Monday, April 23, 2012
To Odaiba And Back
It's evident almost immediately why Odaiba is such a popular destination - there is literally something for everyone here - there are business, hotels, shopping, restaurants, parks, museums and entertainment complexes. Odaiba has several shopping/entertainment type plazas, but the ones closest to the train station are Aquacity and Decks Tokyo Beach. Since we got there so early, many of the businesses weren't open yet, so we did the tourist thing and took pictures of the Goddess of Democracy statue (basically a replica of the Statue of Liberty), walked down the length of Aquacity and Decks Tokyo Bay and then checked out Odaiba Seaside Park (I think this park goes by other names as well). It seemed really quiet and peaceful when we were there (although there were tons of people taking pictures of the Goddess of Democracy), but I bet it gets really crowded during the summer.
Odaiba Seaside Park runs along the water and has a great view of the Rainbow Bridge and the rest of Tokyo. Like I said, I think it goes by other names, and probably some consider it a beach since it does have artificial sand. To give it even more of a beachy feel, there is a "Hawaiian Restaurant and a huge shop where you can rent paddleboards and kayaks. As we walked along the "beach" portion my friend and I looked at each other and both commented that there's really no way we would ever go in that water (which didn't look as bad as the Ala Wai Canal but, well you get my point). I have since learned that swimming is not allowed (for obvious reasons such as pollution), but you are allowed to paddleboard and kayak there (hence the shop that rents paddleboards and kayaks). Personally, I don't think I would risk paddleboarding or kayaking in that water for fear of falling in.
There were other things on our agenda for the day so we headed back to the train station. I definitely plan to come back and check out the museums and other attractions (plus I bet the Rainbow Bridge at night is really pretty). So stay tuned for Odaiba Part 2 - probably relatively soon since it's approaching that time of year here where getting me to leave my house (and more importantly, the air conditioning in my house) during the day becomes nearly impossible.