Odaiba: Seaside Playground

Name: Odaiba

Kind: Island/Town

Free Wifi: Yes

Location: 35°37’14.70″ N 139°46’49.47″ E

Stations: Daiba Station, Tokyo Teleport Station, Aomi Station, Rinkai Line, Saikyo Line

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

Worth it? Don’t miss it.

Updated 4/15/2021

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

Name: Odaiba is a small man-made island on the west side of Tokyo Bay. The first of many man-made islands, there’s lots to do here. The biggest attraction is Aqua City Odaiba/Fuji TV complex. After that, be sure to check out DiverCity where the life-size Mobile Suit Gundam statue is. There is also a huge convention center called the Tokyo International Exhibition Center, better known as Tokyo Big Sight where the Tokyo Motor Show + Tokyo Game Show are held every year.

There’s also a large tech museum called the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation.

There are a number of large parks on the island and the Museum of Maritime Science, as well a many hotels + office parks.

There’s also a near-perfect 1/4 scale Statue of Liberty at the south end of Aqua City Odaiba.

The northeast side of the island is mostly residential high-rise buildings, including the most luxurious one called The Towers Daiba.

If you’re willing to walk to the east across the short Teleport Bridge, on the 2nd island to the east there are also the Tokyo Sewearge Museum (yes, they have museums about sewers in Japan) and a large hotel with a European-styled wedding venue called Anniversaraie. Anniversaraie also has a small replica European town on the premises. Just beyond that to the east is Tokyo Big Sight (see below). At the southeast end is a large park with a jogging path called Mizunohiroba Park.

Access

To get to Odaiba take the automated Yurikamome Line from Shimbashi or Shiodomé. Yurikamome runs in a loop around all the large artificial islands in Tokyo Bay – of which Odaiba is the first. You can also get to Odaiba on the Rinkai Line directly from the Saikyo Line from Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ebisu or any of the other stops on the Saikyo Line. If you’re feeling adventurous you can walk to Odaiba across the Rainbow Bridge from the west side of Tokyo Bay in around 1.5 miles.

Heading to Odaiba on the fully automated Yurikamome Line.

Yurikamome Line coming from Shiodomé to the north. Tokyo Bay is to the right.

Area Layout

Odaiba seen from the air. Up is north. The large hotels are in the upper left (northwest) corner, the West Promenade is in the center, and Aqua City Odaiba/Fuji TV/DiverCity are above that. The Yurikamome station is also just next to the hotels. Venus Fort/Megaweb Toyota City Showcase are off the right of the West Promenade. Odaiba Marine Park is at the very north end of the frame.

Aqua City Odaiba + Odaiba Marine Park + Fuji TV

At the very north end of the island is a very nice seaside park + wood boardwalk called Odaiba Marine Park. You’ll definitely want to check it out. It has great views of Rainbow Bridge + Tokyo.

Just south of the park is one of the island’s main attractions: Aqua City Odaiba. A multiuse complex with shopping + food, it’s a must-see.

1 block south of that is Fuji TV. One of the biggest broadcasters in Japan, Fuji TV is a must see. You can even take tours + watch shows being recorded in glass-sided studios.

All 3 areas are within easy walking distance of each other.

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Inside Fuji TV studios.

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At the Fuji TV building, you can view recording of some TV shows.

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The 1/4-scale Liberty Enlightening the World statue at the west end of Aqua City Odaiba. The bridge in the background is Rainbow Bridge which leads to Tokyo. You can also walk across it.

DiverCity

DiverCity is a large multi-use complex run by Mitsui Corporation just south of Aqua City. This is where the world-famous full-scale Mobile Suit Gundam statue is. Pretty impressive. You can wander around DiverCity all day. There’s lots of food + entertainment and it’s popular with kids. There’s also a bowling alley + a skateboard park.

West Promenade + Flame of Liberty Statue

South of DiverCity is the long West Promenade which runs east. It’s well worth a stroll. There’s a huge garden in the center and along the way there’s also a huge BMW dealership + showplace. If you head to the east end of West Promenade, you’ll find AIST Tokyo Waterfront (see below). At the very west end of the promenade is a sculpture entitled Flame of Liberty.

Tokyo Big Sight

On the 2nd island to the east is a huge convention center called Tokyo Big Sight. Various expo’s are held here every year. The entire convention center floor is elevated on 4 large posts. If you want to see the Tokyo Motor Show or Tokyo Game Show every year, this is the place. Lots of other conventions are held here as well. Yurikamome has a stop here so there’s no need to walk to it.

