Robots, rainbows and palazzos: A visit to Odaiba

Leave it to Tokyo to create an artificial island in its bay, a place where grown-ups and kids can come to play.

Giant robots? Check. This 60-foot high Gundam robot stands guard in front of DiverCity Tokyo Plaza, a shopping complex. (Gundam is a hugely popular science fiction franchise — anime, cartoons, movies, video games, etc… — featuring, you guessed it, giant robots.)


Stunning views of the Rainbow Bridge, a suspension bridge that connects Odaiba to central Tokyo? Check. (It gets its name from the way it is lit up at night.)


Palazzos in the form of a shopping mall — amusingly named Venus Fort — designed to look like an Italian town? Check.

I gave a sample in this post’s title, but let’s stretch that list of attractions you can see while in Odaiba.

How about beautiful views of Tokyo Bay?

A fake Statue of Liberty?

A building which appears to have sprouted its own giant ball?

A museum of classic cars and racing cars?

An epic showroom of modern and future Toyota Cars in a venue aptly named Toyota Mega Web?

Where you can hand keys over to your 5 year old? (Grown-ups can take a spin, in real cars, too, but that wasn’t open the day we visited.)


Octopus balls, anyone? (Think hush puppies with a delicious octopus tentacle surprise inside.) All jokes aside, they’re delicious. Odaiba has a TakoYaki Museum, inside Decks Beach Shopping Mall, dedicated to them.

You could also ride on a magnificently large Ferris wheel, one of the world’s largest. (We didn’t. But you could.)


This post is a flash-back post. We visited Odaiba back in late March when we had our three-day stay in central Tokyo. We had a blast and will need to go back to see even more. (LEGOLAND… Madame Tussauds … Beaches… And a view of the Rainbow Bridge when it is in full Technicolor rainbow-mode.)

It’s a very Japanese kind of place but America had a role in its creation. The artificial islands that the area occupies were originally built in 1853 as part of a series of defenses to protect Tokyo from attack by sea. Who were they afraid of? Commodore Matthew Perry of the United States Navy.

9 thoughts

  1. Odaiba looks amazing! I think Monkey’s eyes would be on stalks at all the robots and fun things to do. It’s reminds me so much of Las Vegas, particularly the palazzo which looks like a copy of the one in Caesar’s Palace!


  2. I highly recommend going to Odaiba during cherry blossom season. I was there at the top of April and the outside park area containing 自由の女神 was amazing.


  3. Thank you for this post, we have been out there but to Diver’s city and such haven’t seen much yet. We plan to do a weekend trip there maybe in the fall to explore.


  4. Interesting about the Statue of Liberty! The info I could find online — not much — indicated a French one was displayed for the French Year of Japan in 1998-1999 but the one on view now is a Japanese-made replica added in 2000.


  5. Technically that 「自由の女神」(Statue of Liberty) isn’t fake … it was a gift to Japan from France … just like the one in America!

    And that building with a ball is Fuji TV’s studio.


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