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the simple life

"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Japan: Odaiba

One of my favorite places in Japan is Odaiba.

"Prepare to be hit by the 22nd century! With space age buildings, electric cars and fantasy shopping malls, Tokyo's newest district is futuristic and surreal. Built on reclaimed land in Tokyo Bay, a monorail links Odaiba to the mainland. Watch out too for the silent couples. As the site of the world's largest Ferris wheel, it's also a popular, if not compulsory, dating spot."

The monorail ride is great, as you can have a fantastic view of the grand office buildings in Shimbashi and a spectacular view of the Rainbow Bridge and Tokyo Bay. It is slightly more expensive though, costing between 300+ to 500+ yen. If you like, you can pay for the first stop in Odaiba, take the monorail all the way to the end of the line, cross the platform and take it back to the stop that you've paid for. A cheap way to see Odaiba, especially the Tokyo Big Sight and the Panasonic Center which is at the wrong end of Odaiba.

The Ferris Wheel was ok, though it should be quite amazing at night. Especially if you have some enamored companionship. Then again, you wouldn't get to do much sightseeing anyway.

I liked the Toyota Mega Web, a gigantic car showroom, although I'm not mad about cars. Nice exhibits, especially the futuristic concept cars. Paid a token fee to take a driverless spin (electronically controlled) around the different showrooms. If you drive, you can arrange for a test drive here.

Although I'm not big on shopping, there was a mall I like. It's called Decks Tokyo Beach. There was a floor devoted to the theme of Old Tokyo. There were small exhibits of day to day life in Old Tokyo. For example, old arcade and amusement park games where you can actually play as well as scenes of ordinary homes and shops. There were many shops, dedicated to selling retro stuff, such as old toys and memorabilia.

Aqua City is another nice mall. There's a Sony showroom there. Saw the PSX there but unfortunately couldn't see it in action. The Coke museum is just an excuse to sell their merchandise. Avoid it if you're not addicted to coke.

At Aqua City, you can see a replica of the Statue of Liberty, with the Rainbow Bridge (looking like the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco). Trust the Japanese to combine the East and West Coast in one shot.

Before I left wonderful Odaiba, I went to Fuji TV Building where I took a nice picture in a replica set of a popular kids' tv programme. Don't know anything about the programme, but was happy as hell.

Next time, I want to see Odaiba at night.

(Visit http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3008.html)


At 12/29/2004 07:21:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yah, the retro town was a blast , my mom liked it too. Strangely enuff although many of my frens had mixed views on tokyo, all of us loved Odaiba, something abt that manufactured small island...
Although i am not an addict of the coke franchise,i got a coupon for a free coke drink and went in for that, i still do not understand why anyone would be willing to part with their cash for any coke pdts ( i mean they shld basically give those to us for free since we are like walking advertsing boards for them)

At 12/31/2004 11:59:00 AM, Blogger isaiah_sg said...

There's a whole bunch of people most willing to part with their hard-earned cash for a piece of Americana.


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