Our Favorite Things to Do in Odaiba

By Team Japan Switch | March 10th, 2023 

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    As one of the most technologically-advanced and Instagram-friendly tourist attractions, Odaiba (お台場) is perhaps the most famous Tokyo district. If you’re planning on exploring Odaiba during your Japan visit, look no further for a comprehensive, all-inclusive guide.

    Below, we look at the things you simply must do while in Odaiba, Tokyo. We also explore how to get to Odaiba, and what kind of budget you should plan for your Odaiba visit.

    This article is a part of our extensive series on Learning about Japanese Culture through Online Japanese Lessons at Japan Switch.


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    The History of Odaiba

    Let’s start with the beginning – where exactly is Odaiba? And what is it?

    Odaiba is a man-made island, located in the nook of Tokyo Bay, in the Japanese capital. To understand how Odaiba came to exist, we must first take a short journey through Japanese history.

    The Edo period (江戸時代, 1603-1868) is considered one of the most prosperous in Japanese history. It is an era known for numerous social advancements and economic growth. It was also a time of relative peace, particularly following the chaotic, disruptive Sengoku period (戦国時代, 1467-1615). However, that is not to say it was not without its dangers.

    Towards the end of the Edo period, the Edo shogunate (江戸幕府, military government that ruled Japan during the Edo period) ordered a number of daibas (台場, lit. military fort islands) to protect Tokyo from a possible U.S. attack.

    The islands were initially separate, and remained so for more than a century, until the 1980s, when Tokyo began its rapid technological progress. Around this time, the daibas were joined together by massive landfills, to form one immense island. Although the plan was to turn Odaiba into a massive shopping and entertainment island, progress was halted due to economic hardship in the early 1990s. During this time, the Odaiba island remained largely deserted, until the economy recovered, towards the late 90s, and construction was resumed, turning Odaiba into one of the most popular tourist attractions. 

    You can read more about the history of Odaiba here.

    Several white vending machines lined up with a clock above and labelled Odaiba Aqua City

    What is Odaiba known for?

    Although initially built for military defense, the island of Odaiba enjoys quite a different reputation today. Every year, it draws millions of tourists as an all-inclusive, highly tech-y entertainment and shopping hub. Located in the heart of Japan’s busiest city, Odaiba provides the whole family with an occasion to let their hair down, and chill.

    Among tourists, Odaiba is famous for its futuristic buildings, and its many shopping centers. Odaiba can also be a refreshing day trip, particularly if you’ve been delving into the country’s more historical tourist attractions so far. Built only a few short decades ago, Odaiba makes for an interesting break from temples, and older attractions.

    Odaiba Island also serves as an interesting blend between Western-style tourist attractions, and more traditional incursions into Japanese culture. As such, it’s a wonderful destination for international tourists, but also an attractive getaway for Japanese tourists.

    And Odaiba isn’t just for tourists. Among locals, this entertainment and shopping hub is known as a hot dating spot. There’s a little something for everyone on Tokyo’s man-made, futuristic island.


    Check out our Ultimate Guide to Japanese Culture and explore the rich and colorful history of the Land of the Rising Sun!

    How to Get to Odaiba

    Obviously, since Odaiba is located within Tokyo Bay, you will first need to arrive in the Japanese capital before you can explore the island. There are a number of ways to get to Odaiba, including by bus, by train, and of course, on foot.

    Taking the Bus

    There are several buses connecting Tokyo Station, and other important Tokyo attractions, to various spots on Odaiba island. You can take a special JR bus, which will take about 30 minutes to get you to the heart of busy Odaiba, and costs about 400 Yen ($3). Alternatively, you can catch one of the many buses that run through Tokyo to get you to Odaiba. These are slightly cheaper, at only 210 Yen (, $1.50, one way), but they are not covered by the tourist Japan Rail Pass.

    Taking the Train

    Another popular method of arriving at Odaiba is by train. You’ll probably want to catch the Yurikamome, which is an elevated train that stops at all of the main Odaiba attractions, and runs through Shimbashi Station. What makes a ride on the Yurikamome so unique is that it crosses the Rainbow Bridge, one of the hottest Odaiba attractions.

    As the name suggests, the Rainbow Bridge lights up at night and will make for an unforgettable ride to and from Odaiba. The ride itself is shorter (~15 minutes), though unfortunately, not covered by the JR Pass. Depending on how many trips you want to take, you can opt between a one-way ticket (330 Yen = $2.40), or a day ticket (820 Yen = $5.95).

    The Rinkai line will also get you to the Tokyo Teleport and Kokusai Tenjijo in under 30 minutes, for 510 Yen ($3.70).

