Things to do in Odaiba; A 1-Day Itinerary to Hit the Best [2019]

Updated September 16, 2019
Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan

When looking for things to do in Japan, Tokyo is often top of mind. Then you might realize Tokyo is broken into districts and neighborhoods. Odaiba is one you will definitely not want to miss while in Japan.

The light, seaside, breezy atmosphere makes for a pleasant change of pace from the bustle of downtown Tokyo.

If you want to see where Japan gets its reputation for being more technologically advanced than the rest of the world, then Odaiba is the place for you. 

Everywhere you look there is a state-of-the-art piece of architecture lining the shoreline, providing a beautiful metropolitan backdrop for a leisurely stroll along the seaboard. 

You can even take a seabus ride and get a one of a kind view of the uniquely modern Rainbow Bridge.

But it’s not just the Japanese architecture that is futuristic. Odaiba is also a leader in environmental stewardship, even by Japan’s strict standards. As a total recycling society, the city was built on top of the ruins of old buildings and recycled material.  

Today, every bit of waste that is accumulated is used in some way and recycled back into the city.  

The use of recycling is not the only advanced features you will find in Odaiba. It is home to some of the most innovative museums for science and technology that will satisfy those who are just a little curious, to those who have more advanced techie desires.  

The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation will give you a look into the future of robots and the MORI Building Digital Art Museum allows you to immerse yourself into the interactive, digital art.

But if science and technology is not your thing, Odaiba also provides some of the best shopping and restaurants that are bucket-list-worthy in Japan. 

There is even a food theme park inside the metropolis of Aquacity!

There is a lot to see and it can be overwhelming trying to fit it all in, so to make it a little easier for you, I set up an easy to follow itinerary to make sure you hit all the highlights while you’re here in Tokyo, Japan.

Let’s get started!


1-Day Itinerary in Odaiba

Start out the day from Daiba Station, where you’ll immediately see how awesome Odaiba is from the moment you leave the train. This is one of the best areas to enjoy in Tokyo.

And just a note before we begin. The Daiba Station is sandwiched between the Hilton Tokyo Odaiba and the Grand Nikko hotels. Each has restaurants and shops you can enjoy.

Morning

How about starting the day with an out-of-this-world experience in a digital art museum? Mori Building Digital Art Museum Epson teamLab Borderless (that’s really the full name) will make you feel as if you are in another dimension and allows you to be part of the art. Although you could stay there all day, you’ll probably get pretty hungry.

3-min walk to Venus Fort

For lunch, you can head next door to Palette Town. Inside Venus Fort Plaza there is a great place called Uokomeya that has a variety of Japanese favorites; Of course, if you are in the mood for something else there is plenty more to choose from.

3-min walk to Studio Ghibli store

Make sure you check out the Studio Ghibli store while you are there. 

Afternoon

Once your belly is full, get moving down to the beach. On your way there, You’ll pass Decks Tokyo, where you will find Joypolis and Aquacity. You could spend an entire day just seeing everything those two places have to offer. 

While you walk along the beach of the man-made island, make sure to get some really great pictures of the iconic Rainbow Bridge and the Statue of Liberty

9-min walk to Giant Gundam Statue

After you have seen Lady Liberty, take a stroll across the beautiful Promenade walkway to the other side where you will find the Giant Unicorn Gundam statue greeting you at the entrance to Diver City Tokyo Plaza

Explore the Gundam Café for a unique souvenir or for a light, Gundam-inspired snack and then take a walk down to the Waterfall Plaza.

9-min walk to Telecom Center

From this location, you can get some really great photos of the Telecom Center before going into the Museum of Emerging Science and Technology.

13-min walk to the Ferris Wheel

Spend an hour or two exploring the latest in technological progress, then head over to the Ferris Wheel for a 20-minute ride, high in the sky to get a full view of the city when the lights start to glow.

Evening

Once you’ve finished your ride on the big wheel, end your day with dinner at Yakiniku Daigo Odaiba restaurant. Enjoy a fabulous view of Rainbow Bridge lit up with its brilliant colors while enjoying a more local venture of delicious grilled food.

Or, if you want a really unique Japanese experience, try Gonpachi. You might recognize this restaurant from the famous fight scene in the movie Kill Bill.


Top Sights in Odaiba

Mori Building Digital Art Museum Epson teamLab Borderless

teamLab Borderless is a digital art exhibition that was created by a team of animators, programmers, architects, mathematicians, and designers.

