Other Sights of Odaiba Island
There’s so much to do on Odaiba, you could never hope to see it all in a single day. Even if the attractions aren’t always impressive on an individual basis (and many are simply malls), the very fact that such a large section of Tokyo has been given over to leisure and shopping is amazing. We’ve written quite a bit about Odaiba already, but here are some other sights which warrant mention.
If you’re into the Mobile Suit Gundam series, you might want to put on diapers before visiting Diver City. Because stationed in front of this mall is something which could make you wet your pants: a full-scale 1:1 Gundam figure, eighteen meters in height. This is part of the Gundam Front museum found on the mall’s top floor. The museum’s entrance fee of ¥1000 is too expensive for those who aren’t already fans, but the Gundam Cafe on the ground floor is free, as is the museum shop where you can buy plastic models to put together yourself. [Location]
One morning, Jürgen asked me to meet him in the church plaza, where he was enjoying the sunset with a glass of wine. Hmmm, a sunset in the morning, and there aren’t exactly a lot of church plazas in Tokyo. So I figured he must be calling from Venice. Or at least, Tokyo’s version of it. The Venus Fort mall is a Vegas-like attempt to recreate the atmosphere of the Floating City. It’s as delightfully horrible as it sounds. [Location]
Until the opening of the London Eye, Odiaba’s 115-meter Daikanransha Ferris Wheel was the tallest in the world. The wheel can be seen from across Tokyo and makes a lovely sight in the evening, when it bursts into color. Although we had planned to take a ride, we were distracted by the giant arcade found at the foot of the Diakanransha and opted to instead spend our money on a few rounds of Mario Kart. Maybe not the best decision, but one I would probably make again. [Location]
Venus Fort, Daikanransha and the arcade are part of an entertainment complex known as Palette Town, which also is home to the Toyota Mega Web. Both a showcase for Japan’s largest manufacturer and a theme park, Mega Web is a must-see for anyone into cars. There are attractions like a rollicking moving theater, and you can test-drive some of Toyota’s newest models. Also impressive is the History Garage, which showcases a number of old models from various manufacturers. [Location]
Has your whiny brat of a kid been misbehaving? Then cancel the excursion to the Miraikan and take her to Odaiba’s Sewage Museum. We visited, hoping to discover one of those museums so weird that they manage to be awesome, but it wasn’t so in this case. The Sewage Museum is aimed at small children and it’s dreadfully boring. The subject of waste, and especially waste management in Tokyo, is potentially fascinating… just think of the crazy exhibits possible with such stinky material! But the museum can’t be recommended, unless you have a kid who needs to be punished. [Location]
We usually reached Odaiba with the elevated monorail, but a more romantic method of transportation is offered by the Water Bus. You can board at Asakusa, and then take a leisurely hour-long boat ride down the Sumida River until arriving at the beach. [Location: Asakusa Departure]