Translated by GonzalezLaura
Recommended Places In Odaiba - A Trip For The Whole Family!
Written by miyazaki yuta
Odaiba has many outdoor and indoor attractions that make it a great destination for a family trip. We explain here how to get to Odaiba from Tokyo, introduce some convenient hotels in the area and suggest a one-day family trip itinerary!
To the those of you worried about where to go shopping or find amusement together with your children, we would like to recommend Odaiba.
Odaiba is one of the newest areas in Tokyo. Development began in the 1980's on the artificial land created within Tokyo Bay. It is conceived as a futuristic city with many amusement and business facilities displaying cutting-edge contemporary architecture. Rainbow Bridge, which streches over a part of Tokyo Bay, the futuristic building of Fuji Television, and The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (also known as "Miraikan", meaning "House of the Future") are some of the iconic places for which Odaiba is famous both within Japan and overseas.
Odaiba features sightseeing spots, hotels, as well as shopping and dining places, all within a fairly close range, which makes them comparatively easy to visit with children. In this article, after explaining how to reach Odaiba from Tokyo and mentioning some of the recommended accommodation facilities in the area, we will suggest a model plan for a one-day family trip to Odaiba.
How To Get To Odaiba
The most convenient way to reach Odaiba from Tokyo is by taking the monorail Yurikamome line from Shimbashi Station, which can be accessed by several JR lines, Including the Yamanote line.
The trains on the Yurikamome line are controlled remotely, so there is no driver. Besides offering a great view over the bay, these trains stop at stations located in the proximity of all the major destinations in Odaiba, such as Odaiba Seaside Park, Tokyo Big Sight and Venus Fort.
If you are departing from Ikebukuro, Shinjuku or Shibuya, the most convenient way to reach Odaiba is by taking the trains on the Rinkai Line heading for Shin-kiba Station and get off either at Tokyo Teleport Station or Kokusai-tenjijo (Tokyo Big Sight) Station.
From Shinagawa Station and Tamachi Station you can also take the Odaiba Rainbow Bus or the Km Flower Bus, which will bring you directly to Odaiba. Bus services are also available from Monzen Nakacho Station, Oimachi Station and Omori Station.
Getting to Odaiba by bus is inexpensive and convenient, as you won't need to change buses. Please keep in mind however that buses depart only each 10 minutes, and the bus ride might take longer than a train ride.
Walk Across the Rainbow Bridge
There is also the option of walking across the Rainbow Bridge and reach Odaiba by foot. Take the Yurikamome line monorail and get off at the 4th station, Shibaura-futo. Upon exiting this station you will find indicators showing the way across the Rainbow Bridge. On sunny days, there is nothing like enjoying a walk and viewing the Tokyo Bay from above Rainbow Bridge!
For more details on how to get to Odaiba and on walking across the bridge, please refer to the following articles:
Accommodation in the Odaiba Area
While less crowded than the inner Tokyo area, Odaiba is an exciting place, with a great view over the bay and many attractions, so you might consider find a hotel in the area.
For the best quality service we recommend the Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba Hotel, a five-star accommodation facility located in the center of the Odaiba sightseeing area, very close the Miraikan.
There are also several business hotels available in the Ariake area, offering excellent access to Tokyo Big Sight, a large exhibition facility where international and national fairs are held. Our recommendations include Hotel Sunroute-Ariake and Tokyo Bay Ariake Washington Hotel.
For those looking for an unconventional accommodation, we suggest trying the capsule hotel within Tokyo Odaiba Oedo Onsen Monogatari. This popular onsen resort is ideal if you wish to enjoy bathing in hot springs. They also offer accommodation in themed capsules, inspired by Japanese culture.
A Family Trip Plan for Enjoying One Day in Odaiba
Now that we have explained how to reach Odaiba from Tokyo and what are the best accommodation options in the area, let us suggest a plan for spending a fun day exploring Odaiba with your family!
10:00 - 13:00, The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation
The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, also known as Miraikan, is a place where you can experience and learn about the latest in technology. As the museum is usually packed, it might be a good idea to try and get there when the museum opens, at 10:00. There are plenty of fun exhibitions that are great for the whole family. How about checking out the latest in the field of technology with your family? Not to mention that children under 18 enter for free every Saturday to the permanent exhibitions.
Also, on the 5th floor you can find a cafe featuring unique science-related menu items, such as the Earth Soda. On the 7th floor there is a self-serve restaurant with a fabulous view. In addition, on the 5th floor there's a nursing room, so mothers with babies will have one less thing to worry about.
13:00 - 15:00, Venus Fort
The next place we suggest you visit is Venus Fort. Venus Fort is a shopping mall that is famous for its beautiful medieval European themed interior.
