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.)

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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.)

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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?
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A fake Statue of Liberty?
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A building which appears to have sprouted its own giant ball?
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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.)

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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.)

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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!

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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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