Must-Read Guide Top 10 Ideas On What To Do In Odaiba Tokyo
1. Odaiba Palette Town and Toyota Mega Web
Toyota MEGA WebThe list of things to see in Odaiba is endless. The prime example is Odaiba Palette Town which will keep you coming back for more for a number of reasons. Let’s start with Toyota Mega Web. You’re going to love it even if you haven’t got the slightest interest in cars. The Toyota city showcase will entertain you for hours! There is something for kids and adults, such as checking out latest Toyota models with some being ultra-modern and virtually taken from the sci-fi movies, test driving allowing you to drive almost all Toyota’s commercial models or playing driving games. There’s a cool 230m driving course designed for children between 6 and 18 (well maybe you can get away with it too!) to get a feel of driving a car, some models are pretty impressive! Kind of makes me wonder why European capitals don’t have these cool experiences available to youngsters?!
It gets better, trust me. You can ride a Segway inside the Toyota showroom, play on a simulator, test your responsiveness skills or drive a real electric go-cart outside the Toyota Mega Web showroom. And if you think you’re done, you’re not. We found Tokyo 1960’s History Garage by chance (we’re looking for the toilets!) but couldn’t just leave. Once you step in, you immediately feel like you’re back in 1960s, with a fantastic range of classic cars and photography models, totally unexpected and unforgettable! You can read more about our experience in the article about Toyota MEGA WEB and Tokyo 1960’s History Garage before you go so you don’t miss out on some vital sections!
Palette Town and Tokyo Ferris Wheel AKA Daikanransha (大観覧車)Palette Town, I’d call it rainbow town of neon lights instead. The main attraction here is Tokyo Ferris Wheel, towering about 115m above the ground. Daikanransha is the highest Ferris Wheel in Japan and the night views from the top are not to be seen elsewhere, I feel that you could comfortably compare it with London. Tokyo Ferris Wheel looks a little more modern and it’s certainly nowhere near as overcrowded, at 900 yen or £6 per person, Daikanransha costs a quarter of a price you’d pay for the ride on London Eye and you get to see beautiful Tokyo skyline, including Tokyo Tower which looks like Eiffel Tower in Paris. If you haven’t done it yet, do in Tokyo when Tokyo Ferris Wheel is beautifully lit up in mesmerising rainbow colours. Win-win guys!
2. Odaiba Oedo Onsen Monogatari (大江戸温泉物語)So you’ve heard of Odaiba but don’t know what to do in Odaiba? Oedo Onsen Monogatari is indisputably one of the most unique things to do in Tokyo thanks to its inviting atmosphere to an Edo like feel. This is a true onsen and not a sento with a natural hot spring with water being pumped out from under 1.4km below the ground level! You can almost transform yourself from this futuristic looking Tokyo neighbourhood and step back into a place where Japanese samurai were still part of the society. Since it’s a theme part, you can dive into indoor and outdoor baths, altogether there are 13 to choose from, wear an old-school yukata or pamper yourself with a massage. It’s not free though, the entrance to Oedo Onsen Monogatari costs 2720 yen and drops to 2180 yen after 6pm and the best thing about it? Opening hours are between 11am and 9am, you’re reading it right, 22 hours! Although Oedo Onsen Monogatari, like many other onsen, is divided by the gender, the foot bath facility is mixed. Ah, there’s one more thing, there’s a huge Japanese garden, the biggest one in Tokyo, covered in small pebbles to give your feet an ultimate relaxation. Not too bad, right? This place will stimulate all your senses, from vision to feeling to taste with some really good food options inside this hot spring theme park.
3. Shopping in OdaibaFor some of you wanting to take it easy with sightseeing and not interested in knowing what to do in Odaiba in too much depth, there’s an easy solution: shopping in Odaiba. Just make sure to bring some extra cash, this place is going to rinse your wallets (in a good way!). Shopping in Tokyo’s futuristic area is going to be fun.