It is unlike the traditional museum where the artwork is framed and separated from one another and enjoyed silently by an individual. Instead, the art in this museum flows from one scene to the next in a seamless dance of color and light. 

teamLab Borderless created interactive displays that encourage you to interact with the display as well as with other viewers. With a touch of your hand or your body movements, you can change the scenery. 

You’ll even notice that some display’s become even more beautiful with the addition of more people.

Pro tip: Pre-order instant e-tickets for guaranteed entry to this groundbreaking three-dimensional exhibition space in Odaiba, Tokyo.

There are a few tips to keep in mind when visiting:

  • Because of its popularity, it is advisable to get there early
  • Wear white if you can (shows the colors better)
  • Wear flat shoes (you will be asked to rent some if you don’t)
  • Don’t bring a lot of stuff with you. If it’s unavoidable because of children there are lockers to rent
  • Don’t wear a dress or skirt (Some of the floors are mirrored)

Map pin to teamLab Borderless

Decks Tokyo

This shopping center is modeled after the deck of a ship and has a recurring ship theme throughout. It offers some of the best panoramic views of Tokyo Bay, which is even more spectacular at night. 

Besides shopping, Decks offers plenty of attractions for the whole family to enjoy. 

Make sure to see:

  • Joypolis – ride a roller coaster, experience virtual reality rides and games
  • Madame Tussauds – take a photo with your favorite celebrity  
  • Legoland – create with Legos or enjoy shooting games and a 4d cinema 
  • Trick Art Museum – have fun taking special effect photos
  • Chrome Shoutengai – travel back in time to 1960’s Japan and get a taste of the time
  • Takoyaki Museum – check out a variety of specially selected shops from Osaka — takoyaki flavors from where takoyaki started in Japan

Map pin to Decks Tokyo

Joypolis

So what is Joypolis? It’s a place where everyone can let their inner kid run free! A SEGA arcade, family fun center with three floors of virtual reality attractions and rides.

Note: Before you head to Joypolis for a full day of fun, buy the tickets online and save 8% on the cost — plus walk right in when you arrive.

Run around playing laser tag, eating junk food, race a spaceship and ride a roller coaster all indoors and out of the weather. There is so much to do here, but here are a few highlights of what they offer:

1st Floor

  • Gekion Live Coaster
  • Halfpipe Tokyo ride
  • Spicy Taxi and Pirates Plunder – ride for the little ones

2nd Floor

  • Transformers Human-Alliance – ride
  • Tower Tag – VR laser tag
  • Storm G – virtual reality snowmachine racing ride

3rd floor

  • Mystic Mansion – a 3D “Japanese style” horror attraction
  • Zombie Zoo – a zombie walkthrough attraction with real-life actors
  • Wild Wing – feel what it’s like to fly on a glider
  • Wild Jungle Brothers – experience riding through the jungle on a virtual jeep guided tour
  • Wild River The Treasure Hunt – A virtual river rafting experience

Learn more about Joypolis

Daikanransha Ferris Wheel

Daikanransha ferris wheel, Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan

Japan really does like to make ordinary things better. This is evident with the construction of this monster Ferris wheel.

It is called the Daikanransha, which appropriately means “big wheel.” It is the third tallest Ferris wheel that allows you a spectacular view of Tokyo Tower, Rainbow Bridge, and central Tokyo.

You can even see Mount Fuji if you ride during the day, but at night is when you feel transported to another world! 

With over 100 neon colors twinkling in a programmed dance, you will not forget your experience on this treasure.

Map pin to the Ferris Wheel

Giant Unicorn Gundam

Giant Unicorn Gundam, Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan

If you are a Gundam fan, then you can’t miss this 62ft RX-0 Unicorn Gundam replica. Even if you don’t know what Gundam is, it is an extremely impressive piece of Japanese culture.

What is even more spectacular about this statue is that actually switches from Unicorn mode to Destroyer mode, which reveals the hidden light panels.

While this switch is happening, they play anime clips onto the exterior of Diver City area with Gundam theme songs blasting through the speakers. An absolute must-see spot in Odaiba.

Transforming times are:

  • 11 am 
  • 1 pm
  • 3 pm 
  • 5 pm

Map pin to the Giant Unicorn Gundam

Museum of Emerging Science and Technology

This fantastic museum is a great place for those who are even just a little curious about the world we live in and the technologies that make our everyday life possible. 

