ODAIBA BAY – statues and flashing lights
Once I remembered where I was it was great just to lie there for a while before getting up and taking the usual photos of view out the window. As you can see it is a grey day but hopefully there will be no rain.
Today we are off to Odaiba Bay where we are scheduled to see a replica of the Statue of Liberty, the Gundam Statue and also pay a visit to the teamLab Digital Art Museum.
It is an optional journey for those who came in early and wanted something to do before getting into the swing of things with our Welcome Dinner tonight.
Once I gather myself I head down for a lovely light brekky of juice, coffee, danish, sausages, tomato and mushroom rice and grilled chicken with herbs etc etc. Sounds a lot but it was very nice. Of course I get the usual looks as I take photos but it doesn’t matter to me.
There are quite a few people staying here and the dining area soon gets rather busy. One thing though, the staff makes sure that the food never runs out. Once brekky is finished it is back to the room to get organised for today.
Light rain has arrived but it should clear. I am meeting Julius (who will become known as Red Leader) at 10am and there are two others coming along. It is going to be a full day and we are due to get back to the hotel around 3pm so that we can rest up for our Welcome Dinner.
Michael and Peter – two other members of our happy band are waiting in the lobby so we introduce ourselves and then Julius arrives. Soon we are on our way – the little bit of rain is nothing to worry about and it soon goes. It is rather warm and stupid me has decided to wear my snow coat thinking it will be cold – IDIOT. The coat soon comes off as we walk to the subway to begin our journey.
Maybe I will find out later – maybe not. Our walk continues and we arrive at the Subway. Of course everything is written in Japanese and it is lucky that Red Leader knows where he is going and can speak the language.
It is a short journey to Odaiba Bay and when we emerge from the station the rain has stopped so that’s good, but it is really steamy.
I hear the words ‘unseasonably warm weather’ and just know that it is going to be the catch phrase for the trip. So much for cold weather and snow gear!
For a taste of New York City with views of Tokyo Bay in the background, Odaiba’s replica of the famous Statue of Liberty. stands in front of the nearby Rainbow Bridge. It’s about 1/7th of the size of the New York original.
She was originally erected in 1998 as a temporary tribute to Japan’s relationship with France, but the statue was so popular she was made a permanent feature in 2000. What’s most interesting about the Odaiba Statue is that she is not the only one in Japan, she also has sisters in Shimoda and Osaka. Lesson over.
At the back of the statue is the Rainbow Bridge. Unfortunately not a good day for photos – very misty so you will just have to google it to see what it is like.
More of the lovely walk and now we turn back to investigate the interesting architecture we saw along the way – including the Death Star – well that’s what it looks like to me.
In reality it is the Fuji TV Building. It is a very eye catching landmark and well worth a visit.
The ‘Death Star’ – The “HACHITAMA” Spherical Observation Room is a symbolic landmark of Fuji TV.
The Fujisan Terrace area (see below) is often used for events and live stages.
There is also a large shopping area for all kinds of TV stuff and when you look up, the Death Star is incredible. There are so many open areas around here and the leaves are just starting to turn – Red Leader said further out of Tokyo the leaves are wonderful. Let’s hope that statement proves true.
Next stop – the Gundam Statue. What??? I hear you ask. It’s a dirty big robotic statue that has become a beloved part of Tokyo culture. The original statue was removed in March but there was such an outcry that a new statue upgrade was unveiled The towering, full-scale 19.7m Unicorn Gundam gives hope to its corporate sponsors that the giant robot statue will become a new tourist attraction ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
I know the Japanese love everything robotic but this really takes the cake. It is huge and there are tourists everywhere – they all look like Japanese tourists to me and they cannot get enough photos of him. Any minute now I expect him to light up and say ‘ enough already!’
Time for lunch so we head on into the Diver City Plaza (behind Mr Gundam). Floors of wonderful shopping of all descriptions and a great food court with all sorts of dishes on offer.
Makes me want to walk around saying I’ll have some of that and some of that and some of that – but obviously I cannot. So I decide on a bowl of BBQ Beef with lettuce and rice. This is accompanied by a melon soda. It was delicious.
After lunch it’s a short walk through the park to our next mode of transport – the monorail. The Japanese transport system is a wonder and everything is so clean. Makes a nice change from the graffiti covered carriages back home.
This post is now split into 2 parts – maybe you can get a drink or two before you tackle the teamLab Digital Art Museum. What a fabulous experience – I certainly had a drink after it.