(☞ﾟ∀ﾟ)☞ JAPAN 2013 MASTERPOST
Odaiba (お台場) is marketed as an 'amusement park for kids and adults alike' and that is exactly what this excursion out to the island felt like - a gigantic amusement park ride, complete with scenic views of the Rainbow Bridge via monorail and a beach.
A lot of extra photos can be found at my corresponding Images from Nowhere post. Check it out, if you would like~
I found the spot where that one episode of ItaKiss was filmed (what is it about that drama that reignites the dorky thirteen-year-old j-drama fan in me???)
We also dropped into New York briefly.
M said the experience of walking around Odaiba was like walking in a Pokemon game, and I think that's a great way to describe it. Think Slateport City (yes, I grew up playing Sapphire more than any other gen) or Sunyshore City. Or even Sydney Olympic Park, in some ways.
The place is complete with expansive, larger than life buildings housing gigantic entertainment complexes, very different from the small, condensed bustle of most of Tokyo. It's very un-Tokyo-like, all broad, elevated walkways above traffic and giant Gundams casually hanging out in front of buildings.
I would definitely have loved to visit Aquacity and Decks (which we passed after going to the Statue of Liberty) but you can occupy a better part of 3+ hrs just going through and carefully inspecting one place.
We spent the majority of our time in Palette Town (a fitting continuation of our Pokemon analogy), and particularly in Venus Fort, which is modelled on 18th century European architecture, which was complete with indoor chapel and waterfall and a fake sky.
It's home to a lot of Japanese fashion outlet stores as well as international stores like DIESEL and Zara. It's definitely a good place to check out since it's a lot quieter than Shibuya or Harajuku, with a slower turnover so you can get some off-season items or great bargains. I visited EMODA's store in Shibuya 109 and left pretty disappointed because there weren't any items I liked, but ended up scoring some great bargains in Venus Fort.
We had to pass through Toyota Mega Web in order to get to the Ferris Wheel and Tokyo Leisure Land. While I'm not a car enthusiast, one has to appreciate the sheer scale of the exhibition room, which is complete with a 'trial' test track that looks more like an indoor waterslide than anything else. I've never seen such shiny cars - every single display car in the large display area was waxed and polished to perfection. And, of course, what would Japan be without cars wearing an anime coat of paint?
I would really say that it was a good experience to ride the giant 115m Ferris Wheel. It gives you an amazing view of the city and Tokyo tower in the distance. If you're not scared of heights, definitely get a clear carriage to appreciate the height and view in its entirety.
We rode the Ferris Wheel at night because the ticket lady thought four of us were going to ride instead of three and led us to wait an unnecessary 15min to get on a clear carriage...by which time the sun had already set ):
We played for awhile at Tokyo Leisure Land, a large game arcade housing everything from Dance Dance Revolution to Taiko drums and claw machines. I did expect there to be a few more storeys but it was just one big warehouse-size level with arcade games and the second levels housed ping pong tables and a haunted house.
It's a good place to get crepes too (but more on that in my Eating Tokyo post!)
Pro tip: look for machines where the items inside are stacked really high. Here's part of our useless, cat donut haul (: