Monday, 26 October 2015

JVlog #25: Last Week In Japan - Odaiba

Good Day Everyone,

When hubby and I were getting ready to leave Japan we had to sell all of our furniture as we had rented an unfurnished apartment. Luckily, we managed to sell/give away everything a week before we handed our apartment keys back. However, as a result of having no bed to sleep on, we had to spend our last week in Japan staying in hotels. We decided to split our week between Tokyo and Yokohama (where our apartment was).
Views from Sunshine City
Whilst staying in Tokyo we visited places that we'd not manage to see thus far. This included a quick visit to Sunshine City in Ikebukuro. There is an observation deck, Sunshine 60, on the 60th floor of the complex but unfortunately on the day that we went the observation deck was closed. However, we did manage to get to the 59th floor where there are bars and restaurants, and so we still got to enjoy the views. Looking out of the floor to ceiling windows, we got a real sense of just how built up and expansive Tokyo is. I love how amongst all the high rises you get little pockets of coloured roof tops.
The elevator up to the 59th floor was probably one of the quirkiest elevators I've ever been in. Not only did it show the speed at which we were travelling, but it was decorated in a spacey/starry night kind of theme with pretty lights, as you'll see in the vlog below - very cool!

From Ikebukuro, we made our way to Odaiba, an artificial island on Tokyo bay. It is a huge entertainment and leisure area with numerous shopping malls, restaurants and bars, as well as iconic buildings and sights to pass away the time. The area is particularly busy on weekends and is a popular place for young people to hang out, as well as being a big tourist attraction. On the man made island you will find a replica of the Statue of Liberty, a huge gundam robot statue, Megaweb which is the exhibition centre for Toyota, games arcades and a whole lot more, including a large ferris wheel. Interestingly, Odaiba is one of Tokyo's proposed sites in its bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics.
The Daikanransha Ferris Wheel - an Odaiba landmark
View from the Yurikamome of some cool buildings
The Yurikamome (an automated transit system, a bit like a monorail) stops at various places in Odaiba. We used it to cross over Rainbow Bridge just for the sake of it really and to enjoy the views, before getting back on the train to come back to Odaiba. The first place we visited in Odaiba was a mall called Decks which features a mini Hong Kong and a Sega Joypolis (an amusement park). However, our main reason for visiting Decks was for the great views it offers of Rainbow Bridge. We were also pleased to discover a Bills - one of our favourite places to eat where we were able to enjoy a light lunch.
Looking out at Rainbow Bridge
Rainbow Bridge
Lunch at Bills
From Decks we made our way to the Fuji TV building. This is one of Odaiba's most iconic buildings and we've seen it from afar when we did the Tokyo Bay Cruise (you can see that here). There is an observation deck in the building but unfortunately we just missed the opening times. Can you tell that it just wasn't our day when it came to observation decks?! We did manage to go up a couple of escalators to get a bit closer to the iconic sphere that sits at the top of the building :o).
The iconic Fuji Television building
The Fuji TV building to the left
Next we headed towards another mall called Palette Town, next to the iconic ferris wheel. Given the petrol head that my hubby is there was no way we could go to Palette Town without spending some time at Megaweb, Toyota's exhibition hall. Inside there were some pretty cool things to see, including the Winglet. In my vlog above I actually managed to capture a few seconds of the Winglet advert that was playing on a screen, in case you've ever wondered about the Japanese style of advertising :o).
The Winglet
As it came close to sunset we went on the Daikanransha ferris wheel which is 115 metres tall. From the top we could see all of Odaiba and much of Tokyo, including Tokyo Tower and the Tokyo SkyTree. We could also see aeroplanes taking off and coming into land at Haneda airport.
Daikanransha Ferris Wheel
View of Tokyo and the Tokyo SkyTree from the Daikanransha Ferris Wheel
Venus Fort Shopping Mall in Odaiba
We ended our time at Odaiba by visiting Venus Fort, a Venice themed shopping mall - not quite what we expected to find in Japan, but it's Japan so one should expect the unexpected. There is a lot to see/do in Odaiba and I don't think you can really see it all in one day. We spent an afternoon there and barely scratched the surface. There is a wide variety in the things that you can see/do in Odaiba from enjoying popular Japanese culture/anime/music to architecture/museums/technology and even a beach. I'd recommend doing your research and prioritising, if you've only got a day in Odaiba just so that you don't miss anything that you're especially keen to see/do.

I hope you enjoyed this peek into our last week in Japan. I will have another vlog of the rest of our week coming soon.

Love Sheen xxx
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