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Other Sights of Odaiba Island

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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]

Odaiba Island Tokyo

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]

Own Your Very Own Giant Gundam

More Pictures from Gundam Front
More Pictures from Venus Fort
More Pictures from Palette Town
More Pictures from Toyota Mega Web
More Pictures from the History Garage
More Pictures from the Sewage Museum
More Pictures from the Ferry To Odaiba Island
Odaiba Island Tokyo
Odaiba Island Tokyo
Odaiba Island Tokyo
Odaiba Island Tokyo
Odaiba Island Tokyo
Odaiba Island Tokyo
Odaiba Island Tokyo
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June 19, 2014 at 9:23 am Comments (2)

The Miraikan Future Science Museum

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We had a feeling that our visit to Odaiba Island’s Miraikan Future Science Museum was going to be awesome, and we were right. The only disappointment came when it closed, and we had to leave. Officially named the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, this is the most cutting-edge science museum we’ve ever visited.

Miraikan Museum Tokyo

Hanging from the ceiling in the foyer, the Geo-Cosmos globe welcomes visitors into the Miraikan. A Super-HD model of the Earth six meters in diameter, with organic LED panels that project over 10 million pixels, the Geo-Cosmos displays a rotating series of maps, from up-to-date global weather patterns, to topics like “Human Migration,” “Train Systems” and “Tuna Migrations.” It’s as absorbing as it is gorgeous, and we could easily have spent an hour on the lounge chairs in the foyer, watching it spin.

After tearing ourselves away from the globe, we toured exhibits dedicated to the International Space Station and the human genome. The museum is kid-friendly, but hasn’t been dumbed-down. There’s a hands-on model of the internet, for example, and an interactive room called “The Songs of Angura.” This is a fully immersive introduction to the science of Spatial Information. Kids can walk around playing with their “shadow-selves,” while adults can delve into supplemental material about creating digital space maps or the tracking of behavioral patterns.

The museum is usually crowded (this is Tokyo after all), but many of the exhibits ask you to take a number and assign you a time to return. It’s a great idea; when your time comes to play with the internet model, for example, you can do so in relative peace. And in the meantime, there are more than enough distractions.

One such distraction is provided by Honda’s famous robot, Asimo, who performs every hour in the museum. Initially, we found him adorable, this little humanoid tramping out onto the stage and waving at us. But as the demonstration progressed, I started to feel uneasy. Here was Asimo demonstrating how fast it could run, how it could jump, grab and throw, and all I could think was, “This thing could hunt me down and rip my head off, and there would be nothing I could do about it.” I’ve always known that the day would arrive on which we would bow before our robot masters, but in the Miraikan I realized how close it already is.

Before leaving, we went to the Miraikan’s dome theater for a 3D movie about the cosmos called Birthday. The 3D was top-notch, and truly created the illusion of diving into the Milky Way. I immediately wanted to watch it again, but we couldn’t. 5pm had rolled around and the museum was shutting down. We were ushered out… in the Japanese fashion, of course: politely and with much bowing and apologizing, but firmly. So for your own visit, make sure to show up early. Even then, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to see everything it has to offer.

Location on our Map
Miraikan – Website

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Miraikan Museum Tokyo
Miraikan Museum Tokyo
Miraikan Museum Tokyo
Miraikan Museum Tokyo
Miraikan Museum Tokyo
Miraikan Museum Tokyo
Miraikan Museum Tokyo
Miraikan Museum Tokyo
Miraikan Museum Tokyo
Miraikan Museum Tokyo
Miraikan Museum Tokyo
Miraikan Museum Tokyo
Miraikan Museum Tokyo
Miraikan Museum Tokyo
Miraikan Museum Tokyo
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June 11, 2014 at 2:30 pm Comment (1)
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.
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