No, that´s not New York I am afraid ;). The picture below may look like Liberty Island, but the Statue of Liberty at Odaiba is much smaller than its American counterpart.
So welcome to Aqua City. The cubistic building to the right is the HQ of Fuji Television. There is also an observation deck available, including an amazing view over the harbour and Rainbow Bridge.
The Sega Joypolis is a cool, futuristic cyber-indoor theme park including the newest aracade games, simulators and even an roller coaster. On the three action packed floors you can fight in a “House of Dead” compartment against the Undead, run a virtual marathon at the “Burnout Running,” go down a river on a wildwater raft at the “Wild River Splash,” drive in real, hydraulically moving cars through the virtual streets of Tokyo (Initial D Stage Arcade) or just hop on some sort of Snowboard and do flips and turns in the air against other competitors. It´s so much fun!
Ticket: 500 Yen (kids : 300 Yen)
Day Pass : 3500 Yen (kids: 3100 Yen)
Day Pass (from 5am): 2500 Yen (kids: 2100 Yen)
Year Pass: 16000 Yen (kids: 12000 Yen)
10:00 am – 11:00 pm
(last admission : 10:15pm)
For some of the attractions there´s a minimum height of 90,110, 130 or 140cm required.
More information on the official Sega Joypolis site : http://sega.jp/joypolis/tokyo.html
Directly at the entrance (no ticket needed), you should try the “dippin´ dots” icecream of the future. Tastes….futuristic!
In the very same building, located on the 2nd floor, I can recommend visiting the 50´s styled retro shopping arcade , including the Tokyo Takoyaki museum.
Next to souvenirs, clothes and toys you´ll find many Japanese cult / retro brands. On the floor above, there are several bars and restaurants lined up. In the basement of the building, accessible from the outside, “Nekorama Cats Livin´” offers countless goods related to cats. You can´t really miss it, there´s a huge cat at the shops´entrance.
Crossing the Eastbound bridge, you´ll get to another shopping center, including a 1:1 Gundam robot statue.
To the right of Diver City, there´s an area where several festivals will be held at throughout the year, including the Odaiba Oktoberfest!
Tokyo Big Sight
The fair and convention center looks a bit like a pyramid turned upside down and is very popular amongst car and anime fans, as for example the famous “Comiket” is being held there each year.