Japan Trip Day 2 – Odaiba Island
Today’s destination is Odaiba, a small island close to the coast with loads of entertainment. There are several museums, malls, and even a Statue of Liberty! Not sure where they got it from, and it’s small, but still an attraction. To get to Odaiba, we took the train from Bakurocho station to Shimbashi, and from there we took the Yurikamome line (a new transit line) to Odaiba island.
We didn’t really have a plan as to where to go when we first arrived. I had a map of the island with me, and it lists the attractions, and after a short discussion, we decided to walk around the whole island and just stop at whatever interests us. The island isn’t huge so it’s a viable plan, but there are a few places that are more interesting then the others.
Aqua City Odaiba
Just another shopping mall really. It’s a good place to grab a bite during lunch, but there’s nothing particularly impressive with this place. This is right next to the station we got off from, and was the first place we went to. But thinking back, it was a pretty big waste of time. Avoid it unless your sole purpose in life is to shop. And even then, there are better places to spend your money. The only good thing I got out of here is the food. Had okonomiyaki for lunch, and it was delicious, but that’s how I felt about all the okonomiyakis I ate here so only giving it a 3.5/5. It’s pretty good for something you can get at a food court though.
Status of Liberty
I’ve never seen the Statue of Liberty in New York, but this will do. It’s pretty small in comparison, and it’s just one of many replicas around the world, so you can skip this place if you want. It’s located right next to the sea in a park. It’s a good place for a stroll, but again, it’s just a park. I was actually surprised by the amount of major parks in Tokyo, and they’re far more entertaining than the one on Odaiba.
Fuji TV Building
Finally, after wasting a whole morning in a mall and a park, we finally found a place worth visiting. Fuji TV is a major broadcasting network in Japan, it’s mascot is what I call a blue Snoopy. There are plenty of stores and restaurants within the building itself. The stores all sell souvenirs and toys of cartoons that are/were broadcasted on their network. At the time of our visit, One Piece and Dragon Ball Kai were the two biggest cartoons on their channel, so advertisements for those two shows were everywhere. The big ball thing you see in the picture is an observatory. There is another observatory at the other end of the island, but we didn’t bother going up there. I think the view is about the same anyways. It’s high enough to pretty much see the whole island, a must-see for sure. On the way down from the observatory, there is an exhibit of random items from various shows. It’s not very long, but it gives you an idea of what Japanese people watch on a daily basis. The only regret I had was that I could not figure out the answer to this IQ test posted in the building at the time. I’ll paste the question here. Please let me know if anyone can solve it…
The question is asking which category – A, B, or C – should the number 10 be in.
Miraikan (Future Science Museum)
Did not actually go in, but this was the place i wanted to go the most. Of all days, it just had to close on a Tuesday, and we visited on a Tuesday….
This is pretty much our last stop, but it was also the most exciting part of today’s trip. This place is huge and had more than enough things for us to do. We pretty much visited every single location in this area. There’s so much things to do, I need to break it down into sub-topics
A Venice-themed shopping mall, reminded me of Venetian the moment I stepped in. The roof changes colors as the day winds down to an end, reflecting how it looks outside. This is a much better shopping location than Aqua City Odaiba, so more reason for you to skip that other place. The highlight of this area is the anime/manga store. It’s PACKED with stuff, I mean PACKED. Each corner contains merchandise of either a manga series, anime series, or a certain mangaka. There are also some random American products, books, and even cosplay costumes. Basically it’s like a gigantic bizarre for otakus. We didn’t really buy anything, since we wanted to save that for Akihabara.
A giant ferris wheel, did not take a ride on it since it was starting to rain (and snow!) outside.
We didn’t go in, but apparently there is a Hatsune Miku concert that night. For those of you who don’t know (I sure didn’t), Hatsune Miku is the newest craze amongst Japan otakus. She’s a character in the game Project Diva, and gained enough popularity to start her own CDs, concerts, and more games. Her merchandise such as anime figurines and cups are also sold at a much higher price than any other characters at the moment. But I digress, on the day we went, the voice actress for Hatsune Miku is having a Hatsune Miku conert, apparently the first one she’s having. That’s the place was crowded like no tomorrow. Unfortunately we did not know about it, so we couldn’t get any tickets.
Toyota MEGA WEB
A Toyota car museum. There is a store in there that sells a lot of model cars. The bottom floor also have a small cafe where you can buy drinks and relax. What bugged was that the smoking and non-smoking seats were right next to each other, and were not blocked off by anything. So essentially non-smoking zone is absolutely pointless. But that seems to be the case in other places too. It’s like stores only set a side a few “non-smoking” seats maybe due to law and regulation. This is the thing that annoyed me the most.
Toyota City Show Case
More Toyota cars. I’m not knowledgeable about cars, so I was surprised to see about 5-6 different Corollas in the exhibition. Apparently cars in Japan are named differently. For example, Scion xB is called Corolla Rumion. It’s a pretty big place and it’s a good place to visit while you’re in Palette Town.
Toyota Universal Design Show Case
Showcased some interesting things like convenient tools that make people’s life easier. And there was a giant monopoly-ish game that people can play with. Only problem is that no one was there. Only one or two security guards. I think everyone else went to watch Hatsune Miku, but it was still creepy.
For dinner, we ate at a restaurant in Venus Fort. We ate something like a cross between ramen and soba. Didn’t taste very good though. 2/5.
What we decided to skip and missed:
Museum of Maritime Science – not interested in fished and boats
Joypolis – It’s like GameWorks. We wanted to go, but the price was a bit too high for us to bear. And we came across it at the beginning of the day, and we didn’t want to waste too much time in an indoor amusement park. Although we did see plenty of Japanese girls going in as we debated… yea, probably should’ve went.