Last modified: Mon Oct 16 14:00:24 JST 2006

Mutual links: Tokyo Hotels

Budget guide to Tokyo Odaiba district


Although nobody say Odaiba is most beautiful area of Tokyo, it still have lot to offer. Beach, parks, TV studio, restaurants, cafes, shopping malls, Little Hong Kong, night-light, and even Stature of Liberty.

From central part of Tokyo, just to cross the Rainbow Bridge, you will arrive at Odaiba. It's cheap and fast. So just relax and plan a half/full day trip to Odaiba. With my little guide, you can enjoy better than local Tokyo residents do.

Note: There are some expensive & luxurious places, but I introduce only budget places.

Things to see


This beach is artificial. In other word, it was constructed. Anyway, you can walk along sea shore, enjoy the view, Sun bath (if you want), and picnic. Entrance is free (I hardly imagine someone would pay) and have facility of drinkable water, public toilet.

Please keep in mind that following activities are prohibited in here.

Coliform count is high, so don't venture into sea, even if you witness some local kids do. Sewage treatment facility is just the opposite side of the beach. In summer, it might smell of sewage due to the high temperature of sea water. In the case you don't feel like picnic here, move to another park or somewhere else. Well, when I visit in middle of September, temperature was hight but things are not so bad.


Shiokaze Kouen

Shiokaze Kouen (Sea breeze park) is largest park in Odaiba district. In summer, kids are happily playing with artificial river.

This park also has barbecue site. The park is owned by Tokyo but the barbecue facility is operated by commercial company. Price begins at 2000 yen per person, including meat, vegetable, noodle, table, camping gas. (somehow, chairs are not included and if you rent, 200 yen per chair) Need reservation ahead. Call 03-5500-0689, Monday thru Friday, from 9 to 5 but I'm not certain they can understand English. In the case try the fax number 03-5500-0691 (accept 24 hours) in plain and easy English.

Note: Need cancelation fee.

Technically speaking, it is possible to borrow this barbecue site for free and bring your own grill and foods when few customers. (Although I'm not sure they are happy with that) If somebody tried, please give me the information.

There are another barbecue site at Kasai Rinkai Kouen. (Kasai close to the sea park) Call 03-5667-1631 or fax 03-5667-1632.

Fuji TV studio

Fuji TV has English Web page, but without shock-wave flash plug-in, you can't get any information.

Fuji TV studio is now Tokyo's No.1 populer sight seeing spot. You can see panoramic view from here. And you can visit TV studio. Night-light from here is also impressing. To go into the sphere viewing place at 25th floor, you have to pay admission fee of 500 yen but you can go as high as 24th floor for free. I'll tell you the secret.

First, you ride escalator and move up to seventh floor. There are two elevators. Do not follow the crowd. Most of the visitors will walk toward the voices calling "To see the sphere viewing place and TV studio, please purchase entrance ticket here!" and walk left side. Left side elevator will move up to 25th floor, and cost 500 yen. Right side elevator will move up to 24th floor, and no fees are needed. Views from 24th floor is nice enough. Remember "Right-side is the right side".

When Fuji TV opend, the sphere viewing place was also free of charge. But it became famous and so many people visited, there need to hire gurads. Therefor, entrance fee was required. As now, 24th floor is still open free of charge but if many people noticed this tips and avoid paying 500 yen, things might be change.
After you enjoyed the views, go back to 7th floor by the same elevator and if you want to visit TV studio, ride the escalator downward and it's located in 5th floor. It's free, but I'm not sure foreigner would amused here. Most of the exhibitions are explained only in Japanese and if you are not watching Japanese TV, I don't think visiting TV studio is fun.

Decks Tokyo Beach

Decks Tokyo Beach don't have English Web page, but you can get English floor guide at the entrance.

Views from the Sea side deck are nice. Sea, Rainbow Bridge, and Tokyo tower.

Decks Tokyo has two portion: one is "Sea Side Mall" located sea side, and "Island Mall" i recently constracted annex. Inside of the building are boutiques, restaurant, FM radio studios.

Little Hong Kong

Just climb at sixth or seventh floors of Island Mall, this place is not Japan anymore. Atmosphere in here is, back street of Hong Kong. If you take a phot of here, your friend will beleave you made an trip to Hong Kong. It also have souvenir shops, and Cantonese restaurants. You can select from variety of cuisine - dumplings, ramen (Chinese noodle) and yum cha.


