I have been to Odaiba several times in the past, a large artificial island in Tokyo Bay across Rainbow Bridge, but my last visit was a bit different. Maybe because during my previous visits I was preoccupied with other things or maybe my perspective of places have changed since I started my blog.
For most locals or even foreign visitors here in Tokyo, Odaiba is greatly known as the shopping haven especially for ladies. Several malls were built catering to hundreds of stores for all things one can think of – clothes, shoes, bags, gadgets, toys, even pet animals! But for me, Odaiba is a center of fusion here in Tokyo. One can find bits and pieces of different culture and environment without leaving the island.
Odaiba as a Mixture of Asian and Western Culture
1. A Taste of New York
Standing tall near the coast just a few minutes away from Odaiba Seaside Park is a replica of the Statue of Liberty. The place tends to be crowded with local and foreign tourists taking shots with the beautiful statue.
2. A Taste of Hawaii and the Tropics
A few steps away from Liberty, you will find yourself in Hawaiian spirit because of the stores and restaurants in Aqua City and the Decks. These two malls are connected by a wooden deck facing the coast as if you are walking in a boardwalk.
3. A Taste of Italy
One of my favorite places in Odaiba is the Venus Fort, a shopping center just outside Teleport Station. What I love mostly is the architecture of the place which brings people back to old Venice. Outside, the building looks very common. Inside, it is like one is walking in the streets of venice. To add to the experience, the ceiling simulate the sky and it even changes from day to night.
4. A Taste of History
Still inside the Venus Fort is a mecca for car lovers. The History Garage showcases restored vintage cars as old as 1920s. It also shows the evolution of not only cars made from Japan but also cars around. The interiors of the place were designed in a mixture of old European streets and American garage.
5. A Taste of Modern Technology
If you are not so much of a fan for vintage cars but still adores cars, just across Venus Fort is the Toyota Megaweb where you can see, explore, and practice driving different Toyota cars. They also have a special nook for car racing where people can try simulation driving.
6. A Taste of Animation
Odaiba is also a haven for anime lovers. If you walk around the area, you will never miss the huge Gundam standing tall in front of DiverCity Tokyo Plaza.
7. A Taste of Interesting Architecture
Since it is a reclaimed island, Odaiba is a great example for modern urban city center equipped with fascinating architecture and infrastructure.