Odaiba Area


Odaiba is a man-made island out in Tokyo Bay, and it’s home to the kind of experiences you’ll definitely tell your friends about when you get home. There are great things to see at just about every station.


This is the home of the giant five-story Gundam robot! It’s right outside the DiverSity shopping complex next to the Tokyo Teleport Station.

This giant Gundam Unicorn lights up and its horns swing together into unicorn configuration
Model-making fans will swoon at the vast array of model kits inside at the biggest Gundam model shop in the world
Which also features an ever-changing display of hilarious fan-built models


Let’s make a stop at The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (better known as the Miraikan) to play with all the technologies that Japan excels at: robots, virtual reality, interesting manufacturing stuff, and a giant mechanical model of the internet.

Always entertaining

It’s their special exhibits I love the most, though.

Check to see what’s happening here.


First, let’s stop at The Trick Art Museum. It has 45 different scenes designed so you can pose in them and take pictures doing incredible feats.

The excellent only-in-Japan situations are changing all the time…
…as are the perilous situations you could find yourself in!

Then, if we’ve bgot a kid or two, let’s go to Tokyo Legoland. It’s got models of all my favorite Tokyo neighborhoods (built of Legos, of course!), and as the lighting cycles through 24 hours, the cars roaming the streets turn on their headlights and the buildings light up. They’ve even sneaked in a few fun surprises, like a button that makes Godzilla pop up out of a Shibuya skyscraper and a baseball stadium that’s actually a pinball game you can play. (Note: Adults aren’t allowed to go into Legoland without a kid, so be sure you recruit one before you try to buy a ticket.) Anyone can go in the store, though, which has awesome Lego-themed merchandise like Minfig popsicle molds.

The trees in the Legoland model of Senso-ji temple change color with the seasons.
The trees in the Legoland model of Senso-ji temple change color with the seasons.

On the lower level of the Sea Side Mall building is Joypolis, an indoor amusement park/arcade with lots of virtual reality rides.

Hungry yet? Restaurants are on the 5th & 6th floors, and the ones on the Tokyo side have great views. There’s even a retro shopping street, where the stores sell souvenirs from bygone days.

Not only can you buy excellent old-fashioned souvenirs here (think vintage toys & such), it’s also a great place to hunt for capsule toys (gachapon)

When it’s time to leave, if we’re feeling energetic, we can walk across the Rainbow Bridge to Tamachi Station and see the amazing views of Odaiba and the Tokyo skyline along the way (takes about half an hour).

From the South Promenade, you can see the lights of Odaiba. From the north side, you see the Tokyo skyline.
From the South Promenade, you can see the lights of Odaiba.
From the North Promenade, you can see the lights of the city and Tokyo Tower.

Or if we don’t feel like walking, we can take the monorail from Shinbashi station. It loops out over the bay, and we’ll get a great view of the island.


The Last Tea Bowl Thief was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense on Amazon

 For three hundred years, a missing tea bowl passes from one fortune-seeker to the next, changing the lives of all who possess it…read more

“A fascinating mix of history and mystery.” —Booklist

Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Japan, produces the monthly e-magazine Japanagram, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had

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