日本: odaiba

November 20th, 2010 / by / in: travel / 2 Responses

Odaiba is a large, man-made island in Tokyo. On the way into Tokyo (if you drive or take the bus), the ferris wheel and weird-looking Fuji TV building in Odaiba are visible and pretty iconic.

We hadn’t been before, and I wanted to see the new Hello Kitty thing that had opened, so off we went.

We took the Tokyo Metro to Shimbashi Station to get on the Yurikamome line, which is a driverless monorail that takes you across Tokyo Bay to Odaiba. According to Wikipedia, “The Yurikamome is Tokyo’s first fully automated transit system, controlled entirely by computers with no drivers on board.”

The train pulling into Daiba Station.

The Fuji TV building up close. There were tours available, but we’ve taken the NHK (another major Japanese tv network) tour and it was all in Japanese and a very bizarre experience, especially if you’re not familiar with all the tv shows.

Apparently Fuji TV is a popular destination for school groups.

Trying out some weird burger at a Japanese McDonalds. They also had hotdogs and salad burgers for breakfast.

It’s no Mos Burger.

HOWEVER, I got this as my Happy Meal toy! Cho kawaii!

I was really, really excited to stumble across the realization that a takoyaki museum had just opened the previous week in Odaiba. I had no idea it existed, but takoyaki is one of my favourite foods! If you’ve never had takoyaki, it’s little balls of dough with octopus inside and it’s delicious. Technically, it’s an Osaka food, but I’ll take what I can get.

The takoyaki museum!

There were a bunch of stalls serving different kinds of takoyaki. You buy a ticket from the vending machine at each stall and then hand it to the person at the counter. This vending machine/ticket system is in use for a lot of restaurants in Tokyo — it works out well if you don’t speak or read Japanese.

Takoyaki being made!

Mmmmmmmm.

We tried three different kinds of takoyaki. This was the first one.

I picked the second kind just because it looked so plain. Unfancy takoyaki.

The third kind was the closest to “regular” takoyaki. All three were delicious. Sigh. I love takoyaki.

The place was packed. A lot of other people also love takoyaki!

The mascot is so cute.

Malls are pretty much the same in every country everywhere, yet I always feel compelled to walk through them. The mall in Odaiba had these nice lounge chairs to sit on, though.

Wandered into the pet store because who can resist the puppies in the window?

I regret not buying this for my cat.

Why is there a Statue of Liberty in Odaiba? I have no idea. I was going to chalk it up to “Japan is weird,” but I decided to be responsible and I googled it. I still have no idea.

There were no surfers here.

Yeah, this was creepy. It was a machine that took a photo of you and put it on a keychain.

Also weird: keychains of animals with clear windows so you can see their insides, which are labelled. I put in my 200 yen and got the sheep.

This old-timey arcade was amazing.

We played Super Mario for the NES. I lost. (It’s hard to play with arcade controls! Well, that was my excuse, anyway.)

I feel bad enjoying Engrish because my Japanese is so terrible, but… can’t help it.

The ferris wheel! Why doesn’t Toronto have a ferris wheel? So many cities do.

Did I mention the weather was amazing the entire time we were in Japan?

It’s kind of weird that Tokyo has so little accessible waterfront.

The new Hello Kitty “Kawaii Paradise” wasn’t an amusement park the way Sanrio Puroland is, but it was still cute.

Did someone say UFO catchers? Goodbye, my yen.

Mike wanted to pretend he was riding this mini JR train. Although, you’re not allowed to use cellphones on the train, so he’s clearly a tourist.

Then he made me ride the giant ferris wheel.

It was scary, but the view was spectacular. From the other side of the ferris wheel car, you could see planes landing at Haneda.

And I still have no idea where you end up if you go into the Tokyo Teleport Station.


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