Are you currently staying in Japan, planning to stay soon, or perhaps just wanting to know more about the modern culture and attractions in the land of the rising sun? One amazingly unique place that you may or may not have heard of is a legendary man-made island that showcases, among other things, much of what ultra-modern Japanese concept design in art, science, and architecture is really all about.
Odaiba is a truly unique modern tribute to the Japanese vision of the future. A visit to Tokyo without a visit to Odaiba is like a visit to Disneyworld without going to Epcot. There are actually more parallels than one may expect and some will be revealed through the course of this article.
There are attractions and places to explore good shopping, and restaurants for all ages to enjoy on this amazing island. So let’s take a look at some of the history and also some of the best that Odaiba has to offer its visitors!
The word “Odaiba” is actually a combination of the word “Daiba” meaning “fort” and the “O” which essentially shows respect making it an “Honorable Fort.” It was actually constructed toward the end of the “Edo” period (1603-1868) as a way to protect the capitol from attacks from the sea.
During the 1980s the Japanese economy was soaring in what is now known as the “Bubble Economy” and plans to turn the island into a showcase of futuristic living began. The economy sadly didn’t continue to soar for long enough to finish all of the original plans, so development slowed in the early 90s.
Things picked up again in the mid 90’s and Odaiba is gradually gaining more and more attractions. It is already a really fun place to visit, so let’s look at some of the big attractions you will likely want to see during your stay.
This is a new addition to Odaiba and anyone who knows what Gundam has probably already heard of this spectacular new statue dedicated to the famous giant robot of Japanese animation. It lights up at night and mist flows from its vents, so it may appear to be ready to blast into the future and take you with it.
Tokyo Big Sight
This is an amazing convention hall which has some of the most spectacular architecture around. It is essentially composed of four large black inverted pyramids with an all-seeing eye in the center where they touch. It is home to many major conventions throughout the year including, poignantly enough, the famous Gundam Big Expo.
This is one for the ladies and gentlemen who aren’t as into the technical side of things or want a break from the robots and steel for a little while during their stay in Odaiba. It is a beautiful indoor mall in the style of an 18th century southern European town, complete with a dreamy blue indoor sky.
The Fuji Television building is another unique architectural artifact with a steel orb observation deck atop its Erector Set style frame. Fuji is a popular national television station and this is where it is based. There are many exhibits and studios to see so it’s certainly worth a visit.
Oedo Onsen Monogatari
Lastly, this is a wonderful way to end your day in Odaiba with a relaxing visit to a wonderful hot spring amusement park. It is constructed to emulate the Edo period in which the island underneath was actually made. It is fed by a natural hot spring from a depth of 1400 meters and offers many ways to enjoy this relaxing water.
Enjoy your visit to Odaiba and see the future, present, and past of Japan today!