There are permanent exhibitions like, Explore the Frontiers, Create Your Future, and Discover your Earth, but there are also showcase special exhibitions.

Sit back and relax inside the 3D dome movie theatre where you can watch “The Man from the 9 Dimensions” about how physics works in our lives, or watch “Birthday”, a story that shows us our ordinary lives in the big universe. 

Map pin to MES&T

Rainbow Bridge

Truly one of the most alluring sights to see in Odaiba is the iconic Rainbow bridge.

One of Japan’s most significant developmental achievements. The bridge pulls double duty by connecting the mainland to Odaiba and providing a spectacular architectural feast for the eyes both during the day and at night. 

At night the lights change colors depending on the time. You can drive, walk, or ride the train across the bridge and each side offers a different, unique view worth seeing.

You’ll hear the Rainbow Bridge described as iconic. Much like the Golden Gate Bridge is to San Francisco.

Map pin to Rainbow Bridge

Waterfall Plaza

This is one of those little things that make Japan so fun to explore.

This area has a large waterfall that percolates into a large fountain that sits in front of the Telecom Center. 

There is a beautiful piece of contemporary artwork that sits in the grass behind the waterfall and if you get the spot just right, it makes for a beautiful photo with the waterfall and artwork in the center of the telecom center. 

Map pin to Waterfall Plaza

Statue of Liberty

Who would have thought Japan has a Statue of Liberty too?

This small, but beautiful Statue of Liberty has been expertly recreated for people to enjoy in Japan. She stands at only 40 ft tall and makes for a beautiful model in front of the Rainbow Bridge. 

The original statue was a temporary gift from France to celebrate their friendship with Japan, but it was so popular that it was recreated in 2000 and has been an essential part of Odaiba ever since.

Map pin to the Statue of Liberty

Telecom Center

This building is an extremely impressive piece of architecture that you just have to see. It is similar to France’s “Toit de la Grande Arche” which makes for great pictures — maybe something nice for your Instagram feed.

You can take pictures from the garden plaza area or go inside to the Observatory Deck on the 21st floor for a view of all the best parts of Odaiba.

Map pin to Telecom Center


Eating in Odaiba

Odaiba is absolutely packed with restaurants and dining experiences you will never forget. From traditional Japanese cuisine to the Kill Bill izakaya restaurant, there’s something for everyone.

Uokomeya

Located inside the Venus Fort Plaza, this restaurant offers a nice place to sit and eat when you are tired from all the shopping. They offer a variety of options to please everyone. 

Whether it’s tempura, ramen, sushi, fried rice, salad, or steak, you won’t leave hungry. They also offer fried chicken and french fries for the kiddos.

Map pin to Uokomeya

Yakiniku Daigo

Yakiniku Daigo, Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan

One of the unique dining experiences Japan has to offer is Yakiniku. Enjoy the night view of the iconic Rainbow bridge while slices of perfectly selected beef sizzle on the grill in front of you.

With a South Koren atmosphere and authentic Japanese cuisine, you will definitely have a relaxing time enjoying the entire Bay of Tokyo from your cozy seat.

Map pin to Yakiniku Daigo

Don’t know what yakiniku is? Check out my guide “What Is Yakiniku? The Complete Guide To Amazing Japanese BBQ” to learn all there is to know.

Gonpachi

Made famous by the movie Kill Bill, Gonpachi is a definite “must try” while visiting Odaiba. 

If you are looking for a real Japanese feel, but a menu that caters to both the Japanese and Western palate, then Gonpachi is the place to go. 

They have some of the best yakitori around and a variety of rice bowls to choose from. Try the spicy gyoza if you like a little heat! It won’t disappoint. 

Map pin to Gonpachi

Gundam Cafe

This little cafe is a smaller version than the one in Akihabara, but it still provides plenty of Gundam merchandise to satisfy even the most devoted fan.

It is not a cafe that you can sit down and eat in; instead, it’s more of a grab a snack and go kind of place. They do have seasonal dishes, so it depends on when you go as to what is offered. 

Grab a coffee or a boba drink inside a souvenir cup!

Map pin to Gundam Cafe


Drinking in Odaiba

Captains Bar

Captains Bar, Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan

A nice way to end the evening in Odaiba is with a drink in a spacious place where you can go with a group of friends or just you and your special someone. 

With quiet jazz playing in the background, you can unwind while enjoying a delicious cocktail from the bar and snack on tasty appetizers.

