Odaiba provided an enjoyable half day of sightseeing and exploring; great views of Tokyo Bay and seeing Toyota prototype cars of the future were highlights. However, it was a little bit disappointing in some respects as well. While I had fairly limited knowledge of Odaiba prior to visiting, it didn’t quite mesh with the vision I had of Tokyo. It lacked the luster of many of the other neighborhoods or districts we visited around Tokyo and was perhaps a little bit outdated. Please do not equate the word ‘outdated’ with ‘historical’ in this case. As far as I could tell, most of the buildings on Odaiba were ostensibly built to create a ‘world of tomorrow’ sort of aura.

While many of the buildings were architecturally intriguing, it also appeared that much of the initial investment into Odaiba had occurred during a prior wave of innovation. In other words, Odaiba seemed like it may have been more cutting-edge in perhaps the late-90’s. This statement is largely speculative, but it felt like Odaiba could benefit from some freshening up. That said, Odaiba was notably devoid of people the day we visited, so perhaps that was a primary factor in the island feeling slightly dated.

Oh yeah, Odaiba is an artificially created island which was made in the 1850’s with the idea of assisting in defending the mainland. In all honesty, I’m not sure I was aware of the island’s prior strategic purpose when we visited and didn’t see anything on our visit that made this apparent either. The idea of an artificial created island struck me as exotic or very interesting, but there really wasn’t any distinguishing features delineating it from a natural island to a novice such as myself. Well, I don’t want to get carried away in a negative direction; we really enjoyed Odaiba. I’m rather just stating that it was an odd contrast to the rest of our time in Tokyo. Most sections of Tokyo we visited conveyed a distinct atmosphere, but Odaiba was a little schizophrenic in its composition.

Here is a look at my favorite pictures from our visit to Odaiba:

A train/monorail across Rainbow Bridge makes it easy to get out to Odaiba.
Boat transportation to Odaiba is also a fun option.
One more look at Rainbow Bridge and across Tokyo Bay.
Tsunami Warning
Beautiful flowers all over the island.
Odaiba has a Las Vegas sort of feel with a large Statue of Liberty.
Statue of Liberty and the Fuji TV building.
Inside one of the shopping centers in Odaiba. A sort of odd mix of stores and nothing especially notable. The only store I remember was a small Sports Authority that was going out of business.
We didn’t ride the ferris wheel, but it also would have provided great views of Tokyo Bay.
Some of the buildings on Odaiba are pretty unique looking as well.
More architecture…
Not sure what this sculpture is about?
The ball of the Fuji TV building.
More flowers
One more of the flower before moving on…
Gundam Close-up
Checking out the Toyota prototypes of the future!
FCV Plus electric prototype
FCV Plus back
Toyota FV2…sort of a Tron like vehicle!
Toyota FV2 prototype
Toyota iRoad
Toyota iRoad
A fancy looking sewer cover.

Well, as frequently happens…I’m a little more enthusiastic about the sights we saw after looking at some pictures. Odaiba was a fun place to visit, but is not an essential destination if you only have a few days to spend in Tokyo. The 2020 Olympics will be using Odaiba as one of the sights and I think it will be a great locale to host some of the events. As I mentioned early, the island was pretty dead with not much going on when we visited, but I think it can rise to another level for the Olympics.