Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Christmas Break 8: Odaiba

Thursday, December 30th

On Thursday we went to Odaiba. It's a man-made island in Tokyo Bay. It was originally built for defense in the 1800s, but now it has a lot of cool stuff.

It was my first time going to Odaiba so I didn't quite know what to expect. However, I started loving it as soon as we were on the monorail heading for Odaiba. The monorail had some great views of the city and was a lot of fun!

When we exited the monorail station in Odaiba and started walking around, I was immediately impressed. We were in a nice shopping area and it wasn't very crowded. We stopped at a McDonald's for coffee and then went to the Fuji TV headquarters.

The Fuji TV building has really neat architecture. The highlight of the building is a large ball.


We went up in the ball to get a view of Tokyo across the water. I've spent a lot of time in Tokyo, but this was my first time seeing the skyline from a distance.



This scene was randomly in the ball. I posed for a picture of course.


Haha, Vs. Arashi!



Then we walked around a bit and ate lunch at an Italian restaurant. Then we went to the Tokyo Teleport Station and teleported to NYC!


Ok, so we didn't really teleport to NYC, but there really is a place called Tokyo Teleport Station. Unfortunately it's just a train station.


We stopped in a 100 yen store and I bought some chocolate-banana flavored Mario candy.


As we headed towards the ferris wheel we passed a wall with some interesting artwork.





Yay! There's the Ferris Wheel!

Inside Palette Town was a HUGE arcade! We played games in there until sunset to ride the ferris wheel. However, when sunset came, it wasn't that impressive so we decided to wait until it was darker to ride the ferris wheel. So then we spent some time in the Toyota place there.


I loved the pretty colors!

Then I saw a place called Hello Kitty's Kawaii Paradise and HAD to go in! I didn't care that my boyfriend would absolutely hate it... :)



Don't those guys look so thrilled???




The guy working there had pink capri pants.

Then we rode the ferris wheel! It's called Daikanransha and it's 115 meters (377 feet tall). It was the largest ferris wheel in the world when it opened in 1999, but now it's number 12.

The view was incredible!





Here's a video that I took. We weren't even at the top yet!



The ferris wheel is lit up very colorfully!




The ferris wheel costs 900 yen, which is a little expensive, but I think it was definitely worth the money. I've been on one other ferris wheel in Japan (the one in Yokohama) but this was the better of the two. The one in Yokohama is still awesome, but the view of Tokyo with the Rainbow Bridge and Tokyo Tower made the Odaiba ferris wheel better.

Before leaving Odaiba, we spent a little time in Venus Fort. It's a mall with a really cool ceiling. It looks like the sky and changes from day to night every half hour.





There was a Kiddyland store in Venus Fort. I bought this really cute cell phone charm!


Yay! Hello Kitty dressed up as a pink version of the fake Statue of Liberty!



The Rainbow Bridge looked really nice at night. I've seen many pictures of it lit up with plain lights and wondered why it was called the Rainbow Bridge. I wonder why they don't use the rainbow lights all the time.

On the way back to the station, we passed through a mall with a cool aquarium display.





Overall, I was very impressed with Odaiba. When we left that morning I wasn't sure if we would spend a whole day there or not. But we easily spent a whole day there and there's still more to see. I will definitely go back before I leave Japan.

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