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Tokyo Big Sight

Venus Fort + Ferris Wheel + Megaweb Toyota City Showcase

Northeast of the West Promenade is a huge shopping/entertainment complex called Venus Fort. It’s worth a stop. You can get spectacular views of the island and of Tokyo + Rainbow Bridge from the top of the large Ferris wheel there. Toyota also has a large car exhibition here called Megaweb Toyota City Showcase.

MORI Building DIGITAL ART MUSEUM

Just east of Venus Fort is a huge open-air modern techno art exhibition called MORI Building DIGITAL ART MUSEUM designed by teamLab:Borderless. It’s an interesting place, if not a bit unusual. You basically wander around the inside with each room being a different whole-room immersive experience. Worth a stop.

If you walk 1 block east from the digital art museum and cross Akemi Bridge, you’ll come to another huge shopping/mixed-use complex directly across from Tokyo Big Sight Station. Tokyo Big Sight is just to the southeast. If you make this your last stop you can easily hop on Yurikamome here for a direct return to Shimbashi or Shiodomé back in the city.

National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan)

Also known as Miraikan, it’s not to be missed. (Mirai means “future” in Japanese) – and as a footnote was also the subtitle of an astonishing 1999 album by Japanese pop star Imai Miki.

Shiokaze Park + Museum of Maritime Science

There are loads of parks on Odaiba and all of them are good. Just to the northwest behind the hotels is Shiokaze Park (Tidal Wind Park), which offers great views of the city. Check out this and other parks over on tokyo-park.or.jp

1 block south of the park is the massive Museum of Maritime Science – a huge museum of all sorts of stuff related to ships + the sea. Definitely worth a stop and well within easy walking distance to the station. You can easily spend 1/2 a day here.

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Museum of Maritime Science

AIST Tokyo Waterfront

South of the West Promenade is a large tech museum in an institute called the AIST Tokyo Waterfront. There’s a huge globe of the earth with realtime weather patterns on it, as well as various other exhibits to see. Well worth a stop.

Aomi Minami Terminal Park + Smile Garden + Akatsuki Terminal Park

A few blocks south of the maritime museum is another long park on the shore called Aomi Minami Terminal Park – adjacent to a huge shipping yard run by Tokyo Port Terminal Corporation (which actually runs a lot of parks in the area including the impressive Tatsumi Seaside Park on another island way to the east). Directly east of Aomi Minami Terminal Park on Odaiba is another TPTC park: Aomi Green Park.

Out in front of AIST is a huge green open space called Smile Garden. In the spring the park is planted with tulips and is spectacular.

As a footnote, on the extreme southeast corner of Odaiba is yet another park run by TPTC: Akatsuki Terminal Park, but there’s not much else to do on the south end of the island as it’s mostly industrial + involved in shipping.

Daiba Park

If you’re willing to walk a bit, at the very north end of Odaiba out on a tiny sqaure island around 35°38’03.91″ N 139°46’21.31″ E is Daiba Park. The park was mainly used during World War 2 for gun batteries and you can still see the their concrete housings on the island today. There’s not much else to do here, but it’s an interesting historical footnote anyway.

Ooedo Onsen Monogatari

Just south of AIST Tokyo Waterfront is Ooedo Onsen Monogatari – a full-scale onsen (hot spring) resort where you can stay + relax. The grounds are quite extensive with gardens + other stuff to do. Just be aware that if you are a foreigner, most onsen in Japan absolutely do not allow anyone with tattoos – mainly because of the Yakuza.

Tokyo Teleport Telecom Center

Just east of the onsen around 35°37’01.29″ N 139°46’49.68″ E is a huge complex called Tokyo Telecom Center which has all kinds of displays + an observatory. You can get a great view of the island + Tokyo from here. Yurikamome has a stop here at Telecom Center Station.

TTC has its own site for more info.

Hotels

The 2 largest + best hotels on Odaiba – both at the northwest corner – are Grand Pacific Le Daiba and Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba (お台場のホテル) around 35°37’32.47″ N 139°46’16.68″ E. Both are excellent, albeit slightly expensive. The first Yurikamome station at Odaiba is right next to the hotels.

Helicopter Tour

If you’re willing to spend a whopping $300 USD, you can take a 10-minute tour over Tokyo in a helicopter which includes a flyover of Odaiba + Rainbow Bridge.