Map pin to Captains Bar

The Bar & Lounge

Located inside the Grand Nikko, the Bar & Lounge provides a more upscale feel than the average bar scene. They offer different wines from around the world, rare sake, and traditional cocktails.

If you are looking for a nice place to go for dinner and drinks while enjoying an outstanding view, then definitely check this place out.

Map pin to The Bar & Lounge

The Bar

If you are looking for something that’s a little more local and hip, then give The Bar a try. It’s located on the other side of Tokyo Bay and is tucked away inside the SOHO building. 

It’s a great little gem that is often overlooked by tourists. It’s a great place to watch the sunset while you sip a specialized cocktail and mingle with friends.

Map pin to The Bar


Shopping in Odaiba

Venus Fort Plaza

Venus Fort Plaza, Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan

This mall will make you feel as if you stepped through a time warp into a medieval European village — while staying firmly rooted in Japan.

The whole complex has painted sky ceilings with a  large water fountain in the center that is reminiscent of the Renaissance era. 

There are 3 floors to enjoy: Family 1F, Grand 2F, and Outlet 3F. 

Map pin to Venus Fort Plaza

Aquacity

If you’re looking for a little more unique Japan shopping experience, then Aquacity shopping plaza is where you will find it. There are brands here that you might not find anywhere else. 

Something you’re not going to want to miss is the humanoid receptionist. Created by Toshiba, her name is Chihira Junco and she is there to answer any questions you might have.

If you want to take a break from shopping why not go see a movie? Aquacity has one of the biggest cinema complexes around. 

Sony ExploraScience is inside Aquacity and it’s a great place to take the kids for a hands-on experience with science. 

Map pin to Aquacity

Diver City Tokyo Plaza

Diver City, Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan

Home to the Giant Gundam Statue, Diver City Tokyo Plaza offers plenty of shopping to include the Gundam Base Tokyo where you can get plenty of Gundam merchandise. 

With seven floors to choose from, you will not be short on things to do. Take a Virtual Reality ride through another world on HexaRide, or spend the day at Round 1 entertainment facility playing games or doing karaoke.

Map pin to Diver City

Studio Ghibli Store

Studio Ghibli Store is for those fans of Miyazaki and Takahata films – like Totoro, Spirited Away, Ponyo, and Howl’s Moving Castle. 

As a fan outside of Japan, getting your hands on some of this merchandise is almost impossible, but this store has all of your favorite characters in just about any type of gift you could imagine. 

From Totoro stuffed animals to Totoro spoons, you are sure to find something unique that no one else will have.

Map pin to Studio Ghibli Store


Odaiba Q&A

What is Odaiba famous for?

It depends on who you ask. For those who understand the history of Odaiba would say that it is famous for being a man-made city built on top of recycled materials. 

But most people today would say it is famous for being a futuristic town the best architecture and shopping. 

It’s a very hip district with lots of exciting things to do for young people and people with families. 

There are a few landmarks that make it famous as well. More notably the Rainbow Bridge, the Statue of Liberty replica, and Fuji Television studio.

Is Odaiba walkable?

Odaiba is absolutely walkable. In fact, it’s the best way to see all the Odaiba has to offer. There are walkways that go over the highway to get you from one side to the other without having to stop at crosswalks. 

And there is a beautiful garden Promenade that goes from one end to the other that allows you to enjoy your walk to each attraction. 

Where is the Odaiba Gundam?

The giant Gundam Statue is located in front of Diver City Tokyo Plaza.

Shopping for Gundam merchandise is located inside the plaza where you can find just about anything Gundam that you could think of.

Is Odaiba kid-friendly? Any recommendations?

Odaiba is probably one of the best cities for young people and kids. There is so much to do that will keep them busy all day. 

For people with younger kids, try:

  • Tokyo Water Science Museum. For starters, it’s free! There are lots of hands-on experiments and games that are geared towards teaching you about how the city gets clean water
  • Legoland Discovery Center inside Tokyo Decks
  • Sony Explora Science inside Aquacity
  • National Museum of Emerging Science and Technology

For people with teenagers:

  • Tokyo Decks – Trick Art Museum
  • Madame Tussauds – inside Tokyo Decks
  • Joypolis – inside Tokyo Decks
  • Kawasaki Robostage – see robots in action
  • Diver City – to see the Gundam statue and shop for Gundam merchandise
  • Megaweb Toyota – see the latest Toyota technology and even take a test drive in one

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