Last updated March 2016
This is one of my favorite places in Tokyo. A large claimed land from the sea, built only for leisure; depending on the area, it can be quiet or boisterous.
You can arrive from Shinagawa (west) and Koto (east), but these areas do are not interesting for tourists. Almost all visitors will access via the Rainbow Bridge, a bridge that I love because of the 360° turn, decorative and absolutely unnecessary, in the west end. In good weather, pedestrian and cycle paths are opened from 9 to 21pm from April to October or until 18pm the rest of the year; those I was looking forward to go the last time I went, but they were closed because of bad weather. You can go by car, bus or taxi, but usually you’ll be coming by monorail. The station is Shinbashi (Yurikamome Line), the price varies according to the destination station in Odaiba, the minimum is 320 ¥ one way. It’s a 15 minutes ride and the views are really worthwhile.
Close to Shinbashi, in Hinode station you can take old style ferries to Odaiba for less than ¥ 500 one way. They have connections upstream to Asakusa.
WHERE TO BUY AND EAT
The question should be, where not to buy or eat. In Odaiba there is a shopping center every 300 meters, with more shops and restaurants that you can visit.
WHERE TO STAY
As an entertainment area, few people stay or reside there. At the east end there are apartment, but the rentals are scarce. There are few hotels (only 5), all of them 4 or 5 stars, but in low season usually offer substantial discounts, sometimes even higher than 50%.
AREAS OF INTEREST
Tokyo Big Sight (Kokusai Tenjijo Seimon). An exhibition center that looks like a spaceship. It is the largest one in Japan. Inside it is even bigger, looks like an airport. The last time I was there, it was the Manga and Anime of Tokyo, indescribable.
The next building west is the Tokyo Fashion Building, one of the malls in Odaiba.
Crossing the bridge we get to Palette Town, another large shopping and entertainment complex. Highlights include:
- Venus Fort: a mall inspired in the XXVIII century Europe.
- The Toyota Mega Web: everything that exists from Toyota is here.
- And the Ferris wheel. It is known that a ferris wheel rises the cache of any entertainment area.
To the southwest you’ll find the arched building Panasonic Center, and close to it, the Ooedo Onsen Monogatari. This onsen is supplied with thermal water from 1400 meters deep. It tries to recreate a great traditional onsen in a natural area; although it is quite artificial, it’s a good job considering where it is placed. There are even inner rooms that recreate Japanese buildings from the Edo period. Open daily from 11 am until 9 am the next day. It costs ¥ 2,480. There are restaurants and accommodation (¥ 2,000 extra). As in every onsen, tattooed customers are not allowed.
Immediately north is the National Museum of Emerging Science (Miraikan). Open from 10 to 17h, closed on Tuesdays, ¥ 620. Highlights are displays of robots. In this area is also the Museum of Maritime Science. It is closed for renovation, but ships can be visited for free.
Divercity Tokyo Plaza. Another mall, with a great attraction, the life-size statue of Gundam.
Immediately behind is the weirdest building in Odaiba, Fuji TV Building. There are exhibits, only for Fuji TV geeks. You can get on the sphere, which is an observatory.
And the last mall is Aquacity. In its top floor there is a ramen theme park, where you can taste all kinds.
All the north shore of Odaiba facing Tokyo is a large park. It is the favorite area of all visitors, among whom I include myself, to walk and running. The city views are magnificent, especially at night.
Being a leisure area, there are frequent concerts, parades and some other spectacles.