Conclusion

There’s lots to do at Odaiba so plan on at least one full day. You may want to stay past dark to do things such as a night view of Tokyo from the Ferris wheel. The place has the feel of an amusement park to it and it’s lots of fun. Definitely on anyone’s bucket list when in Tokyo.

Enjoy!

Additional Photos

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One of the Yurikamome stations.

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A new Yurikamome station.

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Huge new high-rise apartments being completed on Odaiba.

LINKS

Daiba Station

Odaiba | The Official Tokyo Travel Guide

Tokyo Travel: Odaiba

Tokyo Teleport | Darrell in Japan

Tokyo Teleport Station Area Map

Yurikamome – Wikipedia

Yurikamome

Rinkai Line

Saikyo Line

https://www.aquacity.jp/

DiverCity Tokyo Plaza

Venus Fort

https://www.megaweb.gr.jp/lang/en/area/csc/

TOKYO BIG SIGHT – Tokyo International Exhibition Center

AIST Tokyo Waterfront

https://www.ooedoonsen.jp/

Tokyo Teleport Center

https://tokyocheapo.com/place/shiokaze-park/

VIDS

ヤフオク! - 即決 廃盤 DVD 今井美樹 Imai Miki Tour 1999 未...

Mirai: Love Songs From Imai Miki

Roppongi

Name: Roppongi

Kind: Town

Free Wifi: Yes

Location: 35°39’42.86″ N 139°43’46.28″ E

Station: Roppongi Station (H04), Hibiya Line

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

Worth it? Don’t miss it.

Updated 4/9/2021

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

Roppongi is a lively nightlife area in Tokyo popular with expats. The main road through the town is called Roppongi Dori and runs east-west. Another road at the major intersection shown below running north-south is called Gaien Higashi Dori. Both streets are strollable and provide endless things to do + see.

The central intersection in Roppongi on Roppongi Dori facing west. There are streets to the north + south (Gaien Higashi Dori), as well as the Roppongi Hills tower complex in the distance. East behind the camera down a long hill is the central gov’t area of Akasaka.

Access

The easiest way to get to Roppongi is to get the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line and get off at Roppongi Station (H04).

It is also just 1.5 miles on foot from Toranomon to the east or about the same distance from Nagatcho/Akasuka to the north.

The Hibiya Line can also shoot you quickly out to Ginza, Akihabara, and Ueno all in just a few minutes.

Area Layout

Roppongi area facing northeast. Roppongi Hills is in the lower left corner to the west, Akasaka is in the upper right corner. Roppongi Dori runs left to right (east-west), and the Imperial Guest House and gardens is in the upper left corner. In the far upper right corner is the western edge of the Imperial Palace. If you head further right out of frame, you’ll be in Hibiya and Marunouchi to the east.

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Looking back east on Roppongi Dori. A bike ride down this long hill can be thrilling, after which you will arrive in Akasaka to the east.

National Art Center

Just 2 blocks northwest of Roppongi is the National Art Center, Tokyo, which is huge.

Roppongi Dori + Side Streets

One of Roppongi‘s biggest charms are its endless back streets + side streets. It seems around every corner there is something new to discover. There are also quite a lot of good restaurants hidden away. You’ll need to do some web research before you go.

There are also lots of small art galleries, specialty shops, dessert, and sushi places on the backstreets. Your options are nearly endless. The best way to discover is to walk around.

Roppongi Hills

On the west side of Roppongi is the area’s biggest attraction: Roppongi Hills. Built several years back, the complex is the showplace of Roppongi. There’s a huge apartment/office complex, with a large shopping mall in the center + basement, as well as various other attached areas such as Roppongi Hat (see below), street-level dining, and 2 large condo complexes. You can walk to Roppongi Hills from any of the town’s streets. It’s well worth the time, so don’t miss it.

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©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

Roppongi Hills high-rise condos ahead.

Observatory + Mori Art Museum

On the 3rd floor of Roppongi Hills is an entrance to the rooftop observatory (Tokyo City View) on the top floor as well as the Mori Art Museum (the complex was built by one of Japan’s biggest construction companies: Mori Construction).

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Entrance to Tokyo City View + Mori Art Museum.

Roppongi Hat

Right on the street next to Roppongi Hills is a large round glass bldg. called Roppongi Hat. Mostly food + entertainment, there are lots of options here. The 2-story basement has loads of food in a huge food court.

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Roppongi Hat.

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©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

Roppongi Dori looking west. Note the cheesy “bike lane”, which in Japan usually means nothing but a few symbols painted on the road.

