An ultramodern area on Tokyo Bay, the Odaiba district is your go-to place for pleasure cruising, shopping and general seaside fun. The island built in Tokyo Bay was originally created by the Edo shogunate (1603-1867) to protect Tokyo from the threat of marine attacks. Today it serves a very different purpose—as a breezy entertainment hub with attractions for the entire family. Set aside a full day for maximum enjoyment.
You can reach Odaiba on the Yurikamome and Rinkai lines or by water bus from Hinode Pier and other waterfront locations.
From Haneda Airport: 35 minutes by Limousine Bus, or 45 minutes by train
From Narita Airport: one hour 35 minutes by Limousine Bus, or one hour 55 minutes by train
From Shinjuku Station: Take the Toei Oedo Line to Shiodome and transfer to the Yurikamome Line to Odaiba-Kaihinkoen Station (around 45 minutes). Alternatively, take the JR Saikyo Line direct to Tokyo Teleport Station (22 minutes).
From Tokyo Station: Take the JR Yamanote Line to Shimbashi Station, and transfer to the Yurikamome Line to Odaiba-Kaihinkoen Station (around 30 minutes).
With all its technology centers, shopping malls and array of entertainment options, Odaiba may sound much like Shinjuku, Shibuya or any of Tokyo's other neon-lit core districts, but its singular seaside location gives it a much more relaxed holiday vibe. If you're in need of some hot spring revitalization, for example, head for Oedo Onsen Monogatari, home to a wide range of baths and spas all housed within traditional Japanese-style buildings. For shopping, choose from AQUA CiTY, DiverCity, VenusFort or Decks. The indoor amusement parks Tokyo Joypolis and Legoland Discovery Center Tokyo, are great options if you get caught in the rain—or even if the sun is shining—and the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, known as Miraikan, is a big lens on the future.
The Rainbow Bridge arches over Tokyo Bay, linking Odaiba with the rest of Tokyo. At night, the multicolored lights of the bridge set against the glowing Tokyo skyline look like something from the movie Blade Runner. View the bridge over a cocktail from a trendy bar or take a mini-cruise and dine on the water. You can also walk the bridge, but expect it to take a good 30 minutes. For a less strenuous perspective of the bridge, hop on the Yurikamome sky train.
Get a different panorama of the capital's many sites from the water. Head to the pier at Odaiba Marine Park and board one of the slick, glass-paned water buses that will ferry you over to Hinode Pier or to retro-chic Asakusa.
From the water, you can take in Odaiba's architecturally intrepid statement of creative modernity; particularly impressive are the Telecom Center, the Fuji TV Building, and the Tokyo Big Sight event space.