    Side note: If you're looking to save money on traveling around Tokyo and the Kanto region, don't miss our Ultimate Guide to the JR Tokyo Wide Pass!

    Taking a Boat

    Alternatively, you can arrive in Odaiba by boat. You can catch a direct boat from Asakusa. While the boat ride is pricey (¥1720 = $12.50) and takes about an hour, it does make for some pretty fantastic sightseeing.

    On Foot

    Lastly, you can get to Odaiba by foot, crossing the Rainbow Bridge yourself. This is a great option since it allows you to cross off this popular landmark, and snap some photos while getting to the island.

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    Most Popular Things to Do in Odaiba

    In this section, we look at a few tourist attractions that are unmissable during your Odaiba visit.

    Fuji Television Building

    The Fuji Television Building has been dubbed Japan’s largest commercial TV network, but that’s not what makes it such a popular tourist attraction. The immense television building features, among others, the Hachitama observational sphere.

    From here, you can get a one-of-a-kind 360-degree panoramic view of Tokyo Bay, and even Mount Fuji, if the sky is clear. Snap a selfie, or just marvel at the magnificence of the Japanese capital from the sky-high Fuji Television Building.

    Odaiba Statue of Liberty

    This is one of the many places on Odaiba where East meets West, with this bite-sized replica of NYC’s famous Statue of Liberty. Although the Odaiba Statue of Liberty, at only forty feet tall, doesn’t hold a candle (pardon the pun) to the 310-foot-tall original, it’s still a fun destination. It’s great to visit if you’ve never seen the actual thing, and even if you have!

    One way in which the Odaiba Statue of Liberty trumps the original is that, thanks to its tiny size, it’s much easier to get a decent photo of it than of the actual New York one.

    Pro Tip: Since you can also see the Rainbow Bridge from the Statue, frame your photo in such a way as to get two Odaiba attractions in the same shot!

    See the miniature Statue of Liberty lit up at night as one of the things to do in Odaiba

    DiverCity Tokyo Plaza

    Odaiba isn’t known as a busy shopping hub for nothing! The DiverCity Tokyo Plaza is an immense shopping mall that satisfies any and every necessity – from the latest fashion trends to various electronic gadgets. Shop tools, toys, shoes, and home apparel in this one-stop-shop that covers all your needs, and when you’re done, why not sample the Plaza’s varied food court?

    Whether you make a day of it, or just need to run a few shopping errands, the DiverCity Tokyo Plaza, as its name hints, has got it all.


    Check out our Top 15 Tips to Make Japanese Friends to learn to expand your social and the mistakes to avoid!

    Things to Do in Odaiba for Families

    Traveling as a family with young children can be an extremely rewarding experience. However, while you’re busy catching as many sights as you can, you also want to schedule some fun and informational stops for the little ones. Here are Odaiba’s best!


    The Miraikan, or by its full name, the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, is a futuristic marvel that will leave you in sheer awe. It’s by far the most educational tourist attraction on Odaiba, teaching visitors about the Solar System, the Geo-Cosmos, and even what the future may hold.

    It’s at the Miraikan that visitors get a chance to interact with Asimo, one of the most advanced humanoid robots on the planet. The Miraikan is also the home of other human-like robots and androids and offers us a glimpse into a potential future for Earth. Whether you come here to learn, stretch your imagination, or just have some plain old fun, the Miraikan won’t disappoint you!

    Tokyo Joypolis

    Perhaps it’s unfair to include the Joypolis on a list with other attractions – because once you get inside, you’ll want to spend your whole day here. The Joypolis boasts an impressive array of fun rides and arcade games. From point-and-shoot classic fun to rhythmic musical rides, the Joypolis is the perfect attraction if you’re traveling with small (or even older) children.

    And in true Tokyo fashion, the Joypolis also offers a selection of alternate reality, interactive, and VR experiences.

    Tip: If you’ve got some bad weather days in your Tokyo trip, the Joypolis, being an indoor activity park, is a top-notch destination to stave away those rainy day blues.

    Giant Unicorn Gundam Statue

    The Giant Unicorn Gundam Statue is impossible to miss if you’re stopping by the DiverCity Plaza, since it’s situated right there, in the front section. At almost 65 feet tall, the statue towers over the passers-by and is nearly as tall as the Plaza itself. Snap a quick selfie, or explore the intricate construction of this robotic character, then go in and do some shopping.

    The famous Gundam Statue which is one of the most popular things to do in Odaiba

    LEGOLAND Discovery Center Tokyo

    Who are we kidding? Though marketed for children, the LEGOLAND Discovery Center on Odaiba is just as fun a destination for grown-ups as it is for kids. You can choose from a wide selection of impressive LEGO constructions, or let the little ones build their own.

