While in Tokyo, we took a train over to Odaiba, a large artificial island on the seashore. It was initially built in the 1850s for defense purposes but has since been turned into a shopping, tourist, and liesure area. There are several shopping centers, some beaches, museums, and theme parks.
The train on the way out conveniently does a scenic loops so you can better appreciate the views of Odaiba and the Rainbow Bridge. No not that Rainbow Bridge. The Rainbow Bridge that crosses northern Tokyo Bay between Shibaura Pier and the Odaiba waterfront development.
After getting off the train, we wandered a bit, taking in the sights and eventually winding up down on at the bay.
This was a bit startling.
Apparently, this mini-Liberty was put here for a year to celebrate Japan’s relationship with France. People liked it so much that after the year was up, it was made into a permanent installation. Tokyo was already reminding me a lot of New York City, so this added touch was especially interesting.
Next, we visited the life-size Gundam. That’s right, from the miniature Lady Liberty to a life-size Gundam. Oh, and the requisite store of Gundam paraphernalia.
Next up was Sega’s Joypolis, a three-story, nearly 12,000-square-foot indoor amusement park.
Adam gave it a try.
Adam and his coworker took in an immersive zombie game, and I went for a monster-theme indoor roller coaster. The second I saw that thing twirling around the three stories of the building, I knew I had to ride it. I waited in line and smiled and nodded vacantly during the rules, regulations, and how not to die on this ride instructions, and boarded the ride. Turns out this roller coaster ride is also a competitive video game (that may have made me chicken out if I had known). Each seat has its own video game gun and you have to kill baddies as you go along and a couple of bosses to advance the ride to the next section of the ride. Now, at this point I was feeling a little silly as the foreigner with a limited gaming history and performance anxiety, but I went for it, and it was a very fun ride. We made it past all the baddies and then they displayed the scores – I won! I couldn’t believe it!
So, our little trip down to Odaiba was a huge success (and not just because I excelled at a shoot-’em-up game in the land of video games). The ride was pleasant, the views were nice, the malls were expansive, and the attractions entertaining. I definitely recommend a jaunt to Odaiba, in the Minato Ward of Tokyo.