Video game arcade that need 500 yen to just enter. First I thought the attraction named "Viva! Skydivig" (I don't know this phrase is grammatically correct, but at least spelling is wrong) might be thrilling, but I learned that it is not like bungee jump, but just a "virtual dive" and scene of falling from the sky will be displayed on the screen.

Dark and noisy. I personally don't like the atmosphere of here, but might be good option when weather is bad and you like exciting games.

Microbrewery Beer

Daiba beer is Decks Tokyo's original and german-style beer. See the pamphlet for the details. Suppose it cost 500 yen per glass.

Parking of Decks Tokyo Beach

Aqua City

Aqua City don't have English Web page, no English pamphlet at the entrance but don't panic; go to the information counter and get one.

Similar to the Decks Tokyo Beach, but this place is designed as barrier free (You can borrow wheel chair. Ask at information counter) and by and large, restaurants in here are modestly priced (at least, Odaiba's standard) and some even welcome little kids. But English pamphlet don't have informations about it.


Althouh not an official site, Mediage has some English Web pages.

About 1/3 of the Aqua City's building is called Mediage. It has 13 multiiplex cinema screens. And also have some attractions.

Expensive and I never tried any of these.

Stature of Liberty

For one year, French Statue of Liberty had located in Odaiba. Now it returned to Grenelle bridge, Seine river, Paris. So now this one in front of the Aqua City is replica. But the French Statue of Liberty is also a replica of the original USA version anyway, so it makes minor difference and it's nice you don't Have to go to France or USA to take photo shot. And you can see Tokyo Tower instead of Eiffel Tower.

Parking of Aqua City


I reccomnend the Sea side deck of Decks Tokyo Beach, and 24th floor of Fuji TV.

Off the beaten truck

Palette Town

Palette Town has four majour interesting place to see.

Ferris Wheel

Although I've never ride it, the Odaiba Ferris Wheel is said to offer most fascinating view of the Odaiba district, especially night-light. So this is dearest sight-seeing spot of young couples. Price to ride is 900 yen per person but group in six people can ride it for 3000 yen, so 500 yen per person.

Waiting hours to ride

People say many things, but generally speaking, daytime of weekdays, no need to wait. Nights are crowded and weekends are even more crowded. Friday and Saturday is most crowded and can be two hours waiting, especially when whole Odaiba district is crowded but when not so crowded, you can ride about after 10 to 30 minutes waiting.

Venus Fort

Venus Fort said to be their attendant crews can capable of guide in several languages, so if somebody tried, please let me know. (Audio cassette?) Anyway, I don't know why they are not capable of prepare English Web page or English pamphlet to reduce the questions.

This "theme park" is designated for women's beauty. The appearance is unified as 18th century Renaissance style and the fountain is "must see". All fashion and cosmetic shops, cafes and restaurants are also "worth to see".

Venus Fort opened in August 1999 and this place is 10 years term leasehold interest from Tokyo metropolitan government. (This is why interior of Venus Fort is uncomparably gorgeous, but exterior is not so much)
I personally feel scraping the Venus Fort and make it to an apartment will be like killing the goose that laid the golden egg, but predicting the year 2009 will be difficult for me.

Parking of Venus Fort

New! : From 2001-12 trough 2002-02

Palette town east parkin lot on weekday is free for within one hour parking. 250 yen per each additional 30 minutes. If you purchase 5000 yen or more (excluding tax), two hours of parking fee is free so it makes three hours free parking in weekdays.

Sun Walk

Sun Walk don't have English Web page, but you can get English floor guide at the entrance.

It is the first floor of Venus Fort, and it has shopping mall including pet shop.


MEGA WEB is not a big Web site but a Toyota city show case and don't have English Web. (Seems like there is no English pamphlet either) It has exhibition of motor vehicles, attractions, historic cars. Interesting place for who loves automobile, boresome for who are not. One thing I'd like to introduce is, this place has Wel-cab corner, which displays Toyota's specially modified welfare car for handy-capped people. It is possible to try welfare car in the test driving course before purchase. Need driver license and reservation ahead.

Palette Garden

In autumn, there are some cosmos. In winter, only soil. As it is, there is nothing interesting. I will report in the spring.

Wanza Ariake Bay Mall

Wanza Ariake Bay Mall don't have English Web page, no English pamphlet of the floor guide.

