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att. Travel - Odaiba
att. Travel - Odaiba
You are here: att.JAPAN > Travel Guide > Tokyo > Odaiba
att.JAPAN Issue 6, May 2002


MapOdaiba is a newly developed multifunctional area around Tokyo Bay where you can have a good enjoyment of sightseeing, shopping, eating, entertainment, and amusement, and have a good feel of the charm of modern science and high technology. You will find that it is a real paradise for vacationers.

Rainbow Bridge at nightThe word 'Odaiba' means the 'battery' upon which large guns were once mounted. The original 'Odaiba' is a place where the Edo Shogunate built the batteries in order to fight against the Black Ships (the early American Naval ships on a mission to open the ports of Japan at the end of the Edo Period). In 1853, with the arrival of Commodore Mathew Perry, the commander of this early mission by the American Navy, six batteries were built on the inner bank of the Shinagawa River. By 1926, only two batteries remained and the area was designated a national historic site. In 1928 the Tokyo metropolitan government reproduced a third battery on the site, and made this place a national park, opening it to the public. A newly developed multifunctional town was built around this area, and is endearingly known as a paradise for those wanting to take a little vacation in close proximity. It is a place to experience the charm of the most advanced technology, make adventurous trips to the world of the future, explore a man made semi-forested beach, the thrilling rides, and spend a whole day shopping and eating in a unique and comfortable environment. It is easy and convenient to access Odaiba. There are trains, buses and water buses (ferries) available. If you go by train, first make your way to Shimbashi Station. Once there, transfer to the Tokyo New Transit Yurikamome Monorail. It runs high above the ground, giving you a good view of the magnificent scenery throughout the trip. In about two or three minutes of the journey, you will see piers and warehouses lined up along Tokyo Bay. Following that is the famous Rainbow Bridge spanning beautifully across Tokyo Bay. The Rainbow Bridge is a huge multifunctional bridge Fuji Television Network buildingupon which rail lines, highway and pedestrian traffic run. The scene spreads out forever, showing the everyday bustling scene of ships harboring and making wake. Cars, buses, and trains run across the 'Rainbow,' and airplanes hover against the blue sky. When seen in the evening, the Rainbow Bridge is illuminated and looks like a huge rainbow across the sky with its reflection in the water below. The vehicles running along it look like shooting stars dashing through, and the illuminated revolving ferris wheel in the distance is like a giant magic wheel suspended in mid-air as if guarding Tokyo Bay. A ten-minute ride will take you to an area where you will be surprised by a smaller replica of the Statue of Liberty like the original in New York Harbor. It welcomes you to Odaiba. Keep an eye out for the unique Fuji Television Network building and its global observatory. It is one of many landmark architectures of the area. Odaiba houses a great number of commercial, entertainment, and amusement facilities, shopping centers, restaurants, and science museums.

There are free Bay Shuttle buses conveniently taking you to all the corners of Odaiba, no less than free of charge. Odaiba Welcome Card is available for foreign visitors, and it is valid for one year from the day of issue. Using the Welcome Card, will allow you free admissions to some facilities and special discounts or services at most other facilities including transportation.

Giant Sky Wheel (Palette Town)Decks Tokyo Beach is a multifunctional 'wonderland' for shopping, eating and amusement. It was built in July, 1996, taking the shape of ship decks, hence the name. The Seaside Shopping Mall faces the Tokyo Bay, giving you a good view of the bay on the 'decks' while you enjoy shopping. A new building called 'Island Mall' was built beside it in December, 2000, which houses 59 different shops, 19 restaurants and many other facilities. Decks Tokyo Brewery, born in 1996, makes beer of the purest taste right before your eyes, and you can also enjoy various cuisines of many foreign countries here. Odaiba Little Hong Kong is located on the 6th and 7th floors of Decks Tokyo Beach's new building where the streets, restaurants and shops are vivid replicas of those in Hong Kong. The shops' products, ingredients in restaurants, and almost everything else is directly from Hong Kong. You can really have a good shop and enjoy the real Hong Kong taste in a realistic Hong Kong! Decks Tokyo Beach also houses a very large amusement center called Joypolis where you can enjoy thrilling high speed rides, sky diving, interesting fortune telling, and popular movies like the 'Morning Musume' (or Morning Girls).

Aqua City is another multifunctional entertainment and shopping center in Odaiba which houses more than 70 various restaurants, more than 80 different shops, and a huge multimedia amusement center Mediage. On its 4th floor there is a Tezuka Osamu World Art Square where you can enjoy and buy most of the famous Japanese cartoonist Tezuka Osamu's works. Mediage is located in 1/3 of the Aqua City building, and houses a huge 13 screen multiplex, the city's largest, and the attractions "Star Adventure," and "Mission: Refreshment." There are also shops and various restaurants, Sony Plaza, and 'hanashibe' (long standing shops selling original tradtional goods unique to old Kyoto). Here in Aqua City you can have an entertaining time at the movies and enjoy a day of shopping and eating.

National Museum of Emerging Science and InnovationVenus Fort is a huge, unique shopping center for ladies. Its setting takes place in an 18th century Italian, South France street and plaza. The ceiling's unique design changing every 2 hours from blue sky, sunset, to evening sky, together with the fountain in the main hall, bring you to a really romantic world. There are more than 160 different fashion and beauty shops, various restaurants, cafes, and many other facilities. It can be called a theme park for ladies. Sunwalk is an 8-meter wide, 170-meter long shopping paradise for families in the 21st century, who's stores sell almost every household and daily use product like bed, clothing, interior decoration, sports, children's ware, and even pet goods. There are also many different restaurants and cafes among the shops where you can have a good relaxing while enjoying wonderful foods of different flavors after shopping.

Other attractions in Palette Town include the ferris wheel, and Mega Web, a multimedia car amusement and exhibition center operated by Toyota. Also in Palette Town is a multifunctional performance hall featuring world famous artists, the Maritime Science and Future Science museums. You can find just about anything imaginable. Go take your own tour of Odaiba, and share this enchanted world with all your friends and family.

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