Venus Fort houses several outlet shops, and is a great place for those looking to enjoy better-priced shopping. Not to mention that there are many shops which offer duty-free services, so this is also a good place for foreign travelers to go shopping.
In Venus Fort you will find many restaurants, as well as a food court, so you can have lunch here. Because the food court is large and lively, it is an ideal environment for families with children to enjoy their time here.
There is free Wi-Fi (up to 3 hours) available inside the building. Besides, there are Chinese, English and Korean speaking-staff permanently stationed here, as well as money exchange machines, making this shopping mall a very convenient place for foreign customers. Moreover, the wide passages inside the building and the baby car rental service, which is a highly welcome service, make it easy for families with children to shop here.
15:00 - 17:00, Ōedo Onsen Monogatari
If you have spent a whole day in Odaiba, how about finishing the day by relaxing in the onsen, or hot springs. Ōedo Onsen Monogatari is located approximately a 20-minute walk away from Venus Fort. Once you have registered at the reception, you get to choose a yukata (浴衣, a type of traditional Japanese clothing), which you wear when going from an area to another inside the building.
The water inside the bathtub is natural, so it is good for neuralgia and muscle pains among other ailments. Both the indoor and outdoor bathtubs are wide and ideal for relaxing at the end of the day.
There is also a space for resting after coming out of the hot springs. You can choose from a wide range of food options including beer snacks, set meals and sushi among other dishes, as well as a wide array of alcoholic drinks. Being here and enjoying these dishes while wearing a traditional yukata, will make you feel like you are taking a time slip back into old Japan. This is something we would love for you to check out.
How does it sound? Sightseeing in Tokyo might take a lot of moving from place to place, placing a burden on families, but one of the most appealing points of Odaiba is that everything is neatly gathered in one spot. You won't have to worry about getting onto cramped trains. Another characteristic is the large number of shops and facilities featuring multi-lingual support. Depending on the season, there are also various events held here, so it is a place nice to visit at any time of the year.
Photos courtesy of: Venus Fort, Ōedo Onsen Monogatari
National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation
Address: Tokyo, Kōtō-ku, Aomi 2-3-6
Hours: 10:00 - 17:00 (Tickets can be purchased up to 30 minutes before closing)
Closed: Tuesday (in the case Tuesday is a national holiday, the museum will be open), year-end holidays (December 28th - January 1st)
Wi-Fi: Tokyo Odaiba Free Wi-fi available
Credit Cards Accepted: -
Multi-lingual Support: Japanese/English/Chinese/Korean
Multi-lingual Menu Available: -
Nearest Station: Fune no Kagakukan Station and Telecom Center Station on the Shinkōtsū Yurikamome Line
Access: 5-minute walk from Fune no Kagakukan Station, 4-minute walk from Telecom Center Station
Price Range: (Adults) 620 yen, (18 and under) 210 yen
Official Website: Miraikan - National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation
Address: Tokyo, Kōtō-ku, Aomi 1-3-15
Hours: (shopping, service) 11:00 - 21:00, (restaurants) 11:00 - 23:00 *Times vary depending on the restaurant and the season.
Closed: No regular holidays
Wi-Fi Available: Free Wi-Fi inside building (up to 3 hours free)
Credit Cards: Yes (VISA/MASTER/JCB/AMEX/Diners/Union Pay)
Multi-lingual Support: Japanese/English/Chinese/Korean
Multi-lingual Menu Available: -
Nearest Station: Aomi Station on the Shinkōtsū Yurikamome Line; Tokyo Teleport Station on the Rinkai Line
Access: directly connected to Aomi Station; 3-minute walk from Tokyo Teleport Station
Official Website: Venus Fort
Ōedo Onsen Monogatari
Address: Tokyo, Kōtō-ku, Aomi 2-6-3
Hours: 11:00 - next morning 09:00 (last entrance is 07:00)
Closed: For maintenance, about one time a month
Hours: 11:00 - 23:00 (last entrance 21:00)
Credit Cards: Yes (VISA/JCB/DC/UC/Diners Club International/AEON/AMEX/Master/Union Pay)
Multi-lingual Menu Available: English/Chinese (traditional)/Korean
Nearest Station: Telecom Center Station on the Shinkōtsū Yurikamome Line
Access: 2-minute walk from Telecom Center Station, free shuttle bus available (link in Japanese only)
Afternoons: Weekdays - 2480 yen/Sat, Sun, Holidays - 2680 yen/on specified days - 2880 yen
Nighttime (Entrance past 18:00): Weekdays - 1980 yen/Sat, Sun, Holidays: 2180 yen/on specified days: 2380 yen
(Children Ticket Price) 4 years old-elementary school age student - 1000 yen/Under 4 years old children - free
Official Website: Ōedo Onsen Monogatari