TFT (Tokyo Fashion Town) building are separated to East-wing and West-wing. Whole second floor of East-wing, and partial first floor of West-wing is named Wanza Ariake Bay Mall. (most Japanese confuse TFT and Wanza Ariake Bay Mall because nothing is explained in their Web nor pamphlet) TFT West-wing building has three hall, and East-wing building has 12 conference room at 9th floor.

Wanza Ariake Bay Mall is just in front of "Kokusai Tenjijo Seimon" station of Yurikamome, or from "Kokusai Tenjijo" station of Rinkaisen, five minutes walk.

I like here because its relaxed feelings. And usually, less crowded. (Situation may be different when big convention is held at Tokyo Big Sight, which located just the other side of Yurikamome) Wanza Ariake Bay Mall have wide choice of place to eat, from top end restaurants to fast-food chains. Although it's out of my budget, Kagaya (03-5530-5800) said to be a good traditional Japanese restaurant. Courses 3000 yen to 7000 yen.

Compared to the Aqua City or Decks Tokyo, Wanza Ariake Bay Mall lucks one things: Nice view of the Rainbow Bridge. So, less popular.

Tokyo Teleport

Tokyo Teleport has English Web pages, but no worth to see. Seems like no English pamphlet is available.

Like tower of Babel, this tower of bubble remained as a symbol of bubble economy. You can tip in some of these from two mysterious places.

Tokyo Metropolitan government Youth Center

It cost 600 yen to go to viewing point at 21st floor of Tokyo Teleport, but this youth center is locating at 20th floor and cost nothing. Have chairs and you can enjoy nice view of southern part of Odaiba district.

Opening hour: Monday through Saturday 10 to 9, Sundays and holidays 10 to 6. Closing December 29th through January 3rd.

When I visit, I saw book shelfs and some old and unimpressive books on it, few CDs, few Videos, VCR decks, TV sets. Also donated Youth Hostel news and some other free pamphlet, and one silver worker (hiring retired people as welfare purpose) at the entrance. I couldn't understand the reason this place exist, what is this organization's assignment but I could understand this organization contribute nothing to the current youth problem.

Docomo Town

The opposit of Tokyo Metropolitan government Youth Center is Docomo Town. This place has some windows and you can glance the view of north part of Odaiba district.

Entrance is free and open 10 to 6 on Monday through Friday, 10 to 8 on Saturday, Sundays and holidays. Close on Monday but if Monday is holiday, then close next day. Also close on year end and year begins.

It is difficult to explain something that I can't understand. Docomo is a bland name of NTT (Japanese version of AT&T) mobile phone. Although NTT was privatelized about a decade ago, it still remains images of government owned company. Anyway, when I visited on cold and rainy weekdays, I saw no attendance in this wide space. Two receptionists seems to nothing to do. I wonder how much is the rent, and where comes there salary?

Inside of Docomo Town is filled with video games which asking question about electromagnetic waves, or how mobile phone works, or history of NTT and press answer button. How uninteresting! But I was invited to play the games. I've been a engender of Electro-magnetic compatibility for six years, so I could answer almost all questions but NTT's history, but I felt adult won't feel interest any of this games, but these questions are too difficult for kids to enjoy or learn. Actually, while I was answering the questions, I saw some Moms bringing her little child to play with, but seems like children are not really understanding the question at all; just enjoying something is displayed on the screen, and animation character speaks, and press buttons without understanding anything, and hear the sound of responding. I was given a small mascot doll for prize, but unfortunately, it's not lovely one. Anyway, one good news: however you made mistakes, right answer is displayed on the screen so anyone who joined the game can receive the mascot doll.

So the answer of this places meaning is, entrance free kinder-garden. Anyway, is is clear that Docomo Town is not intended to make money nor attract attendance, but have many budget to advertise this place.

Restrans and Cafes

There are plenty. I don't have time nor money to try around and rating it, but I'll tell you my knowledge.


Odaiba district have many convenience store so buying sandwiches, soft drinks, beer, lunch pack is easy. In Japan, selling alcohols need license so pnly some convenience store have stocks.

List of convenience store

It is essential where to sit down. I recommend Sea side deck at Decks Tokyo Beach. (it connected to Aqua City) It has nice view. So, stocking up at SUNKUS of Aqua City is my recommend. When whether is bad, you can sit at "Aqua Plaza" at central part of the first floor of Aqua City. There placed tables and chairs, and surrounded by McDonald and Cinabon, and bus stop of Bay Shuttle is just outside.

