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Published: September 7th 2013
Have you ever wondered what a futuristic city would look like?
My first trip to Odaiba was in 2004, during my second visit to Tokyo. A smallish island just across from Tokyo bay, i still remember my first trip here. I took the Yurikamome monorail from Shidome (or Shimbashi) station to Daiba station to begin my journey. The trip took approximately 15 - 20 minutes and costs about ¥700 per person round trip.
in 2004 when I first went across the rainbow bridge on the monorail it felt like something out of Astro boy or galaxy express. As the futuristic Fuju TV building comes into view you feel as if you are transported into another time. As you exit the station you can't help but be marvelled by the sheer grandness of the steel, glass and shimmer of the building. As I visited again in 2013, the effect was still the same. Eight years later however, Odaiba has grown into its own little private oasis. A massive convention centre (Tokyo Big Sight), several more monorail stops, beautifully designed condos, all set within a tranquil modern setting. I can see where the manga writers get their inspiration from.
started at the Tokyo Big sight convention centre and walked along the promenade to the Stream of Starlight Ferris wheel. The Toyota city car showroom is also situated here where you can see how Japan continues to embrace eco friendly new cars.
There is a new gigantic mall (Venus Fort) which is Italian themed to old Italy. As much as the mall is nice, it feels out of place. It would have been awesome to have something more futuristic and modern, like a manga theme instead. Continue along the central promenade and you will get a view of some other architectural wonders such as sky scrapers, the telecom building and of course the science and technology museum.
Just pass the telecom centre, there is a wonderful Onsen (hot spring) which is supposed to be a throwback to historical Japan. (See my Onsen blog for that story).
As we made our way back to Daiba station we were in luck as there was a Gundam exhibit during complete with a Gundam cafe😃. This is Tokyo. A life sized battle robot keeping a watchful eye over the humans is as normal as seeing cars in the parking lot. Amazing.
Make sure you take a stroll down the newer concourse sections towards the statue of liberty and rainbow bridge. At night you will get some specular pictures when the bridge is lit up and the ferries are in the harbour. Take a stroll down the steps near the beach to get some close up shots.
Like anywhere in Tokyo, food is plentiful. You will never be more than a few blocks from convenience stors and resturants. Try the food hall at Divercity mall. The 7th floor haas Somme great Japanese favourites such as Katsu (cutlet) where's you can get seafood and other meat.
My top tips for travellers to Odabia:
1) Plan at least half day, preferably afternoon and during a week day is best.
2) Visit the Onsen but make sure it's the last thing you do as it will make you completely relaxed
3) Take a peek at the Toyota car showroom
4) Have at least one meal in a Japenese food hall
For more information check out: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3008.html
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