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Tokyo

Odaiba

Man-made entertainment playground in Tokyo Bay

About Odaiba

Things to do in Odaiba

Upcoming Events

Drink and Be Merry at Oktoberfest

Drink and Be Merry at Oktoberfest

Have a wonderful day enjoying different types of food and drinks at the Oktoberfest in Odaiba. The festival runs at different locations throughout the year and the last one is usually in the wonderful Odaiba area. You can enjoy delicious sausages, st..

Dining

Terrace On The Bay

Terrace On The Bay

div.editornote { padding: 1em 0 1em; margin-bottom: 0.6em; background-color: #c1282f; color: white; text-align: center; } Editor's note: Hotel Nikko Tokyo has since rebranded to Hilton Odaiba. If you've done much traveling y..

Calbee+ Café & Souvenir Shop Odaiba

Calbee+ Café & Souvenir Shop Odaiba

 One of the fun things to do in Japan is to try the trendy snacks. You can find them just about anywhere such as in convenience stores, 100yen shops, vending machines, and shopping malls. Have you ever seen Calbee+ (or Calbee Plus カルビー..

Kua Aina Sandwich

Kua Aina Sandwich

Kua Aina is one of the most unique and tasty sandwich and burger restaurants you're likely to find in Tokyo. Based on the original restaurant on Hawaii’s North Shore which opened in 1975, Kua Aina Odaiba now serves what I believe ..

Places to stay

Fantastic Stay at Hotel Nikko Tokyo

Fantastic Stay at Hotel Nikko Tokyo

Situated in the heart of Odaiba, Tokyo's man-made island paradise for all shopping and entertainment lovers, Hotel Nikko Tokyo has a modern appearance. The entrance has extravagant double doors and a porter in a top hat that greets you and leads ..

Hotel Nikko Tokyo in Odaiba

Hotel Nikko Tokyo in Odaiba

Sometimes we just need to get away from all of the hustle and bustle. Whether you’re in Japan on vacation or a local that’s been yearning for some down time not too far from home, Hotel Nikko Tokyo in Odaiba offers a luxurious and relaxin..

Hotel Nikko Tokyo

Hotel Nikko Tokyo

On my second Christmas in Japan, I decided that I was not going to sit stay in my one-room apartment and eat fried chicken while being homesick. No indeed; I was going to take an expensive research trip to Tokyo by myself to work on a novel and eat f..

Latest

Miraikan Museum

Miraikan Museum

Created by Japan's National Science Agency, The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, also known as Miraikan offers you to get up close and personal with technology including robots, androids and the recreation of the International ..

Digital Museum: TeamLab Borderless

Digital Museum: TeamLab Borderless

The unprecedented digital arts museum is set to open on June 21st. MORI Building DIGITAL ART MUSEUM: teamLab Borderless will feature about 50 digital artworks. Fully 10,000 square meters in area and divided into five zones, the museum intends to brea..

Amphibious Bus Tour in Odaiba

Amphibious Bus Tour in Odaiba

Japan’s tourism is all geared up for the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, as it recently launched a new amphibious tour bus to serve the expected increased numbers of foreign visitors around the big event. “Tokyo no Kaba&rdqu..

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About Odaiba

Odaiba is a the place that’s closest to my heart in Tokyo—at least as close a place a man-made island in the middle of Tokyo Bay could possibly claim. The area sometimes known as Teleport Town came to be during the bubble economy of the eighties, its land reclaimed from the water. Once industrial, it was rezoned in 1994 and plans were made to make it the town of the future, Tokyo Teleport Town. The World Exposition Tokyo was planned for 1996 to bring life to the area. With the end of the bubble years and Tokyo metropolitan government’s changes, however, the Expo was cancelled, and for a long time the future of the massive project was in question.

Fortunately, while set back a decade or so, it developed as a leisure spot. Originally called after the huge batteries that had once defended Edo-period Tokyo from attack (known as the “daibas”), attempts to rename the area to something more tourist-oriented ("Tokyo Teleport Town" and "Rainbow Town," among others) failed and the area grew up known as Odaiba to all. Fuji TV was the biggest business moving into the area with the completion of their state-of-the-art studio designed by Tange Kenzo, and the Decks Tokyo Beach shopping mall opened the way for the rest of the entertainment. One hotel would lead to another half-dozen. Since then, it has transformed almost completely into a leisure area.

Odaiba is a world apart from its host city of Tokyo. I love both, but for all of Tokyo’s vibrancy and history, Odaiba is a breath of fresh air in a sea of grey. The boardwalks and parks and Ferris wheels seem more at home in a seaside resort, and at the same time, it is so high-tech (check out the Miraikan, Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation). Its history, or sometimes lack of history, lends it a odd quality. It is kitschy and certainly over-the-top, especially during a holiday season, when every business on the island goes all-out to complete the experience. Even with all the visitors and kitsch, though, it’s still easy to find a quiet spot on the beach, picnic on the Daibas, take a ferry across the Bay or visit one of the many parks and playgrounds.

That isn't to say that Odaiba isn't still evolving—it will be completed someday, and when it is, many of the grasslands and clear views will become history. After all, in the 1990s, it was all fields and construction sites, concrete slabs and wharfs. Barely anyone actually lived in the little town. A photo on the South Promenade of the Rainbow Bridge depicts an Odaiba circa 1994 or so, the clusters of cranes and piles of concrete making it look more like the site of a massive earthquake rather than the “city of the future.” Yet not even twenty years later, businesses are scrambling to swallow up the remaining patches of grass. Land is money, and cities like Tokyo are destined to fill their empty spaces as years go by—the Odaiba I knew and loved on my last visit changes each time I make the trip to Tokyo. Sometimes for better and sometimes for worse; but it never loses that sense of mystery or the element of surprise.

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