Next place is, around Shiokaze Kouen.


McDonald suspend weekday half price discount from 2002 due to the yen fall (they never say it's because BSE and customer decreased) so it's not appealing than before but still low-priced and relaxed-feeling first-food restaurant are favorite among Japanese people under recession economy. McDonald at Aqua City might be crowded at the Weekend.

In same reason, Star Backs at Aqua City is also a young peoples favorite.

Top End

I hear Japanese TV series program "Iron Chef" is also broadcasted in USA at "food channel" of cable TV. Anyway, "Iron Chef" is a recently used title of champion chef in each cuisine. Amazingly, second floor Ariake Park buidling has three restaurants with Iron Chefs. As long as I know, no other restaurants in Odaiba have managed to hire Iron Chef. It's out of my budget so I don't know the details (I will pleased to guide you, if you treat me) but may be they need reservation ahead.

Note: It's difficult to understand that part of Ariake Park building is the "Tokyo Bay Ariake Washington Hotel" and it often used confusingly. Second floor of Ariake Park building is restaurants mall.

Restaurants mall is three minutes walk from Ariake station of Yurikamome.

Free Consert

As long as I know, three conserts are held reguraly.
  1. Chinese traditional music
  2. Sunset consert

Schedule of Atrium Concert

This free concert is sometimes performed by up-and-coming young musicians, or even prize winner of international competition. And it often supported by Embassy.

When I arrived at the first floor of Telecom Center building around 11:40, only one audience was sat and waiting. Seems like this concert is little known and rarely full, but I felt the program was enjoyable.

Telecom Center is government-run facility and designated to be a information technology center, but their Web site about concert schedule was updated six month ago. So the only way to get the schedule information is, go to the Atrium Concert and get the pamphlet. I transcript what printed on the paper.

Jan 31, at 12:05
Johann Sebastian Bach : Brandenburg Concerto No. 4
Johann Sebastian Bach : Brandenburg Concerto No. 5
Performed by up-and-coming young musicians.

Feb 27, at 12:05
Franz Schubert : Sonate fur Klavier Nr.21 B dur D.960
Performed by up-and-coming young musicians.

Mar 20, at 12:05
Johann Sebastian Bach : The Goldberg Variations BWV.988
Performed by Mayuko Hattori, an award winner of many piano competitions.

You might try to call 03-5500-0086 (listed in the pamphlet) and ask about ATRIUM CONCERT schedule. If anybody success to get the information by English, please let me know.


This web site <> have good English map.

Getting Around

Bay Shuttle

Bay Shuttle don't have Web page, no English signs at bus stop, no English announcement in the bus. But don't worry, you loose no money because it's free.

Bay Shuttle is free shuttle bus runs circular route in Odaiba. You can easily distinguish this red bus painted "Free", but finding bus stops are not. Most of them are located where it is hard to expect. If you have spare time and like to come to Odaiba several times, try a free round trip which takes about 40 minutes. Looking Odaiba throgh the window, and remember where the bus stops are. Then, you know better about Bay Shuttle than local people.

  1. Palette Town
  2. Nihon Kagaku Mirai Kan (National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation)
  3. Aomi Rinji Chuusha Jou (Aomi Temporary Parking Lot)
  4. Hotel Nikko Tokyo
  5. Aqua City Odaiba
  6. Odaiba Kaihin Koen (Odaiba Seaside Park)
  7. Hotel Grand Pacific Meridian
  8. Fuji Terebi (Fuji Television)
  9. Tokyo Teleport Eki (Station of Tokyo Teleport)
  10. Tokyo Bay Ariake Washington Hotel
  11. Tokyo Big site
  12. Aomi Eki Mae (in front of Station of Aomi)

Getting There and Away

Walk the Rainbow Bridge

From April 2000, pedestrian can walk the Rainbow Bridge for free (Even many local people consider entrance fee of 300 yen is still mandatory) but still, only few people try to walk the way. If you are living near the Bridge you can walk 1.7km (about one mile) to Odaiba. There are free bicycle lot at the bridge, but you can't ride it on the bridge. (width of the bridge is too narrow to allow bicycle ride) It takes about 40 minutes, and you will inevitably inhale lot of exhaust from the cars passing by. I recommend to choose South road when southern wind, North road when northern wind to avoid intaking the pollution as possible.