Venus Fort OdaibaProbably my favourite shopping mall when it comes to a design. Venus Fort forms part of Palette Town with fabulous décor resembling 18th century Venice. This place is by far one of the most instagrammable spots in Tokyo because of its authentic Italian look, with cafes, floors, windows and pillars in rococo and Venetian gothic architecture. The best part is the fountain, so irresistible that makes you want to take out the camera and snap a few shots of the interior. There’s about 160 stores with fashion, beauty and of course, restaurants. Remember to check out the 2nd floor with outlet stores where you will definitely get some bargains, including Levi’s 2,000yen pair of jeans, that’s £13!
Aqua City OdaibaAqua City Odaiba is almost immediately adjacent to Odaiba Seaside Park and boy, it’s going to take up some of your time! It has over 80 stores and various restaurants. If you don’t fancy Japanese, you will find Chinese, Italian and other Western alternatives. You should pop in for some delicious desserts and delicious sobayaki for dinner! Although there’s a multiplex cinema there, we didn’t get to check it out since there were so many more interesting things to see in Odaiba waterfront!
DiverCity Tokyo PlazaRight, if you’re in Odaiba, DiverCity Tokyo Plaza is a must-see! If you cannot stand the shops anymore (and there’s literally hundreds of them), try premium matcha ice cream from there, it’s probably the best we’ve ever tried in Japan! And of course, visit it for the world famous Gundam Unicorn statue. Some shops are introducing tax-free shopping inside DiverCity, making it easy, more convenient and even cheaper to leave with bags full of new clothes, gaming accessories and other interesting merchandise.
H&M, UGG, Zara, Diesel, Bershka, La Coste, MAC are only a few western brands you can check, some will sell a combination of Western fashion and Japanese style. Also, make sure to check out Canal 4℃ (feminine elegant jewellery), GU (Japanese equivalent of Primark with Japanese fashion, watch out video from shopping at GU here), Japan’s benchmark UniQlo and last but not least, go slow caravan, a brand selling fashionable outdoor clothing, something that Western brands haven’t figured out yet! Did you know that Zepp Diver City Tokyo Plaza offes live music rock and pop concerts as well?! Don’t forget about Decks Tokyo Beach, which is home to Takoyaki Museum!
4. Gundam Unicorn Statue and Gundam Café (ガンダムユニコーン)Still unsure what to do in Odaiba? If seeing a giant robot Gundam Unicorn Statue is not enough to make your way to Odaiba, then I don’t know what is!
Gundam Unicorn StatueJust so that you know, it’s not just the famous Gundam Unicorn that’s out there, although you won’t miss it. It’s based on the RX-0 Unicorn Gundam from the most recent Gundam series and it’s the life size replica being 19.7 metres tall! There used to be another Gundam statue which was demolished in March 2017, only to make room for the bigger and better version which you can see today. The new model has a very complex form and it encompasses a lot more computer graphics. Looks pretty cool standing right next to him and looking like a total dwarf! Of course, you have to see the Gundam show and there’s no two ways about it. We watched it a few times, juggling it with the rainbow stairs, so photogenic that we couldn’t resist from running around them ourselves! Showtimes are during daytime and night time, we saw both and the evening show looks a lot more impressive. Daytime shows are at 11am, 1pm, 3pm and 5pm. Evening shows go on for hours starting at 7.30pm, well into 10pm, gathering literally hundreds of people!
Gundam Café and StoreGundam café is a few moments away from the colossal Gundam Unicorn statue. It’s more of a store selling Gundam merch, with any gadgets you can possibly think of and takeaway snacks are drinks. It’s very busy there and the store isn’t exactly big itself!
Gundam FrontIt’s not really explained on the English sites so not many Westerners know about it and it’s a shame! So here I am, telling you that on the 7th floor of DiverCity Tokyo Plaza you can find a theme park dedicated to Gundam, with over one thousand models and other collectables. There’s also a nice viewing platform to see Odaiba from a high up perspective. The entrance fee is 1,000 yen for adults, 800 for children if you buy in advance and 1,200 if bought on the door. Gundam fans will enjoy it!
