Odaiba is one of the few completely man-made islands in Japan that has enough popularity to compete with heavyweight Tokyo suburbs such as Ikebukuro and Akihabara. However, whilst each of the aforementioned cities draws a particular type of crowd (late-night party-goers stumbling from karaoke bar to karaoke bar, seeking some ramen comfort at 2:00am, anyone? Or any self-proclaimed otakus out there, searching for a once-in-a-lifetime maid café experience, followed by hours of endless searching in anime stores for limited edition collectables?), Odaiba is a tourist hub that offers a plethora of entertainment for people of all ages, with all types of interests. Whether you’re a foodie, a shopaholic, a thrill-seeker, or photographer hobbyist, this is one stop you won’t regret adding to your itinerary.
If you want to get to know Odaiba’s colourful history a bit more, it actually began as district of small artificial islands built towards the end of the Edo Period to protect Japan against enemy attacks. It eventually formed together into larger islands and development began to turn it into a futuristic and business hub, which was slowed by the “bubble economy” in the 1990s, but ultimately turned around again when the now-famous Yurikamome elevated train line was opened and various hotels and shopping malls invested in the area.
Now, it’s a stunning ultramodern suburb with extremely high-rise buildings, a futuristic train line that runs alongside buildings, expanses of green grass to relax and play sport on as well as host festivals on, and multiple entertainment hubs to provide an engaging and memorable time for all visitors.
How to get there
We recommend taking the Yurikamome line in and out, as it offers spectacular views of Odaiba along the way, making the train ride an experience in itself. It sits on the Yamanonte Line and the Yurakucho Subway Line. The easiest way to get in would be to hop on the train from Shimbashi Station or Toyosu Station.
The Best Hotels
This stunning 5-star hotel is one of the most prestigious in all of Tokyo, and it’s located right here in Odaiba. The Hilton name is synonymous with luxury and class, and you’ll experience this and more if you book one of the ultra-modern rooms here. It’s located in the waterfront area of Tokyo Bay, and offers incredible views of Tokyo’s skyline, including Rainbow Bridge and Tokyo Tower.
Of course, a room at the Hilton surrounded by some of the best attractions in Tokyo won’t be complete without somewhere to gaze out with a cup of coffee in your downtime, so it’s lucky that all guestrooms feature a private balcony for just that. Its location is perfect for most of the popular activities in Odaiba, and as a bonus, there’s a free shuttle service available to Tokyo Disney Resort every day!
Book It Now: Hilton Tokyo Odaiba
World-class service, elegant facilities, great views of the harbor, excellent location, larger-than-average room sizes…need we say more? As one of the first ever Grand Nikko hotels in Japan, the Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba leaves nothing to the imagination, offering premium quality service, products, amenities, and everything else in between for its customers.
The European-style décor is uncommon and provides a touch of flair that’s quite necessary for a holiday to feel like it’s a holiday, and you can stay completely in touch with the modern world with flat-screen TVs and free wired internet service throughout your stay. There are also a few restaurants onsite, including a Teppanyaki restaurant, a sushi restaurant, a Japanese and Chinese restaurant, and several cafes and bars onsite.
Book It Now: Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba
Are you after a premium, comfortable stay, at a great central location, with all amenities provided for, at a no-frills price? Well, you’re in luck because this 3-star hotel located in Ariake provides much more than meets the eye. It’s located only 3-minutes from Kokusai Tenjjijo Station, and is walkable to many other attractions in Odaiba.
All rooms offer extra long beds, a flat-screen TV, a spacious private bathroom, and some offer incredible bay views. There’s a convenience store, a restaurant, and a café in house as well. If you’re heading to Tokyo Disneyland or Disneysea, there’s a free shuttle every day!
Book It Now: Hotel Sunroute Ariake
The Best Restaurants
If you’re after an authentic but stylish Japanese dining experience, look no further than Hibiki. It’s an upper-class chain Japanese restaurant that offers all the Japanese staples in a lavish up-market setting. They always use the freshest seasonal ingredients sent directly from the farms, so you know you’ll be dining on the quality food made with quality ingredients. The Odaiba branch is set in a location offering spectacular views of the harbor, especially at night, and it can accommodate a small private dinner date as well as larger groups inside as well as on its renowned terrace.
Hours: 11:00am – 3:00pm, 5:00pm-11:00pm
Price: Lunch: 1,000yen – 2,000yen, Dinner: 4,000yen-6,000yen
Teppanyaki is one of the less popular but equally as culturally-entertaining Japanese dining experiences that you can delve in whilst visiting Japan, and if you happen to be in the Odaiba area, then maybe a visit to Hamayu should be on the list. It’s tipped as a fine-dining experience, and you’ll be able to see why once you step food in the top-floor luxury establishment, serving fresh seafood straight from their own fish tanks and preparing premium Yonezawa beef right in front of you whilst you stare out at the stunning views of Odaiba city and Tokyo Bay. Our tip would be to book a dinner session, because whilst it’s exponentially more expensive, the exquisite views will be worth it.
Hours: 11:30am-2:30pm, Dinner: 5:30pm-9:00pm
Price: Lunch: 10,000yen, Dinner: 20,000yen
Eggs’n Things Odaiba
Eggs‘n Things is one of the most popular café and dessert chains across Japan, with their signature loco style pancakes making a constant splash across social media. It was originally opened up in Hawaii by two Japanese men with the philosophy of using only fresh ingredients for their dishes and creating a warm, inviting atmosphere where customers are treated like friends. Fast-forward to today and there are a whooping 16 stores across all of Japan, all serving up some of the best brunches dishes you’ll have in Japan.