April - October9:00 - 20:30
November - March10:00 -17:30


No English sign at bus stop, no English announcement in the bus, no English Web resources are available (expect my Web's little info) so it's difficult to use it for foreigner unless you know some sort of Japanese. But if you like to live like local people do, or you like harder way, or you like to save money, or have little kids with you, or bus stop is near your home and other public transportation is far from you, bus can be an option.

Buses which go to Odaiba consist of two separate systems: Tokyo metropolitan government operated bus, known as tobasu ; and Keikyu-bus, a company railways Keikyu operated buses.

Like most local people, I have only information of the tobasu that I've really rode.


Bus depart from JR Shinagawa station, east exit (Kounan-guchi). (Timetable)
  1. Go out of JR Shinagawa's station exit.
  2. Walk toward the direction of east exit about three minutes. You will arrive at pedestorian deck.
  3. Go down the staircase A.
  4. Bus depart from bus stop number nine. The line of bus is "Niji 02". Niji means rainbow in Japanese. (this bus cross the Rainbow Bridge)
  5. Get off at Fuji Televison.
The last bus to Shinagawa depart Fuji Televison bus stop at 20:09. (Timetable)

Bus fare

Prepair coins, and pay it when you ride. Buses are equipped with automatic exchange machine for 1000 yen bill, but if you only have large amount of bills and when bus driver don't have enough money to exchange, you might be asked to exchange or buy something at somewhere else.

The price of tobasu is

Adult for 200 yen is easy, but the price of pre-elementary school children are difficult to understand. Don't worry, most local people don't know either. (Bus driver would know)

One day pass cost 500 yen. (Child 250 yen) You can buy it from bus driver. (To promote to use public transportation, you can get small discount at Wednesday)

There are another buses are running directly to Odaiba and vice versa, but I can't provide enough information that I've never ride, so only adventurous travelers or who can ask in Japanese language should use it.


Their Web don't have enough information even in Japanese language, but and vice versa seems to operating.

Bus fare

I thought Keikyu-bus cost 210 yen per ride, but might be higher for riding it from JR Yokohama or Haneda Airport.


Yurikamome don't have English Web page, but usage of ticket vending machine is written in English (look around!) and it has English signs, and even English announcement in the train so easy to ride for foreigners.

New transport system Yurikamome is fun to just ride. Because it run overhead, you can enjoy nice view from the window (when weather condition is good). And Yurikamome also has English announcement in the train, it's easy to use.

When large exhibition is held at Tokyo Big Site, many attendance will use Yurikamome in same time. They don't have commuter pass so there are long queue in front of ticket vending machine. In the case, you might have to wait 20 minutes just to buy ticket and Yurikamome is super-crowded.
From JR Shinbashi station, one way 300 yen. One-day ticket 800 yen, Sea Bus & Yurikamome one-day common ticket 900 yen.

How to buy Sea Bus & Yurikamome ONE-DAY COMMON TICKET

  1. Choose the ticket vending machine which has ONE-DAY COMMON TICKET mark on it.
  2. Insert 1000 yen bill or coins.

  3. Press ONE-DAY COMMON TICKET mark.

  4. Press "fare". Adult for 900 yen.

Sea Bus

Sea Bus lucks English information overall, so difficult to ride for foreigner. Take your time.

Route you can embark by Sea Bus & Yurikamome common ticket are,

And vice versa. Sea Bus ride will be a good memory when weather is good. When weather is bad, consider to ride Yurikamome instead.

Sea Bus cross under the Rainbow Bridge between Odaiba Seaside Park and Museum of Maritime and Science.


Rinkaisen don't have English Web page nor announcement in the train, but it has English signs so it's not difficult to use it for foreigners.

Rinkaisen has another name. It's TWR (Tokyo Water-front Rapid train) but even local people never know this name, so forget it. Unlike Yurikamome, Rinkaisen is NOT fun to ride. Before reaching to the platform, you have to use the escalator and go deep under the ground. And all you can see from the window is wall of the tunnel. If you ride from Tennozu Isle station, Odaiba is next stop. Get off at Tokyo Teleport station. It's three minutes ride and one way cost 180 yen. Fastest and cheapest.

