- (pronounced "Oh - Die-bah") Odaiba's a man made island that went through
a radical reconstruction in the 90s to become "Tokyo Teleport Town", a showcase for futuristic living. One of its many
highlights is Rainbow Bridge (below):
- It doesn't get more japanese than this. Video arcades, rides and typical japanese scare attractions make up
this six story indoor theme park. Below are some of the highlights:
- It's a snowboarding game to the extreme. Hop on a tracked snowboard (with a buddy if you feel like
it) and fly up a halfpipe two stories in the air while working with your partner to simultaneously "kick" the board and trigger
a 360degree trick at the top of the pipe. They say it's not so easy to do the trick but it's gotta be fun just riding
up and down the track anyway, right? See the video below:
- You thought that Wii Fit was the first time the Japanese attempted workout with video
game? nah. Along with games like Dance Dance Revolution they invented games like Burnout Running where you run
on a treadmill to "race" in the Olympics. Hit the button to jump hurdles. See the video below:
Initial D - The "D" stands for drift. This video game mimics the popular anime series but
at Sega Joypolis you get the opportunity to sit in the actual cars in the anime (well ok, the real life cars that the animators
chose to use in their segments) . Anyway, a real car on a track that you get to "drift" in...pretty great. See the video
- Palette Town is a three story amusement center that's clearly marked by its greatest attraction the 377 foot (about 35 stories)
high Ferris Wheel called Daikanransha (big ferris wheel).
- Listen to easy going J-pop music while you float for 15 minutes above Tokyo, it's fairly relaxing and not
If you're in a particularly
daring mood you can request the all transparent "gondola" which looks kind of like a glass elevator.
It's called the "shee-sroo gon-doh-rah" (romanji: shisuru gondora)
(english: see-through gondola) To request this option say "shi-sroo gon-doh-rah oh-nay-guy shee-moss" (romanji:
shisuru gondora onegai shimasu) The special request will mean that you'll have to wait longer so try to go on a
weekday to avoid the crowd. *Note: we would recommend against the see-through option if you're wearing a skirt, or are
very afraid of heights* ;-)
Operating daily from 10:00 to 22:00 (until 24:00 on Fridays,
Saturdays, and days preceding holidays during the spring and summer season. Admission: 900 Yen.
MegaWeb - This Toyota showroom offers you the opportunity to test-drive
any Toyota in current production on a 2 mile track, you can also test ride (?) their electric car on the indoor
track (see video below, the car drives itself) and they have a special hybrid/pedal car for kids to test too.
Below please see a YouTube video of the electric car in action
You can check out their History
museum and check out some awesome futuristic prototypes as well.
Hours are 11a - 9p, but the test drives stop at 8p and the kids
station is closed at 6p. Admission: Free
Tokyo Leisure Land
- This 24 hour amusement area adjacent to the Ferris Wheel has several floors of arcade games,
bowling, karaoke, batting cages, pool tables, ping pong, Ninja Trick House (for kids), haunted house, darts, fishing and those
cool picture machines that are so popular in Japan. *phew*
Yes, Tokyo LeisureLand has
it all, but a small warning *Do NOT film yourself on the robots for toddlers and upload it to YouTube*
Ya, when American's go here they tend to gravitate towards
a ride aimed at toddlers. There's a robotic panda and a robotic dog big enough to ride on, it's American cousin is the
rocket that bumps up and down for a few seconds in front of a grocery store. Yes...beware the dog and panda because
apparently we LOVE it, and while it might be great while you're there and while we strongly encourage trying it,
it's probably best to not put the video up on You Tube. ;-)
Also, if you liked the robot above please try the athletic
games room. They have basketball, soccer, arm wrestling, boxing games (with gloves), and the game shown
below in the YouTube video.
It's open 24 hours a day. Admission is free and the games
are various prices.
Venus Fort - Venus Fort is basically a mall stylized as a Venetian shopping arcade and was designed
for women only. Men are allowed inside (accompanied by a woman) and we actually think they don't enforce that.
In any case, it's a beautiful mall with plenty of restaurants, cafes and interesting shops. It's worth a stroll through
while you're there, even if you're only on your way to get coffee.
They even have a Cheesecake Factory with all the...wait....what
is that? Is that just a Cheese Cake Factory? hmm... well, maybe they serve cheesecake!
Some more of the indoor architecture at Venus Fort
Fuji Television Building- This architecturally cool building in
Obaiba has areas open to the public for touring.
For English speakers, the 5th floor
Studio Promenade displays sets, items, and props from Fuji Television’s popular programs where visitors can take pictures.
The 25th floor Sphere Observation Deck features a virtual reality set where one can experience what it is like to be a newscaster
for a Fuji Television program, as well as see a spectacular 270-degree panoramic view of Tokyo!
If you can understand Japanese or fake it well enough you can
get a tour of the studio, see pic below:
Recommendation: It's not
much more than a cool building with an observation deck and a few props that you might or might not recognize, it's
probably not worth spending a whole lot of time there. That being said the photo opportunities are pretty amazing and
if you want to impress your friends with space age photos (and videos) like the ones below than you should at least swing
by and check it out.
Admission: 500 yen for adults 300 yen for children.
Tickets can be purchased at the 7th floor ticket booth.
Getting to Odaiba
the easiest way to get there is to take the Yamanote Line to Osaki station and from there transfer to the Rinkai
¥320 from Osaki to Odaiba
There are two scenic routes
to Odaiba, you can take the Tokyo Metro Ginza line to either Shimbashi (to take the Yurikamome "monorail" over Rainbow
Bridge) or Asakusa (to take the futuristic water taxi Himiko).
Cost ¥300 from
Shimbashi to Odaiba-kaihinkoen station
Himiko Water Taxi
- Please see the pictures below, this cool water taxi takes you from Asakusa (a tourist site in its own right,
please see historic places) to Odaiba in style. There are many water taxi's to Odaiba from Asakusa so please ask for
"Himiko" (pronounced Hee-mee-koh) You'd say "Hee-mee-koh Oh-nay-guy Shee-moss" (romanji: Himiko onegai shimasu")