Odaiba—an artificial island situated in Tokyo Bay—is a must-see area for visitors to Tokyo. It was in the 90s that most of this area of town was developed and proves a fascinating demonstration of urban planning, with large buildings and wide streets. Some of the major highlights in Odaiba include its picturesque waterfront, the impressive Statue of Liberty replica and the photogenic Rainbow Bridge. The area is also chock full of shopping and amusement options, so you could easily spend a pretty penny; but that’s not going to fly with us—read on for our top 5 picks for free and cheap things to do in Odaiba.
1. Getting there
Even getting to Odaiba is fun—hop on the driverless Yurikamome train for one of the best views in the city. The train leaves from Shinbashi Station and races past skyscrapers before going over the famous Rainbow Bridge. Have a ball, even before you get there!
2. Odaiba Seaside Park
This park gives you one the best views of the city, with its impressive promenades and elevated pathways. It is free to enter at anytime, but make sure you come here at nighttime for a twinkling view of the city and to see those old-fashioned yakatabune (low-slung wooden boats) in action and decorated with lanterns. Here you can also find a man-made beach that is 800 meters long and that well-known Statue of Liberty replica. Above is an extremely popular snap taken in Tokyo with the incredible Rainbow Bridge shown in the background too.
3. Diver City Tokyo Plaza
There are heaps of giant malls and entertainment centers that are dotted around the city, but the Diver City Tokyo Plaza in Odaiba gives you a particularly great Japanese mall experience. It’s not really the clothes shops that are the highlight here at all, it’s the mix of non-shopping attractions, such as the mixed amusement and sports park Round1 Stadium, which features a rooftop skate park.
There is also the Gundam Front Tokyo (7th fl, Diver City, 1-1-10 Aomi Kōtō-ku, open 10am-6pm)—which is an impressive exhibition about the very popular robot anime. Furthermore, you can see a model of one of the Gundam, standing at 18 meters tall! This is located at the front of the mall and is again a great photo-op. It is 1,000 yen for an adult and 800 yen for a child (advance tickets) to enter—well worth the experience if you’re a Gundam fan! The theme park is set to close in March 2017, so be quick to go here while you can.
4. Tokyo Sewerage Museum “Rainbow”
Yes, you read that right. This might sound completely random to do, but that’s all part of the fun. It’s a great place for kids and offers a unique Tokyo experience. There, you’ll learn about Japan’s sewerage project and access the sewerage pipes, a reclamation center and a pumping station. It’s a very interactive museum with lots to learn and is free to enter.
5. Marine Lantern Festival
This magnificent festival is held on Marine Day, also known as Ocean Day or Sea Day. This day is a Japanese national holiday and lands on the third Monday in July. It is a great summer tradition where candles are lit in paper lanterns. This magnificent sight then colors the night view of the Tokyo Port showing off a picturesque scene.
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