Generally speaking, new transport system cost high but Tokyo Teleport is only one station ride, it's cheaper than Bus.
Where is "Tennozu Isle"? Hmm... That's a good question. Even most local people don't know. Expect buses from JR Shinagawa station east exit and monorail from Hamamatsu, there is no connection with other public transportation. Tennozu Isle station just opened April 2000, and still under constructing to the way to JR Osaki station, which is expected to open in the end of 2002.
Now you guess why even local people don't know the station, nor Rinkaisen. The answer is, people won't notice even if small entrances of the underground station are appeared and the line is useless to them as it is. But it has one advantage: unlike road or Yurikamome or Sea Bus, Rinkaisen never clouded.

by Car

Upper layer of Rainbow Bridge is metropolitan highway and need toll of 700 yen. Lower layer is general road and free.

Car lot price vary. For convenient place, prices are high. Remote and unconvenient places are low. You might consider parking at Aomi Temporary lot and ride Bay Shuttle.



May be you can't expect store assistant would understand English.

Car pool

Clouded and expensive. Average 1500 yen per day for remote area, 500 yen per hour for central area.


The impression of Odaiba may greatly differ from day and time and place. When I visited Telecom Center to hear the free concert in cold and rainy weekday at noon, I found very little people were there. And Yurikamome was carrying only a handful of people, so I felt people in this island are nearly extinct.
But only three days after, it was holiday and people are celebrating Christmas Eve, I came across throng of young couples at Decks Tokyo, Venus Fort, and Aqua City (somehow Tokyo Fashion Town was not so crowded) and long waiting line at entrance of the restaurants. Travel with small children in special day like this is not recommended.
Bay Shuttle were delayed about 25 minutes and when it arrived, attendant announced "Today, road are crowded, it may took 40 minutes or more to go to Fuji TV, but are you OK?" and about later half of waiting line at bus stop gave up to wait next bus and chose to walk. I could ride it, but had to "declare" to get off and pushing other passengers to go out. Day like that, just moving from one place to another was hard work. I also saw flashing sign above the road displaying "Car lot full".

How to detect the crowdness?

If somebody knows, please let me know :-)

My way of guessing if today's are crowded or not is,

  1. Traffic information.
    When "Daiba sen" ("sen" means line in Japanese, and Daiba sen means metropolitan highway Daiba line) has traffic jam, it is a sign of Odaiba district is crowded. Local people use general road and don't use Daiba sen to cross the Rainbow Bridge, so it indicate many people are coming from far to enjoy. The problem is, I don't know where can I get English metropolitan highway traffic information.
  2. Live camera.
    It's hard to recommend one Web, because none of then are good enough, and live Web cameras are frequently appear and disappear but view of Rainbow Bridge from Fuji TV studio might help. See the picture and if there are many dots on the bridge, Odaiba district might be crowded. The problem is, picture is too small to detect the cars.
  3. Sea Bus.
    When they stop selling one-day pass in some terms, it means they are expecting many passenger. The problem is, Sea Bus lucks English information overall.

Stormy History of Odaiba

Note: It's only my point of view.

Bubbling '80s

Odaiba district was planned at bubbling 1980's. At that age, land values of Japan were exactly same as tulipomania of Netherlands, about 350 years ago. Most Japanese people were follower of "Land myths", it's beleaf was land value would never fall. Banks were happily lend money to traders, because land trading was the most profitable business.

Steadily rising prices, even ordinary middle-class believed real estate's sales talk that it was foolish to paying for rent because value of the house will sure to increase so if they need to move, they could resale at higher prices so there is nothing to worry to buy home.


When mayor of Tokyo was Mr. Suzuki, they planed International City Expositions at Odaiba district. The idea of expositions are already an idea of past days. For example, But the success of Japanese 1985 Tsukuba expositions (which attracted 20.3 million attended) lead to many local expositions all over the Japan, most of then resulted in failures of small attendances and great financial losses. Some people felt City Expositions at Odaiba was sure to considered nothing new, nothing exciting. But other people insisted inflated number of attendants would come, and said it's worth to do because jobs are created; buildings, bridges, and roads, new transportation systems also created. And most of the budget of $10,000 million could be balanced by land price rise. Rest of them are payable by increase of tax income, because spin-offs of the pavilions are used as office building, it sure to attract many corporations to move in.

But the bubble economy was already showing the sign of bursting.

