Date: 28th March 2015
After enjoying the relaxing
walk along Sumida river and capturing the cherry blossom trees in bloom, I was now going to get on a boat to Odaiba — a major shopping and entertainment district in Tokyo Bay.
I paid ¥1310 (₹750/$11.5/€10) for my one way journey to Odaiba
My boat had arrived
I sat inside for a while
That golden building belonging to Asahi breweries is meant to resemble a beer mug
Asahi Beer Hall with the “golden turd” on top
It didn’t take me long to go up to the top of the boat
Seemed like the majority of the passengers chose not to sit down below
Passed many interesting looking buildings along the way
Look like a pricey apartment complex. Must offer amazing views though.
That’s the site of the new Tokyo Olympic stadium
We were now in Tokyo Bay — and that’s Rainbow bridge
It’s called the Rainbow Bridge because at night, the bridge gets illuminated in vibrant colours
We were about to dock at Odaiba boat station
That’s the iconic headquarters of Fuji TV, one of the major broadcasters in Japan
It was designed by the Kenso Tange, the same architect behind the
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, which I had visited yesterday.
That’s an observation dome
It was time to disembark
There’s a beach here
There are two major malls facing the bay. I went inside Decks, mostly because it had a massive SEGA Joypolis.
Unfortunately I couldn’t go in and check out the arcades until I purchased an entry ticket, which I just couldn’t justify purchasing given how little time I had in Odaiba
I went up to the top floor of Decks and found some interesting shops. This had classic arcade machines.
Lucky Box is a shop where you pay different sums of money and select random boxes. Inside are gifts and products ranging from cheap stuff to expensive products. Savvy business idea I must say — especially if YOU get ripped off 🙂
Yup, a shop dealing in only Michael Jackson merchandise 🙂
Decks also houses a Madame Tussauds and LEGO experience center
¥204 for a packet of green tea flavour Kit Kat at a beauty chain store. Just keep this price in mind.
Now it was time to see the main reason I came to Odaiba. For that I headed to Diver City mall.
The giant Gundam statue!
At 18 metres (59 feet) in height, it was built by Bandai to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise
For the uninitiated, Mobile Suit Gundam is an anime series that first aired back in 1979 and continues to be a popular Japanese pop-culture figure. There are Mobile Suit Gundam movies, TV series, video games and of course, model kits called Gunpla. This giant Gundam was officially opened to the public in 2009 and since then it has moved around to different sites in Tokyo quite a few times. But it currently stands in front of Diver City mall. Clever move on part of the mall’s management considering how many visitors this giant robot attracts everyday.
This temp store was selling Gunpla model kits but they were priced slightly higher than what I had seen at Yodobashi Akiba and Bic Camera
I don’t usually pose for photos but I had to get one in front of this awesome creation
(This version of Mobile Suit Gundam was what I had assembled in
this post about the Gunpla kit I had purchased)
At periodic intervals, it moves it head, the eyes blink and steam blows out of its jetpack
I arrived just in time to watch it move. Honestly it’s not much but I should have captured it on video anyway. The timings for when Gundam moves are 12:00 pm, 3:00 pm, and 5:00 pm.
Here’s one long panorama from the back
There were many caution signs all over its body so I wonder what mechanicals, if any, are inside each component
There’s a nearby Gundam Cafe too!
And if that isn’t Gundam enough for you, step inside Diver City mall and head to the seventh floor
This is Gundam Front Tokyo. An experience center which houses a museum (paid admission) and a Gunpla store
Not just any Gunpla store. This place has on display every Gunpla kit ever made!
From the simpler, more commonly available Gunpla kits…
… to really exclusive, limited edition (and expensive) model kits
Whichever model is available for sale, you may ask the staff for it and they will get it for you from their store room. But again, the prices here were higher than what I found at
Yodobashi Akiba and Bic Camera.
The store also showcases upcoming Gunpla models
These are the different types of Gunpla kits available, based on size and complexity
Again, refer to this post for more on Gunpla kits:
Building my first Gunpla: RX-78-2 Gundam HG model kit
Remember how much that packet of green tea Kit Kat was selling for outside Decks? Here inside the mall at department store filled with Chinese tourists, the same packet was going for ¥500!
The package tourists come in droves and the buses are all parked outside. I guess that’s the problem with packaged tours — you get little exposure to everything else outside of what you are shown and told by your guide.
Anyway, I decided to leave Diver City and head to Venus Fort mall but I’ll work on that post much later. I also visited a massive Toyota exhibition building. It’s not super interesting (unless you love cars) so I will work on it later. I want to focus on publishing all the other posts I have pending first.
Next posts in this series:
Japan 2015: Cherry blossoms at Tokyo Imperial Palace east garden
Japan 2015: Cherry blossom sightings at Shinjuku Gyoen
Japan 2015: Harajuku on a Sunday – Meiji shrine and Yoyogi Park
Japan 2015: Harajuku at night — Takeshita Street
Japan 2015: Visiting Akihabara a second time, because why not?
Japan 2015: Cherry blossoms in full bloom at Ueno Park
Japan 2015: Rikugien garden’s weeping cherry blossom tree
Japan 2015: Getting to Hakone; Lake Ashi sightseeing cruise
Japan 2015: Hakone ropeway; onsen at Hotel Green Plaza
Japan 2015: Ōwakudani sulphur springs, views of Mt. Fuji — and last night in Tokyo
Japan 2015: Getting to Narita Airport — and flying an Airbus A380 for the first time
Previous posts in this series:
Japan 2015: Cherry blossom celebrations by Sumida River
Japan 2015: Denboin garden, near Sensoji Temple
Japan 2015: Shopping in Shinjuku, and exploring Kabukicho
Japan 2015: Nishi-Shinjuku — views from Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building sky deck
Japan 2015: Shibuya – the busiest crossing in the world, and home to a loyal dog
Japan 2015: Ueno Zoo – pandas, a lonely polar bear, and more
Japan 2015: Nakamise street, Senso-ji temple, and Ueno Park sakura at half-bloom
Japan 2015: Nadagiku Shuzo Sake Brewery, leaving Himeji for Tokyo — and my last bullet train ride
Japan 2015: Himeji Castle, and the unexpected air show
Japan 2015: Kyoto Station, and arriving at Himeji by shinkansen
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Monkey Park in Arashiyama
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Bamboo Forest in Arashiyama
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Gion Corner Cultural Show
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Kinkaku-ji and Kiyomizu Dera temple
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Fushimi Inari-taisha, and climbing to the mountain top
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Nishiki market and Teramachi
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Nishi & Higashi Honganji, Shijo street, and Gion
Japan 2015: Riding a bullet train for the first time, Tokyo to Kyoto
Japan 2015: Walking around Akihabara and Ginza
Japan 2015: Going to Akihabara, and spending way too much time in Yodobashi Akiba
Japan 2015: Landing in Tokyo… and using a communal bath for the first time