    As a family, you get to explore the massive LEGOLAND playground (yes, that’s a whole playground built entirely out of LEGOs). And of course, no visit to a LEGOLAND mecha would be complete without a stop at the aptly-stocked gift shop. Be warned that things can get quite pricey if you bring your little LEGO fanatic here, but it’ll be well worth it!

    Small Worlds Tokyo

    Speaking of intricate, tiny constructions, you need to make time in your schedule for a vist to Tokyo’s famous miniature museum, Small Worlds. Hailed by many as the biggest miniature indoor theme park in the world, Small Worlds Tokyo features a massive display of realistic, miniature constructions.

    Although mainly centered around real-world constructions, the theme park also boasts its very own anime-dedicated corner, with a selection of Sailor Moon and Evangelion miniatures. Marvel at these tiny, almost life-like worlds, and why not, build your own at the Small Worlds miniature park on Odaiba!

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    Romantic Things to Do in Odaiba

    Traveling with your sweetheart? Then why not try dating like a local? We mentioned Odaiba island is well-known as a hot dating spot amongst locals, and below, we’ll show you precisely where to take your special someone for an outing to remember.

    (Or... If you're hoping to meet someone special while you're here to enjoy Odaiba with, here's a handy guide to Japanese Dating Apps)

    Odaiba Seaside Park

    Odaiba Seaside Park, with its stunning view of the Tokyo waterscape, is by far the most romantic stop on Odaiba. From here, you also get a great view of the Fuji TV Building, so you’re sightseeing and relaxing both at once.

    For a fun, romantic outing to Odaiba Seaside Park, you’ve got a bunch of options – you can opt for a romantic stroll, taking in the sights. Alternatively, you can pack a lunch basket, and have a romantic picnic with your significant other. Better yet, time it so that you catch the sunset over the water for a date to remember.

    Panasonic Centre

    Bear with us – we promise this is on our list of things to do in Odaiba for a reason! If you’re both into science-fiction, your date will love a trip to the Panasonic Centre. While some of the exhibits are aimed at children, the Panasonic Centre is a hot learning hub for kids and grown-ups alike.

    Offering a unique insight into the latest, emerging technologies around the world, the Panasonic Centre allows you to enjoy today while guessing at what tomorrow might look like.


    Check out our Ultimate Guide to Japanese Omiyage for the sweets and snacks your friends and family will love!

    Odaiba Takoyaki Museum

    Takoyaki (たこ焼き) is a fun, crunchy traditional Japanese snack. It consists of balls of dough, typically filled with octopus, tempura, ginger, and onion, and fried in a flour-based batter.

    In spite of the misleading name, the Takoyaki Museum is not an actual museum, but merely a delicious eatery where you can enjoy some traditional snacks while visiting Odaiba.

    Giant Sky Wheel (Palette Town)

    Palette Town is your best bet if you’re looking for a fun, nighttime date with your special someone. This amusement park is teeming with fun attractions for kids and adults alike, and won’t allow for a single dull moment during your visit.

    Of particular interest is the Giant Sky Wheel, which is also considered the emblem of Odaiba Island. With an impressive height of 115 meters, the Ferris wheel offers a view of the TV Building, the Rainbow Bridge, as well as the entire Tokyo Bay, making it ideal for a tourist date.

    And if you’re a couple of daredevils, test your limits by riding one of the wheel’s see-through boats.

    Popular, colorful ferris wheel in Odaiba Japan

    Zepp Tokyo

    Unfortunately, the Zepp isn’t one of those evergreen attractions where it doesn’t matter when you visit. As one of Tokyo’s largest concert halls, the Zepp is best enjoyed when there is a performance. Don’t worry, popular Japanese artists are frequently playing here, and the seat-free auditorium really offers a one-of-a-kind experience.

    A date at the Zepp can be fun, even if you’re not familiar with the performing artist, as it’ll allow you to immerse yourself in local culture. A date at the Zepp will also offer glimpses of such sights as the Rainbow Bridge or the colorful Giant Sky Wheel at night-time!






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    5 Instagram-Worthy Spots & Things to Do in Odaiba

    While it’s never right to travel solely to show off on social media, we all do it. And luckily, Odaiba offers no shortage of Instagram-worthy picture spots. Impress your followers by snapping a photo at one of these amazing tourist spots…

    teamLab Planets

    teamLab Planets Tokyo is a fun trip for families, and couples, as well as solo travelers. Offering a wide range of immersive, digital art exhibits, teamLab Planets is a great place to snap a unique selfie. Maybe you want to step off into an immersive supernova. Or be surrounded by a breathtaking field of flowers. Or see your reflection light up in teamLab’s luminous crystal exhibit. Chances are, you’ll leave teamLab with an overflowing photo gallery.