Mohri Garden

Back behind Roppongi Hills is a hidden Japanese Gardern called Mohri Garden. You can stroll through the garden and enjoy the scenery. Fall is particularly spectacular.

Keyaki Hill + Illumination

Just west of the garden 1 block behind the TV Asahi building is a street named Keyaki Hill (Keyakizaka in Japanese) famous for its winter illumination with a direct view of Tokyo Tower in the distance. Keyaki is a Japanese hardwood used by artisans in Japan. The street is lined with these trees which makes for a spectacular winter light show during the cold months around Christmas/New Year’s. There is also a huge Tsutaya Books store just on the corner at the entrance to Keyaki Hill. The entrance to the street is around 35°39’33.28″ N 139°43’54.72″ E, although most people enter the street from the north end at night in order to get the direct view of Tokyo Tower in the distance.

Tokyo Midtown Roppongi + Suntory Museum of Art

Squirreled away and hidden just a block east of National Art Center, is Tokyo Midtown Roppongi. Like its counterpart in Hibiya to the east this Midtown complex has a lot to do + see. There’s a huge cinema, depatos (department stores), shops, a massive bakery, and lots of other stuff. There’s a huge central square with buildings on all sides. There are also hotels plus the Suntory Museum of Art (Suntory is a Japanese beverage company). If you’re in Roppongi, you won’t want to miss it.

For Book Lovers: Bunkitsu

Right on Roppongi Dori around 35°39’26.61″ N 139°44’37.12″ E is a really huge bookstore called Bunkitsu. If you’re into books, check it out.

A Few More Food Stops

Here’s a list of other potentially interesting food stops in Roppongi, but by all means, this list is not complete because Roppongi is full of hundreds of great food places.

ANTICO CAFFE AL AVIS ROPPONGI

Blue Bottle Coffee Roppongi

Bricolage Bread & Co

Dean & Deluca Roppongi

Gluten Free T’s Kitchen

Shirotae (in Akasaka)

Hotels + Hostels

Also in the Roppongi Hills complex is the fabulous, but very expensive Grand Hyatt Tokyo. Ultra-deluxe with hundreds of rooms, a stay will set you back several hundred dollars a night – in the off-peak season.

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A very nice + inexpensive option is the brand new Sotetsu Fresa Inn Tokyo-Roppongi around 35°39’39.91″ N 139°44’28.56″ E. Incredibly, off-season you can stay at this hotel as low as $29/night. It’s excellent. It also has a very nice lounge/café in the lobby.

As usual, APA hotels are a good option and the APA Hotel Roppongi SIX is excellent and is just up the street east from Sotetsu Fresa Inn. There is also another brand new APA hotel – APA Hotel Roppongi Eki-mae closer to Roppongi Hills around 35°39’44.11″ N 139°43’56.51″ E (“Eki-mae” means “At the station”). APA Hotels are always clean, cheap, quiet, and easy. You can’t go wrong.

A new gem built in 2020 right near the station + main intersection is remm Roppongi for around $70/night off-season, but it’s upscale + well worth it. There are a number of remm hotels all over Tokyo and they are all generally very good.

Comfort Inn Tokyo Roppongi is also a good cheap option around $40/night off-season.

A bit south of Sotetsu Fresa Inn around 35°39’42.91″ N 139°44’09.96″ E is another good option: Mitsui Garden Hotel Roppongi at around $80/night.

A bit north is the Hotel Asia Center of Japan which also has large conference facilities around 35°40’14.23″ N 139°43’40.70″ E.

Roppongi has a few nice hostels as well + they are fairly cheap, off-season.

The Wardrobe Hostel Roppongi is around $25/night + has a kitchen.

If you’re willing to stay a bit to the east in Akasaka, there’s a nice little family-run hostel called Inno Family Managed Hostel. Tucked down a little quiet side street around 35°40’20.15″ N 139°44’23.23″ E, it has bunks, but also unique rooms with several large queen beds for multiple guests. It’s very clean + provides showers, lockers, and a shared lounge/kitchen area for cooking. Distance to Roppongi Hills is only around 1 mile.

For a complete list of good deals check agoda.com.

Conclusion

Well that’s it for now. You can have hours of fun cruising the streets in Roppongi, exploring its backstreets, or checking out Roppongi Hills. It would be easy to spend a couple days here and not see it all. Well worth a stop.

Enjoy!

Additional Photos

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Inside Roppongi Hills.

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Sign for various attractions.

