Odaiba is a must-visit shopping and entertainment district, built on an artificial island in Tokyo Bay. With three shopping malls, a Statue of Liberty replica, and a sweeping view of Rainbow Bridge and Tokyo’s skyline there’s a lot of things to do in Odaiba.

In the ’90s, most of this area was redeveloped and to this day proves a fascinating demonstration of urban planning, with large buildings and wide streets. The area continues to draw visitors in with promises of large shop-til-you-drop malls, and concerts and festivals throughout the year, but its once futuristic vibes are now starting to edge into turn-of-the-millenia nostalgia. It’s also an area that steadily undergoing more redevelopment, so expect to see more new and exciting things in the future.

1. Ride the driverless Yurikamome

Make the trip to Odaiba more interesting and opt for the driverless Yurikamome train to get there. The train leaves from Shimbashi Station and races past skyscrapers before going over the famous Rainbow Bridge. If you want the very best views though, you’ll have to fight densha otaku (train geeks), couples on dates, and small children for the front-facing seat at the very front of the train.

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2. Visit Odaiba Marine Park

A view of Odaiba Marine Park
It’s almost like a real beach. | Photo by Maria Danuco

This park gives you one of the best views of the city, with its impressive promenades and elevated pathways. It is free to enter at any time, 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 1/2 a mile long — but it’s not for swimming — and that well-known Statue of Liberty replica.

If you want to ride on a yakatabune, why not check out this night cruise around Tokyo Bay.

3. Catch a Gundam Show at Diver City Tokyo Plaza

The Unicorn Gundam outside Diver City lit up for a show
The Unicorn Gundam. | Photo by Maria Danuco

This free show is a must for Gundam fans old and young alike, but still fun for those with no familiarity with the franchise. The Gundam show happens at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., and 5 p.m. during the day, with evening shows every 30 minutes from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. During the shows the Gundam lights up — but doesn’t move much — and scenes from the anime are projected onto a screen behind it. There are different songs and scenes used, so if you’re a fan check the schedule so you can catch your favorite song. If by the end of the show you haven’t had your Gundam fill, head inside Diver City to The Gundam Base and stock up on all the Gundam figures you’ve ever wanted.

4. Get out of your comfort zone at one of Odaiba’s many entertainment options

Hunted House in Odaiba - Daiba Mysterious School
You can hear people screaming so it must be scary. | Photo by Maria Danuco

Now in Odaiba, there’s more than one way to do that. Get your scare on at Daiba Mysterious School or loiter in the uncanny valley of Madame Tussauds. Maybe you don’t like gross things like poop? Then the Unko Museum might change your mind. You can play mind games at Tokyo Trick Art Museum. Or channel your inner ninja warrior at Ninja Park in Aqua City — be warned though, this one really is a challenge. You might not be able to complete any obstacles at all, but no worries, the trampolines are still fun.

5. Head to a museum and learn something new

The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation
Sciencey things await you. | Photo by Lucy Dayman

Odaiba has a small but impressive selection of museums in the area. Of course, the most well-known is undoubtedly Miraikan — The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation. This place is a popular destination for school excursions, but many of the exhibits can be enjoyed by adults too. If you’re into ships, the Museum of Maritime Science is the place for you, and if you’re not, well it’s still cool to look at because it’s shaped like a big ship. There’s also the free exhibition hall, Tokyo Robot Center Showroom for the tech-heads, and — if you want to stretch the definition of museum — Odaiba Takoyaki Museum, a restaurant where you can sample different kinds of takoyaki (fried octopus balls).

6. Watch the sunset

The Rainbow Bridge at dusk from Odaiba. | Photo by iStock.com/macbaszii

On a clear night, it’s worth sticking around to watch the sunset over the city. You’ll also be able to watch the Rainbow Bridge light up, and depending on the time of year you might be able to catch a special light display or firework show. You can easily watch the sunset for free from any of the walkways facing towards the city, but for a good date night option we recommend heading to one of the restaurants inside Aqua City and requesting a window seat.

7. Go for a walk

A lush green garden in Odaiba
Some greenery in the city. | Photo by Maria Danuco

Odaiba has some surprisingly nice green spaces for such a commercial area. In addition to Odaiba Marine Park mentioned earlier, Symbol Promenade Park’s garden close to Tokyo Teleport Station is a well-tended and pretty garden that’s always full of flowers (and people doing photoshoots with their dogs). Not to mention Odaiba is a surprisingly good spot to catch seasonal flowers — hydrangeas in summer, ginkgo leaves in fall, and cherry blossoms in spring. Green spaces extend most of the way around the edge of the island too, making it a nice place for a picnic or BBQ.

8. Shop til you drop

The Diver City main entrance
The entrance to Diver City. | Photo by Maria Danuco

We’d be remiss to not tell you to do this. It’s one of the main things Odaiba is known for, after all. You’ve got three big malls to choose from, each with a healthy mix of Japanese and foreign brands at various price points. You’ll find mostly fashion and accessories in all three, with not much to difference between them in terms of style so go wherever strikes your fancy. Or go to all three, we won’t judge you.

9. Indulge your inner otaku

A Doraemon statue sitting on a bench
He’s in need of some company. | Photo by Maria Danuco

The Unicorn Gundam isn’t the only pop culture icon you can find in the area. There is a Doraemon statue on the other side of Diver City that is super popular with young children and families. Plus, inside the malls, you’ll find plenty of character and franchise stores like a Donguri (Ghibli Store), a Disney Store, and a Hello Kitty shop. Oh, and did we mention the pop culture festivals and concerts? Odaiba is the venue for super popular festivals like the Tokyo Idol Festival and Comiket, as well as regular concerts and idol events.

10. Enjoy the view from Hachitama Spherical Observation Room

Fuji Television Building
The view is better from inside. | Photo by Maria Danuco

This huge sphere is hard to miss, especially if you ride the Yurikamome into Odaiba. It’s part of Fuji Television Building and for ¥700 you can go inside and enjoy panoramic views of both the city and Tokyo Bay. On a clear day, you can even see Mt Fuji. Other parts of the building are also open to the public so you can see exhibits including displays and props from various TV shows.

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11. Travel back in time to 60s Japan

A retro themed indoor shopping street
Wibbly wobbly timey wimey. | Photo by Maria Danuco

Want to get a feel for what Japan might have been like 60 years ago? Then Daiba 1-chome Shoutengai is the place for you. This slightly tacky but weirdly fun theme-park-like area is located on the 4th floor of the Seaside Mall part of Decks shopping mall. It’s full of retro vibes, with old-style arcade games, candy shops, and carnival games. You can get a cartoon sketch of yourself done and your fortune told, and — this wouldn’t be Odaiba without retail therapy — pick up some novelty toys for good measure.

While we do our best to ensure it’s correct, information is subject to change. Last updated in January 2024 by Maria Danuco.

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