Odaiba Again

Rainbow Bridge @ Odaiba, Tokyo (Japan)

What was once an artificial island created to deploy anti-aircraft weapons and buffer Tokyo from aerial bombardment is now one of the most family-friendly places in Tokyo.

We’ll generally visit Odaiba on our last day in Tokyo since it’s so close to the Park Hotel and we’re generally exhausted by this point in the trip. Two weeks of non-stop, dawn-til-dusk on-the-move action and we’re ready to just linger in the general vicinity of the hotel.

Statue of Liberty @ Odaiba, Tokyo (Japan)
Not that there’s much for us to do there besides shop and eat. Odaiba is basically a floating mall. Kinda like a cruise ship that never leaves port.

On Odaiba there is a Toys ‘R Us we’ve been to a few times and a Sega-themed indoor amusement park (“Joypolis”). While (officially) Japanese birth rates have plummeted, you wouldn’t think so if you visited Odaiba on a Saturday.

We wandered around Toys ‘R Us for a while because we wanted to buy the kids those cute leather backpacks you see all the schoolchildren running around with. They cost $500-650 each and is a cost normally borne by grandparents upon the child’s first day at school. We did not buy backpacks here, though we did see some cheaper ones in Harajuku.

We always stop at the cat store at Decks mall. They tend to stock a lot of beautiful purebreeds, much nicer than the mixed-types that are always on display at the big-box pet stores in America.

Odaiba, Tokyo (Japan)
The best part about Odaiba is the boardwalk and beaches. It’s still technically in Tokyo but we’re walking on the rocky shore, hearing the sounds of the ocean and enjoying the fresh sea breeze that surprisingly smells little of fish.

The Yurikamome monorail line one must take to get to Odaiba is not the most convenient (it doesn’t really go anywhere else; maybe Shimbashi?) and a bit pricier than the Tokyo Metro, probably to capitalize on the family audiences in attendance. If nothing else, it’s worth the price of admission in its entertainment value alone; a ride on the Yurikamome takes you over the Rainbow Bridge and the bay– both are quite a sight. It beats most Disney rides these days.

Also, the train is automated. There is no conductor. In its place is an empty seat where kids and overenthusiastic adults can sit and pretend to drive the train.

Unfortunately this was the last stop for us on this trip before grabbing a flight home that evening, so at the food court we passed up the okinomiyaki and drowned our sorrows in noodles, shrimp and beer. It was delicious!

Rainbow Bridge @ Odaiba, Tokyo (Japan)

Johnny

Pro-family and anti-drug, when he's not too busy living with four beautiful ladies, he likes long walks on the beach and poking dead things with sticks.

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