The man himself – Fukuyama Masaharu in an ad for a new dorama (TV series).

LINKS

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roppongi

Tokyo Travel: Roppongi

https://en.japantravel.com/tokyo/roppongi

Roppongi Hills

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g14129735-Activities-Roppongi_Minato_Tokyo_Tokyo_Prefecture_Kanto.html

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g1066451-d1373795-Reviews-Roppongi_District-Minato_Tokyo_Tokyo_Prefecture_Kanto.html

NATIONAL ART CENTER, TOKYO

Grand Hyatt Tokyo

APA Hotel Roppongi Eki-mae

remm ROPPONGI

Hotel Asia Center of Japan

Mori Art Museum

東京シティビュー – TOKYO CITY VIEW

Tokyo Midtown

Toranomon-hills Station/H06

What Is Japanese Keyaki Wood?

Cycle in Japan – Japan Travel

favy Japan

VIDS

Tokyo Tower Guide

©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Name: Tokyo Tower

Kind: Tower

Free Wifi: Yes

Location: 35°39’30.41″ N 139°44’48.23″ E

Station: Hamamatsucho Station, Daimon Station, Onarimon Station

Our Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

Worth it? Don’t miss it.

Updated 4/3/2021

©2019-2021 tenmintokyo.com

Tokyo Tower is one of the most well-recognized landmarks in the world. Built in 1959 to accomodate widespread use of TV and radio, the tower also includes a large observation deck halfway to the top. There is a large elevator to the deck, but you can also walk the stairs up if you feel up to it – but be warned, it’s a long way.

The tower is in Minato Ward west of the Shiodomé area.

Access

Unfortunately there isn’t a major train station next to Tokyo Tower. Your best bet is the Yamanote Line or Tokyo Monorail to Hamamatsucho Station. The walk is only just over 1/2 a mile. A little further to the northwest is Onarimon Station. You can, of course, also bike to Tokyo Tower from other parts of the city.

If you’re coming from the north, Toranomon is just to the north and provides quick access.

Admission is around $18/adult, but is well worth it. On the ground floor are a lobby + some shops including food. The observation deck is huge with tall floor-to-ceiling windows providing panoramic views of the city in all directions.

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At the entrance to Tokyo Tower on it’s 60th anniversary. It was fully repainted in time for the 60th.

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©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Across from the entrance.

Zojo-ji Temple + Shiba Park

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Entrance to Zojo-ji. Note the 2 guardians on either side.

Just to the southeast of Tokyo Tower is the huge Zojo-ji Temple complex. It’s just off Hibiya Dori and has a nice park + a bike parking lot. You can walk all the way around the park to Tokyo Tower on the northwest. On the north end there is another small interesting park with lots of stone Jizo. Since it’s only 1 block away, check it out. There is also a huge cyprus tree planted @ Zojo-ji Temple by the late US President Ulysses S. Grant in the 1800’s.

Also, just south of Zojo-ji is the massive Shiba Park with lots of hills + trails to walk in. Definitely check it out.

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©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Jizo – guardians of children + travellers.

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©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Grant’s Cyprus @ Zojo-ji Temple

Prince Park Tower Tokyo

Just to the west of Shiba Park is the very luxurious Prince Park Tower Tokyo. Around $150-$200/night, it’s bit pricey but if it fits your budget is worth a 1 or 2 night stay. There is also a free shuttle from PPTT to Hamamatsucho Station.

Conclusion

Tokyo Tower is a must-see if you’re in Tokyo. One of the oldest and most well-known landmarks, it makes a nice short day trip. Definitely don’t miss it.

Additional Photos

©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Zojo-ji

©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Looking back east towards Hibiya Dori.

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©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Shiba Park

©2019 tenmintokyo.com

Hamamatsuchō Station

©2019 tenmintokyo.com

This famous view was taken from the WTC observation deck to the southeast.

Hours

MAIN DECK(150m)

9:00~22:00(Last admission 21:30 TOP DECK TOUR

Stairs to the MAIN DECK

9:00 AM – 9:00 PM(Last admission 9:00 PM)

Possibility of closure due to bad weather.

LINKS

tokyotower.co.jp

LIGHT UP | TokyoTower

Hamamatsuchō Station

Tokyo Monorail

Shiba Park

Shiba Park | The Official Tokyo Travel Guide, GO TOKYO

Jizo: The patron saint of travellers in Japan | InsideJapan Blog

Prince Park Tower Tokyo – Official

VIDS