THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO ODAIBA- THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN ODAIBA

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Odaiba is usually what you think of when you hear about Tokyo’s manmade islands. The area was originally developed as a bunch of barrier islands to help protect Tokyo from a sea invasion. Today, it’s a well-known shopping and entertainment district with several large malls.


What is Odaiba known for?


Whether you’re meeting with friends, going on a date, or heading out with your family, Odaiba is known as a great location to visit on the weekend. Unlike most of Tokyo, the area was specifically designed with a lot of people in mind. Expect wider walkways, larger roadways, and large buildings.

 

It’s home to the renowned Gundam Statue, a Statue of Liberty replica, the famous Fuji TV Building, Tokyo Big Site, and more!

 

Pro Tip: Because of its popularity as a tourist destination, Odaiba can get very crowded on the weekends. Going on a weekday is probably your best bet to avoid hordes of shoppers unless you don’t mind things being a little busy.


How Do You Get to Odaiba?


Visitors to Odaiba have a handful of routes to get to the island. If you’re interested in visiting by train, you can take:

 

  • The Yurikamome Line
  • The Rinkai Line

 

The Yurikamome Line runs from Shimbashi Station and Toyosu Station. It’s primarily above ground, offering a more scenic route across the Rainbow Bridge. The Rinkai Line has cheaper fares, but is completely underground. The line itself runs from Shin-Kiba Station to Osaki Station, but the company has several partnerships that offer direct service from Kawagoe, Omiya, and Shinjuku.

 

While you have a choice between the two train companies, you should keep in mind that the train lines don’t technically intersect. This means that you may need to walk a bit if you have a specific destination in mind. The main three stations are Daiba, Tokyo Teleport, and Tokyo Big Sight.

If you’re looking to do something a little bit different and don’t mind walking, you can actually walk across the Rainbow Bridge. The closest stations are both on the Yurikamome Line, but walking to Odaiba via the bridge from Tamachi station (served by the Keihin-Tohoku and Yamanote lines) takes about 45 minutes.

 

Another less common method of visiting Odaiba is by boat. If you want to include a day excursion to Odaiba during your time in Tokyo, you should consider combining Asakusa and Odaiba in your plans. There’s a direct cruise between the two areas along the Sumida River that takes about 70 minutes. You can learn more about that here!


What are the best things to do in Odaiba?


This will really depend on your individual preferences. However, you probably want to keep in mind that aside from a handful of things, Odaiba is going to cost money!


See science fiction come to life with the Gundam Statue!

 

This full-sized Gundam Unicorn replica doesn’t actually fly through space, but it’s still quite awesome to behold. While the statue doesn’t move like the anime version, there are a few “transformation” showings a day and each lasts about 10 seconds. If you stay a bit later, there are several different night time performances that include music and video.

 

Check their website for more information!


Marvel the Rainbow Bridge at night!

 

It might not be what most people consider a big tourist attraction but the Rainbow Bridge is an iconic part of Tokyo’s skyline. At night, both it and Tokyo Tower are fully illuminated. Snapping a photo is recommended, particularly if the skies are clear!


Enjoy the view from the Palette Town Ferris wheel, Daikanransha!

 

When it opened its gates in 1999, Daikanransha was the world’s tallest Ferris wheel. It has since lost that a few times over, but it still offers a lovely view of Odaiba and Tokyo. Daikanransha is fully illuminated at night, so it’s quite nice to look at even if you don’t want to ride.

 

A little warning though: the ride can be quite popular during peak tourism periods, so you may want to plan your trip accordingly. It’s open year-round, but there are occasional closures for maintenance or inclement weather.

 

Check their website for more information!


Discover your love for the sea at the Museum of Maritime Science!

 

If you enjoy feats of engineering or boating, you should definitely check out this museum! Among its collection are an Antarctic research vessel, experimental diving vessels, wooden fishing boats, and lighthouses! Oh, and the craziest part is the museum itself is shaped like a ship.

 

Check their website for more information.


Relax at one of Japan’s largest hot spring theme parks, Ooedo-Onsen Monogatari!

 

Half-resort, half-amusement park, Ooedo-Onsen Monogatari is sure to be fun for friends and family alike. You can partake in Japan’s (in)famous hot spring culture in an open air bath or perhaps just go for a footbath. They offer traditional games and several types of Japanese cuisine for those interested in a more engaged visit. You can book a room too!

 

Check their website for more information!


Megaweb TOYOTA City Showcase

 

While this is technically a showcase for Toyota’s fleet of cars, there’s actually a bit to do here! You can learn about their current lineup of cars or look at new technologies pioneered by Toyota. There’s a historic garage that was some of Toyota’s classic cars. If you’re more hands-on, there’s a Go-kart course as well as smaller vehicles for families with children to enjoy.

 

Furthermore, you’re welcome to text drive your favorite Toyota model on a 1.3 km long course. You’ll need to have either a Japanese Driver’s License or an International Driver’s Permit to do it though!

Check out their website for more information!


Live the Otaku Dream by Visiting Comiket at Tokyo Big Sight!

Comiket is renown among fans of Japanese culture as the mecca of anime conventions. It’s crowded, with as many as 200,000 attendees each day, and is definitely not for the faint of heart. The convention takes place at Tokyo Big Sight, which is Japan’s largest convention center. And it has to be, considering the population of a city crams into its doors for a few days a year.

Check out the Comiket website for more information! Just interested in Tokyo Big Sight? Learn more here.


Where to Shop in Odaiba?


Odaiba has several large malls to choose from. Each has its own set of stores, but most major brands and shops are represented between them!


DECKS Tokyo Beach

 

In addition to their varied shops, DECKS Tokyo Beach also has a few neat attractions that visitors can experience. Among their current offerings, they have a takoyaki museum and a “trick art” museum that has a lot of photo opportunities. DECKS is also the location of LEGOLAND Discovery Center Tokyo.

 

For more information, please check out their website.


AQUA CiTY ODAIBA

 

With seven floors, this mall is packed to the brim with shopping opportunities. Their rooftop features Weber Grill, a unique restaurant that lets you rent a charcoal grill. You can buy food from their selection or bring your own! AQUA CiTY also has a ramen section for those interested in trying a few different flavors of Japanese ramen.

 

For more information, check out their website!


DiverCity Tokyo Plaza

 

Along with the various chains, DiverCity has a slightly stronger focus on entertainment. They offer bowling, VR experiences, and a rooftop skate park. If you’re looking for a dose of quirky, the Unko Museum (that’s “Poop” Museum) will probably make you laugh. Finally, DiverCity is also home to the famous Gundam statue, as well as a Gundam café.

 

For more information, check out their website!


Venus Fort

 

This mall’s gimmick is that it’s styled like old Rome. It has an open-air feel despite being completely indoors. Despite looking super trendy and upscale, Venus Fort still has a lot of shops geared toward families. It also features an outlet section.

 

For more information, check out their website!


Where do I stay in Odaiba?

 

Because of its proximity to Haneda Airport and central Tokyo, there aren’t any budget accommodation options. However, there are a few hotels and resorts.


Hilton Tokyo Odaiba

 

As a five-star hotel, the Hilton Tokyo Odaiba is great for tourists with a little extra cash to spend. The proximity to the water means that rooms with a view of the Rainbow Bridge and Tokyo Tower are an option. The Hilton is within easy walking distance of the river cruise dock.

 

They also have a partnership with Tokyo Disneyland that provides a bus from the hotel.

Address: 1-9-1 Daiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo 135-8625

Phone: +81 (0)3 5500-5500

For more information, check out their website!


Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba

 

The Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba has just four stars, but is a bit taller than its neighbor, the Hilton. As such, higher rooms will still offer a great view of Tokyo or the Tokyo Bay.

Address: 2-6-1 Daiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo 135-8701

Phone: +81 (0)3 5500-6711

For more information, check out their website!


Tokyo Bay Ariake Washington Hotel

 

The name is a bit of a mouthful, but this three-star hotel is one of the closest you’ll get to a “budget” accommodation on Odaiba. Like the Hilton, they offer a Tokyo Disneyland shuttle service and they specifically offer a family room. This is also the closest hotel to Tokyo Big Sight.

 

Address: 3-7-11 Ariake, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-0063

Phone: +81 (0)3 5564-0111

For more information, check out their website!


Where do I eat in Odaiba?


There are probably hundreds of restaurant options on Odaiba. Each mall has a cafeteria as well as individual eateries.


Explore various takoyaki flavors at the Takoyaki Museum!

 

Even if the idea of eating octopus turns you off, I highly recommend giving takoyaki a try! They’re usually covered in sauce and bursting with flavor. This place in particular offers a wide variety of flavors, so it should be fun for first-timers and veterans alike! It’s located inside DECKS Tokyo Beach.

 

Address: 1-6-1 Daiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo 135-0091

Phone: +81 (0)3 3599-6500

For more information, check out their website!


Indulged in some Fine Dining at Teppanyaki HAMAYU!

 

Looking for that perfect wagyu experience? Consider visiting Teppanyaki HAMAYU located inside of the Grand Nikko Tokyo Odaiba hotel. Professional chefs with cook your food to perfection right in front of you! This restaurant also offers a lovely view of the Tokyo skyline.

 

Keep in mind, however, that wagyu comes at a price. You’ll probably be looking at a minimum of 15,000 yen/person for dinner! Lunch is about half the cost.

 

Address: 2-6-1 Daiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo 135-8701

Phone: +81 (0)3 5500-4550

For more information, check out their website!


Get some Kill Bill Vibes from Gonpachi Odaiba!

This small izakaya chain is known for being used a set model for Kill Bill vol:1 and will certainly not disappoint! It’s located in the AQUA CiTY shopping complex. Enjoy all sorts of Japanese-style pub dishes, including tempura, soba, and yakitori. The prices are pretty reasonable, so dinner here won’t break the bank.

 

Address: 1-7-1 Daiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo 135-0091

Phone: +81 (0)3 3599-4807

For more information, check out their website!


Looking for Vegetarian or Halal Options? Try Khazana!

When most people think about Japan, they don’t usually think about Indian food. This restaurant is located in DECKS Tokyo Beach though and offers vegetarian and halal cuisine. Plus the naan is so delicious! They often run a lunch special too.

 

Address: 1-6-1 Daiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo 135-0091

Phone: +81 (0)3 3599-6551

For more information, check out their website!


Chomp into a burger at Carl’s Jr!

 

Is this an American chain? Yes. But if you’re hankering for a saucy burger that’s bursting with flavor, look no further! This will satisfy any American’s craving for food from their home country. Unlike most chains, Carl’s Jr did their best to preserve sizing. You’ll pay a little more for your burger, but it’s definitely American-sized!

 

Their Odaiba branch is in DiverCity Tokyo Plaza.

 

Address: 1-1-10 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-0064

Phone: +81 (0)3 5579-6692

For more information, check out their website!

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