Bubble burst

Finally, Japanese people became aware that land values are unnaturally high so that middle-class families could never buy. Resale became difficult even among speculators. The money game was finally over when increase of consuming tax from 3% to 5% triggered the great recessions. As land prices became falling, bubble dream was turned into nightmare. Traders who bought them at the highest prices are hardest hit. Banks loans secured on Japanese land became not secure anymore, and next to worthless.

Middle-class family who bought a home which was more expensive compared with their income, have to give up the idea of resale - at even lower prices. When they need to move, they have to choose selling it at next to nothing (compared to the price they bought) or commuting longer hours. You can see many example who had to choose later one, at the morning Rinkaisen. Their working place moved, but they couldn't move. This is one reason Rinkaisen is clouded.

Accused as tax wasting, the International City Expositions at Odaiba was abandoned by Mr. Aoshima, the Tokyo metropolitan governer at the time. (Mr. Suzuki, former governer blamed Mr. Aoshima and said the act as bad as cult member's sarin gas attack in subway, and laughed) This is why Odaiba having artificial and futuristic flavour, and looks like some sort of playground like having ferris wheel.

The pace of development have to be delayed. This is why Odaiba is a landlocked island. Constructions of public transportations are not finished yet.

Many areas which should be building construction sites are still vacant places. Even already constructed buildings has fewer tenants than they expected, not even payable the cost of renovation. Why build another? This is why Odaiba district has many vast vacant areas.

By the year of 1995, Odaiba area is almost ruins with many super-modern buildings.

Rebuilt after Bubble Ruins

To conceal the failure, seeds of flowers are spread in vacant places by using tax. Now the numbers are decreasing, this is why Odaiba district has flower field even in the middle of Tokyo. Ironically, the scene of the flowers among modern buildings are turned into attractive photo spot. "Pallet Garden" is one of them.

Also to conceal the failure, some of the vacant places are called "Temporary car lot" and allow to park in lower prices that helps reducing traffic jam caused by drivers seeking for car pool at Odaiba area.

Moods were changing as these event took place.

Odaiba became popular place, because local people aware what I explained in Introduction section. Where people gather, there are business opportunity.

Public transportation within Odaiba district was so poor, free shuttle bus was planed by Tokyo metropolitan assembly. This is why "Bay Shuttle" is free and deluxe. So don't hesitate to ride it.

Odaiba district is still developing, just not like bubbling 80's, but it's own steadily paces.


Sea pollution

Some people catch gobioid around here and cook it, but Japanese Fisheries Agency reported that dioxin levels of bass caught in Tokyo bay is high. (6.5 pico gram per one gram) Japanese current regulation is 10 pico gram per one kg of body weight, so if your weight is 50 kg, 500 pico gram is daily limit. For example, if you eat Tokyo bay's bass 100g, it will exceed the limit. About gobioid - I have no data in my hand, but if you like fishing and eat it, I suggest not to eat so often.

Air pollution

Just south of Shiokaze Kouen (Sea breeze park) there are exhaust ventilation facility of Tokyo sea tunnel. It means, when there is south wind and you are in Shiokaze Kouen (especially near the barbecue site) you might inhale a lot of exhaust from vehicles stacking in the tunnel.
It's acceptable for most of people (especially who used to living in Tokyo) but might be unconformable for people coming from clean air environment, and kids and senior citizen who has asthma problem should be avoided.

Related Weblinks

By using Web, you can research your trip before you go - True, if you can read Japanese or you are planning Paris visit. But false if you are not. It's really amazing there are so few English Web resources about Odaiba area. Tokyo is Japanese Capital and especially in Minato ward, (Aqua City, Fuji TV, Decks Tokyo belong to Minato ward) about a tenth of population is foregner registrated. But still, no majour attractions has English page. Only exception is Tokyo Teleport, but I was disappointed to see that. This is the reason I write this guide.

English Website


If you know others, please let me know.

Travel guide

Some foreigner living in Japan has nice guide. Please have a look.

Japanese Website

Offical Website of Attractions

Ask Japanese friend to check events and bargain information.

Link list or Personal Web site

If you have Japanese friends to go with, show them these info.

About the auther: Satoshi Sugihara was born and raised in Tokyo. After finish the education, found a job at Kanagawa prefecture and lived there for 13 years. Coming back to Tokyo due to the recession.
for questions or comments, please send mail to: <>