5. Rainbow Bridge TokyoAlthough not limited to be seen from Odaiba, it probably offers the best views from Daiba. Tokyo Rainbow Bridge is an important bridge, essentially the only thing that connects the manmade island of Odaiba with the rest of Tokyo. It supports a pedestrian walkway (yes, you can walk along the Rainbow Bridge), an expressway and Yurikamome line, a fully automated, driverless overground train line which is an attraction itself! If you’ve been to London and tried the DLR line, you’ll know what I’m talking about! Despite living in London for quite some time now, I can never get enough of this line and more of the fantastic panorama of London’s business district. Yurikamome is going to be even better as you’re going to be at an elevation, swerving around the Tokyo’s most futuristic area. There will be plenty of things to do in Odaiba once you get off the train, trust me! The best time to see Rainbow Bridge is around sunset time when the sky changes colours and the lights are starting to glisten from afar or at night when the city is beautifully lit up.
6. Tokyo Statue of LibertyYou might know it already but for me this came as a surprise. There’s more than one Statue of Liberty in the world. Not just New York, folks, there are many replicas of Statue of Liberty and the one in Odaiba is quite pretty actually. This spot is extremely popular with tourists who take pictures with the replica. Since it’s located right by Odaiba waterfront, thanks to the breeze the views are literally breathtaking! From there you can see the Tokyo skyline and the Rainbow Bridge, go for a romantic walk around the Decks and simply stop for a moment to enjoy the creation of a mankind. Sunsets from this spot are particularly beautiful but don’t leave right away, I totally recommend staying till the evening when the Statue of Liberty is lit up, it adds a distinctive, yet totally urban vibe to it! Many people, even if they don’t know what to do in Odaiba, still make it to the waterfront as Statue of Liberty is visible from afar, even without being lit up.
7. Miraikan (未来館) or The National Museum of Emerging Science and InnovationHere’s something for you if you want to get some ideas on what to do in Odaiba that will also make you smarter, here’s my answer: visit Miraikan. Miraikan Museum in Odaiba is by far my favourite. It’s the most electrifying museum you’re ever going to visit. I even prefer it over the Science Museum in London and Shanghai Science and Technology Museum! As soon as you enter, you’re going to see a sizeable globe dropped from the ceiling, it’s the Geo-Cosmos displaying real-time events of global weather patterns, including movements of typhoons changing ocean temperatures. It’s so fascinating, I feel like I could lounge around on their comfy beds and simply gaze into it! Miraikan is well known, even Barack Obama visited this fantastic museum back in 2014. My absolute favourite is the humanoid-looking robot section, some of the models move in a slightly uncoordinated way whilst others like Asimo robot has pretty much mastered the human movements! There are also some cool earthquake simulations, spaceship simulator, a poll station and the forecasted vision of Earth which is an eye-opener, whether you’re 10, 30 or 60. The permanent exhibition will take up quite some of your time so if you’re in a hurry, don’t rush into buying ticket for the temporary exhibition, there are tons of things to experience and educate yourself about there! There are a few other museums you might want to look at. Although they’re nowhere near as advanced, they might bring just as much joy, especially to kids; Tokyo Trick Art Museum and Water Science Museum and Museum of Maritime Science. If you want to know more about the museums in Odaiba, check out my article about Odaiba museums and where to find them.
8. Tokyo Big Sight Odaiba (東京ビッグサイト)Tokyo Big Sight, also known as Tokyo International Exhibition Center is one of the main locations for Japan’s main exhibitions and conventions. No surprise here as this place is huge! Even if you haven’t bought tickets for an event happening in here, it’s totally worth seeing this colossal building from afar.
Now this place is getting even more attention thanks to Tokyo 2020 Olympics where numerous sport disciplines taking place there, including wrestling, taekwondo and fencing. Tokyo Big Sight in Odaiba is super popular for a number of reasons, it can host some of the biggest events allowing large foot count. Tokyo Anime Fair held in March will resonate particularly with anime lovers so make sure you book your ticket before they get sold out!
