Odaiba is a large island of reclaimed land in Tokyo Bay, at one end of the Rainbow Bridge across from the city center. Since the 1990’s it’s been a much used commercial district and the site for various popular events, conferences and festivals. The upcoming Cirque du Soleil show, Totem, will be located there and it will be the venue for beach volleyball, triathlon and gymnastics for 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The expansive area—surrounded by accessible seashore, man-made beaches and lookouts—is filled with airy boardwalks, paths and pedestrian strolls, making it the perfect spot for a family day trip. The entertainment centers of Odaiba are divided into four distinct malls: Aqua City, Decks, Diver City and Venus Fort.
The younger ones will love Legoland in Decks, home to an engaging mix of innovative displays and attractions, as well as plenty of hands-on activities for the kids. It features “Miniland” (a miniature model of the Tokyo cityscape made from nearly 1.5 million Lego bricks), “Kingdom Quest” (a Lego-themed, laser shoot-em-up ride), “Lego Racers” (where youngsters can build and test their own lego vehicles) and the highly entertaining 4DX theater.
Children and adults alike will get a kick out of Sega’s Joypolis, also at Decks. Here, everyone can enjoy riding the indoor roller coaster and crazy half-pipe, playing the latest video games or screaming in the haunted house. Outside Divercity, be sure to get photos of the larger-than-life Gundam anime character. Also, for breakfast, brunch or lunch the popular spot is Bill’s, an Australian surf-styled restaurant at Decks—famed for some of the fluffiest pancakes in Tokyo.
All of the malls have a wide range of tax-free shopping available. Popular stores for tourists in Aqua City include the Onitsuka Tiger shoe brand, the Hello Kitty souvenir shop and Flying Tiger Copenhagen. For a purely visual experience, try the illuminated 3D projection mapping at the center of Venus Fort. There is also Venus Starium, a star mapping show at the other end of the hall with an animated show that runs for 10 minutes each half hour to accompany the planetarium display.
If you’d like to get out on the water, have a cocktail and enjoy a unique view of the colorful Tokyo skyline from one of the best vantage points in Odaiba, take an evening cruise on the Jicoo floating bar—it sails between Odaiba and Hinode piers daily.