A haven of shopping and entertainment on Tokyo Bay
The man-made island of Odaiba is a popular destination for Tokyo locals and international tourists alike, known for its shopping malls, dining, futuristic attractions, museums, all easily accessible by foot.
A seaside escape without leaving Tokyo, Odaiba's beach and its surrounding attractions make for a fun, full day just outside the concrete jungle.
- Aqua City, DiverCity, and Venus Fort malls
- Futuristic museums and indoor theme parks
- Odaiba Seaside Park, central Tokyo's only beach
How to Get There
Odaiba is easily accessible from central Tokyo by train on the Yurikamome Line and the Rinkai line via the Saikyo Line.
Starting at the major transportation hub of Tokyo Station , take the JR Yamanote Line for three minutes to Shimbashi Station, and 16 minutes from Shimbashi to Daiba Station on the Yurikamome Line. You can also ride the Saikyo Line from major stations such as Ikebukuro, Shinjuku and Shibuya to Tokyo Teleport Station.
From capital defense to weekend leisure
The name Odaiba means fort, referring to the cannon batteries which were constructed to defend the city after the arrival of the American "black ships" in the 19th century. These batteries were eventually converted into parks and landfills, but in the 1990s the mayor of Tokyo decided to redevelop the Odaiba area as a spot for future innovation and modern living.
Nowadays, Odaiba is an up-and-coming area popular with young people and families on a budget looking for a holiday without leaving the city. In 2020, Odaiba will host beach volleyball and triathlon swimming during the Olympics.
Connecting the Odaiba waterfront to Shibaura Pier on the other side of Tokyo Bay, the 800-meter-long bridge is Odaiba's main symbol, and has brought life and development to the area since its completion in 1993.
From the bridge, which takes around 30 minutes to cross on foot, you can get panoramic views of the Odaiba area. At night, it lights up with its namesake colors and is visible throughout Tokyo.
Some of Tokyo's best shopping all in one place
At the center of Odaiba is the sprawling Aqua City Odaiba shopping mall complex. The boutique building runs for 300 meters along the waterside and offers everything from high-end fashion to quirky bargain buys. A futuristic multiplex cinema is the hub of entertainment in the area, which also features a Legoland Discovery Center and a virtual Sega theme park, Joypolis. The shopping mall has a gourmet zone stretching over 15,000 square meters.
On the other side of the Fuji TV building and its iconic suspended globe is DiverCity Tokyo Plaza, another large shopping mall best known as the location of the giant Gundam robot installation. The mall itself has stores for tons of Japanese and international brands, as well as a Round One entertainment and sports center.
For a truly unique shopping experience in Odaiba, visit Palette Town , often referred to as Venus Fort after the mall inside. It might look normal as you walk up, but the interior of Venus Fort is extravagantly decorated in a 17th-century European style, complete with fountain plazas, a Renaissance church, and everchanging artificial sky.
In addition to shops, you will find restaurants, karaoke, and even a simulation of a casino. Just below Venus Fort is Sun Walk, an area of shops wholly dedicated to pets, and next door is Toyota Mega Web, showcasing the car company's automobile innovations. Palette Town is massive, and easily spotted thanks to its towering Ferris wheel.
The Odaiba Seaside Park
Visible from Rainbow Bridge, the Odaiba Seaside Park is one of Tokyo's only open white-sand beach areas. While you are not permitted to swim or fish in the water, other marine activities are available such as volleyball, paddle boarding, surfing, and windsurfing. Walk along the beach as you look at the Tokyo skyline and consider renting some gear. At one end of the park is an interesting, if somewhat perplexing, feature: a replica of the Statue of Liberty.
Top tourist spots
Odaiba has an incredibly high concentration of fun attractions, and you could easily spend several full days exploring its many offerings. These include Sony Explora Science, Tokyo's Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, Shiokaze Park, the Miraikan (the Nation Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation), Maritime Museum , Oedo Onsen Monogatari Hot Springs , Trick Art Museum, Tokyo Sewerage Museum, Fuji TV Station, the Panasonic Center, the Big Sight Convention Center, and the Odaiba Ghost House.
For a great free event, check out the lantern festival in Odaiba Park held on Marine Day, on the third Monday in July.