Hours: 9:00am – 11:00pm
Price: Lunch: 1,000yen, Dinner: 2,000yen
Things To Do In Odaiba Tokyo – Check Out The Gundam Statue
The Gundam Statue in Odaiba is almost like the Shibuya Crossing in Shibuya: you can’t go there and not visit to take a picture of the attraction, it’s almost rude not to. The original Gundam statue stood tall and proud for many years before its successor, the RX-0 Unicorn Gunbam replica from the Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn series, took over in 2017. At a staggering height of 19.7m, it’s quite a sight to behold. But whilst its predecessor was an unanimated object, this new statue actually switches between two roles: Unicorn and Destroyer.
The Unicorn mode sees the Gundam robot with a single horn on its head, whilst the Destroyer mode opens up the light panels on its body. To watch the transformation between the two modes, make sure you’re at the scene during the following times of the day: 11:00am, 1:00pm, 3:00pm, 5:00pm. On top of this, every day from 7:30pm – 9:30pm, you’ll hear the Gundam theme song playing from speakers in the area every half hour. This is quite the experience to see, and really, what screams “I’M IN JAPAN EVERYONE” more than a selfie with an almost-20m tall robot statue in the background?
Access: It’s about a 10-minute walk from Daiba Station
Things To Do In Odaiba Tokyo – Explore The Mesmerising Digital Art Museum
Ever since this digital art museum opened up in 2018, it’s made a huge splash across the creative, art, social media, tourist, and digital scene. Whilst the concept of mixing creative arts with interactive technology is technically not new, a museum dedicated to this special type of art form at this scale is most definitely not normal. It’s one of the most fun, exciting, awe-inspiring, sensual, breathtaking experiences you can have whilst in Tokyo, and we recommend that you reserve at least half a day out of your itinerary to attend.
The exhibitions are gorgeous in itself, but when you take into account the interactive factor where flowers floating across the ceilings, animals hopping along the walls, and fish swimming amongst your feet react to your actions, it’ll bring along a fresh new wave of wonder.
This is one of the most popular activities in Tokyo right now, and we envisage that it will continue to be like this for a while, so if you’re keen to attend, click here to learn more about this amazing place and learn how you can book tickets easily: Digital Art Museum Tokyo.
Things To Do In Odaiba Tokyo – Don’t Miss The Statue of Liberty And The Rainbow Bridge
As odd as it may sound, the Statue of Liberty located in Odaiba is one of the most popular attractions for domestic Japanese tourists. Located at the Symbol Promenade Park, you can make like you’re in France by simply taking a selfie with the leading lady in the background and hashtag #NewYork; I mean, it’s not like the Rainbow Bridge in the background will give it away! The actual statue itself was placed in Odaiba from 1998-1999 as a symbol of the France-Japan relation, but as the return date neared, there was so much resistance to returning the statue by the people that a replica was created (with official permission from the city of Paris) and erected in 2000.
Access: Take the train to Odaiba-Kaihinkoen Station and it’s a 3-minute walk from there.
Nearby to the Statue of Library is the famous Rainbow Bridge, one where millions of cars cross everyday, where you would have most likely taken your train in on, and where, if you organized to take the Rainbow Bridge option for your Mario Kart Real Life adventure, you’ll most likely drive across. It connects central Tokyo to Odaiba, and whilst most people just gaze out of the train at the wonderful view of Odaiba as they head into the island, it’s also possible to walk across this famous bridge, something that not many people are aware of.
Access: Head to Shibaura-futo Station. From there, the beginning of the walk across the bridge takes about 5-minutes to get to.
Things To Do In Odaiba Tokyo – Go Relax At Oedo Onsen Monogatari
Oedo Onsen Monogatari is not what you would expect a futuristic, technologically-advanced city like Odaiba to house, and yet this gorgeous traditional hot spring bathhouse theme park doesn’t seem to be slowing down on visitors anytime soon. It first opened up in 2003, some 400 years after the Edo Period, but once you step foot into this place, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how the structure and layout of the place represents the Edo Period oh-so-perfectly.
Whilst we can’t attest to how ‘authentic’ this hot spring bath is, if you’re after a fun, fulfilling experience that allows you to comfortably explore what a hot spring is like, it’s definitely worth going to Oedo Onsen Monogatari.
Best activities include:
- Wear stunning yukatas whilst bathing across a combined 13 different spas for men and women.
- Walk across to the food stall village when you’re hungry to dine on sushi, izakaya, takoyaki, and more traditional Japanese foods.
- Submerge your feet on a 50m long footbath to relax your feet, and then cleanse it in the “fish healing area”, where you stick your feet into a bath of little doctor fish and they’ll slowly nip away at your old dried skin. It’ll feel sensual, ticklish, uncomfortable yet strangely therapeutic, all at the same time.
One of the best things about this theme park is that you can use the single entrance ticket from 11:00am until 9:00am the following morning.
If you’re keen to try this experience, book here at this link for instant confirmation and a discount on your entry fee!
Access: It is a 2-minute walk from the Telecom Centre Station on the Yurikamome Line.
Odaiba is quite an underrated city in Tokyo, and whilst we know that everywhere in Tokyo seems like the “it” place to visit (and yes, we’re guilty of trying to convince you guys to visit every single place here only because they’re all amazing and wonderful and fun and exciting and we could go on and on but we’ll just stop here), Odaiba is a bit special in that it truly is one of a kind: the views, the shopping experience, the dining options, and the entertainment attractions – they’re all unique and we’re sorry to say but if you don’t plan a at least half a day to visit this wonderful city, you’re missing out.
And for more things to do and places to visit in Tokyo, check out these blog posts: Tokyo Travel Blog.