United States of Odaiba?: Tokyo Bay

Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn Bridge are both iconic landmarks that symbolizes New York, so I find it uncanny that Tokyo has somehow find a way to incorporate both on the man-made island of Odaiba. Well, any city in the world has a popular bridge so this one is acceptable but with Lady Liberty in the area, hmmm… that’s uniquely Big Apple.

Reaching the place is an adventure itself. You can either take the Water Bus, the automated monorail- Yurikamome or if you fancy an exercise a 30-45 minutes walk is possible. By train and by boat choices will allow you to view from afar the main attraction- Rainbow Bridge, but the walking option will take you inside the bridge itself (popular for photography enthusiast). If you go for the train option, make sure that you are siting at the front most area for the best view. Most likely your Odaiba leisure day will start at Odaiba Kaihinkoen station where the popular shopping malls-  AquaCity and Decks are located. In front of both malls is the Seaside Park where you can sit in one of the benches read a paperback or go fishing. But most first-time visitors normally spend a good few minutes in the park for one mission- photo opt with Statue of Liberty replica and Rainbrow Bridge in one frame.

Few minutes walk from the park is the headquarters of Fuji Television.  Every weekend the TV station has several promotional activities that usually draws crowd. For a 1,500 Yen all in one access, you can visit several floors that showcase the pride programs of the station including a chance to be inside the iconic sphere dome (600 yen for dome only access). The station mascot Rufukun can be mistaken for Snoopy and I assume that most of the top shows are anime as most of the offered activities are for kids.

Walking is always an option in Odaiba but if you are tired, Yurikamome line has stations conveniently located at every places to visit.  You can find Palette Town at the Aomi Station, which includes 18th Century European styled mall- Venus Fort, giant Ferris Wheel and Toyota Mega Web for the latest car models, accessories and some activities for the kids. Next station is Kokusai Tenjon Seimon where there is really nothing interesting to see (Tokyo Big Sight and Panasonic Center). Two of my most memorable Japan experience so  far is few steps away from Telecom Station-  National Science of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan) and Ooedo Onsen Monogatari (I enjoyed both so much that I decided to do separate blog entry).

Though my first impression on the area is that it looks like a Techno Park revamped to be fun place, Odaiba is a good enough alternative to the usual shopping and dining weekend in the city. It may not be as fancy as Disneyland, I am pretty sure kids will enjoy.

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