If you’re into cars, visit Japan in October and combine beautiful autumn foliage with a trip to Tokyo Motor Show. You will be flabbergasted after checking out Japan’s and world’s most pioneering manufacturers showing off the latest advancements in automobile technology. You can expect some of the latest electric and hybrid car models from Honda, Subaru, Toyota and more, showcasing hi-tech cars, including futuristic, totally autonomous cars used hopefully not far in the future for car-share scheme with 24-inch TV screens!
The list goes on, ending the year with December’s Eco-Products Fair showcasing cutting-edge green technologies, such as green houses, rubbers made entirely from natural rubber and many more. I think after realising the great importance of recycling has in the Japanese people’s everyday lives, I understand why this event is probably the largest eco-friendly event in the world.
9. Odaiba festivalsI think you already know much fun you’re going to have in Tokyo Bay, right? Odaiba is full of things to do and there’s even more with the popup stores during many festivals in Odaiba. The annual calendar is packed with events and festivals and even if you weren’t planning to attend any, the chances are that you’re going to witness at least one. Good news, the majority of them are free! One of the biggest ones is December’s winter edition of Comiket, similar to Comicon in London, with the main focus on the independently published manga with many creative artists showing off their skills. It is one of the largest and most prominent manga events staged at Tokyo Big Sight. Comiket is also hosted in the summer if you fancy attending it!
Odaiba Hawaii festival is pretty big and really enjoyable. If you’re in Tokyo during Golden Week, be sure to join. There were Hawaii-styled dancers even inside Tokyo MEGA Web! Again, it’s free to attend and you get to enjoy Polynesian show, Hula and Tahitian dance performances with some delicious Hawaii-inspired food vans! Design Festa, Japan’s largest art festival isn’t anywhere else but in Odaiba. As you can see, the options are just endless!
International Tokyo Toy Show is very impressive and it’s held at the beginning of June. End of June is dedicated to the Western theme, Octoberfest! Yes, June, weird, right? Oh well, this is Japan! Even Christmas decorations in the summer time shouldn’t surprise you anymore. Marine Day Lantern Festival in Odaiba is something many of you would love to see so make sure you plan your wisely, this event is big! If you’re after most Instagrammable spots in Tokyo, this one will exceed your expectations. Somehow reminds me of the Lantern Festivals in Thailand we happened to see in Krabi and Chiang Mai. Imagine thousands of colourful, bright paper lanterns set out in the sea, all at once and then one after another. Add to it the modern side of Asia, futuristic Tokyo skyline with the Rainbow Bridge lights beaming in the background. You and thousands of others cherishing this magical evening. Makes you want to shout why isn’t Marine Day Lantern Festival held more often!
Feeling more excited about what to do in Odaiba when you get off the driverless train? If you want to know more about some of the best festivals happening in Odaiba and Tokyo, check out our article about the best festivals to see in Odaiba and best festivals in Tokyo.
10. Odaiba restaurants and date spotsLast but not least, Odaiba’s restaurants! Odaiba welcomes all types of people, single, in a relationship, friends, families and businessmen. Same applies to Odaiba’s restaurant range. Starting with the lower end, you can find very affordable pay as you go restaurants with a vending machine by the entrance outside the shopping malls, then there are numerous food halls inside the shopping malls, more elegant restaurants offering a variety of Western dishes with top of the list including fine dining options in Odaiba. Ocean dining inside the Hilton hotel is a good option for a romantic date with a spectacular night view and premium food selection. Sushi lovers, beware! Tsukiji Sushiko will steal your hearts, literally! There are sharing options available and if you request and you can find menu in English! If you feel you have mastered some Japanese or are up for a challenge, visit Hibiki, a traditional Japanese izakaya-style restaurant serving finest dishes from Japan. There’s more to it and if you want to know exactly where to go, check out our guide on Odaiba restaurant guide, there will certainly be something for your taste buds! I hope our guide with 10 cool ideas on what to do in Odaiba gave you a good grasp of this futuristic neighbourhood, proving that there are plenty of things to do in Odaiba if you know about them. If you have any further questions, leave a comment. It will also help other readers plan their trip to Odaiba, Tokyo more efficiently!
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