    Note: At the time of this writing, teamLab Planets Tokyo is unfortunately closed, and set to relocate, and reopen in 2023.

    Tip: If you’re planning a visit, make sure to book tickets in advance, as teamLab Planets has a history of selling out for days.

    teamLabs Odaiba - people in a room with illuminated neon flowers and decorations on the walls

    Rainbow Bridge

    We know we’ve mentioned this before, but you simply have got to snap a picture of the Rainbow Bridge. Whether it’s some whacky combo of the Bridge with the mini-Statue of Liberty, or a shot of yourself standing on the lit-up Rainbow Bridge, make sure you score this one in your feed.

    Madame Tussaud’s Tokyo

    Because no tourist city would be complete without a Madame Tussaud’s, right? You already know the deal with this one – take a photo of yourself holding on to Tom Cruise, posing next to Lady Gaga, or why not, jamming with some popular Japanese celebrities?

    The uncanny resemblance of Madame Tussaud’s wax figures will make you do a double-take when posing with some of the world’s most famous actors, musicians, and athletes.

    Tokyo Trick Art Museum

    The Tokyo Trick Art Museum follows the familiar theme of an illusion museum that can be found in many tourist destinations across the world. But here, it’s taken to the next level. As you wander through the museum, you’ll find yourself face-to-face with life-size digital art exhibits. A little tricky? You bet, but also a great opportunity to have fun with your fellow travelers, and snap some unique selfies for your Instagram feed. Trapped by a vampire, riding a tiger, or just enjoying a traditional cup of matcha tea, the Trick Art Museum really flexes the imagination.

    Venus Fort

    Located in the heart of Palette Town, the Venus Fort is actually a busy shopping center that doubles as a photo-op. With its sumptuous sculptures and stunning architecture, the Venus Fort is a shopping mall with all the flair of a Renaissance painting. Meant to recreate the architecture and art of Medieval Europe, the Venus Fort will leave you feeling all bohemian, while catching a mini shopping break and filling your phone gallery with some enviable art-shots.


    Budgeting for an Odaiba Trip

    While Odaiba sounds like a place that’s too good to be true, it can get quite pricey. If you’re traveling on a budget, it’s always a good idea to map out your must-see attractions beforehand and work out a feasible budget.

    The best way to enjoy Odaiba without breaking the bank is to combine some of the free attractions with some paid ones. The good news is that the Rainbow Bridge, the Panasonic Centre, and the Odaiba Seaside Park are all free to visit. So are the Statue of Liberty, and the Giant Unicorn Gundam Statue.

    While the DiverCity Tokyo Plaza and the Venus Fort aren’t free, you can always window-shop, and snap some pictures of the Fort without charge.

    As for the attractions on our list that aren’t free, find below the average entry cost for each:

    • Fuji TV Building – ¥550 ($4) entrance to the observatory
    • Miraikan – ¥630 ($5) for adults, and ¥210 ($1.52) for under 18s
    • Tokyo Joypolis – ¥800 ($5.80) for adults and ¥500 ($3.62) for minors
    • LEGOLAND Discovery Center Tokyo – ¥3.400 ($25) for adults and ¥2.800 ($20) for kids, if buying online
    • Small Worlds – ¥2.700 ($20) for adults, and between ¥1.500 and ¥1.900 ($10-$14) for kids
    • Giant Sky Wheel – ¥1,000 ($7.20) for adults, ¥500 ($3.62) for kids between 4 and 11, and free for under 4
    • teamLab Planets – ¥3,200 ($23) for adults, ¥2,000 ($15) for teens, and ¥1,000 ($7.20) for kids 4-12
    • Madame Tussaud’s – ¥2,100 ($15) for adults, and ¥1,500 ($10) for kids 3-12
    • Tokyo Trick Art Museum – ¥900 ($6.50) for adults and ¥600 ($4.35) for children.

    Note that the cost of the Takoyaki Museum depends on consummation, and the Zepp is missing, since the cost varies based on performance. Overall, the cost of one adult going to all of the attractions on this list would be under $110. A family of four (2 adults and 2 kids) should consider an overall budget of $400 if they want to do all the attractions.

    Final thoughts 

    And that's our list of our favorite things to do in Odaiba! You may be wondering, 'how long should I spend in Odaiba?' That depends on how many of the above attractions you want to tick off. If you’re a good organizer and can stand a fast-paced trip, you can probably do most, if not all, of these attractions in two days in Odaiba. If you're looking to see more of what Tokyo has to offer, check out some of these other handy guides prepared by our staff!

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