ODAIBA

I must say Odaiba has been a favorite get away for me whenever I came by around Tokyo. First was back in 2014 with people from work, we were eight, three of us were Filipinos and the rest were all Japanese. It was a bit of haste so I didn’t have that much time to explore but still enjoyed it because it was only from then that I experienced a short river cruise. Being born with just enough where lavishness is an impossible thing, the cruise was already luxurious for me. The route we took was from Odaiba down to Asakusa via Sumida River.

Friends at work back in 2014
While on cruise

The next was just last year with two of my co-trainees. It was a purposeful travel because we yearned-for a final peek before Gundam be taken down and replaced with a new iconic touristy figure which wasn’t revealed until late September of the preceding year. We were also quite in a hurry as we are looking into other places to drop by as well. Even so we have taken copious souvenir photos of the well-known anime robot.

2017 with co-trainees
The Former Gundam

While both visits were surprisingly short but sweet I wanted more from the place. It is as if a pain that hankers for cure and an empty hole that needs to be filled in.

I knew if I get the opportunity to call in once more I’d be happy to compel. So when my co-trainees at present planned a trip for cherry blossoms viewing last weekend I took advantage of it and suggested that we shall go see Odaiba too. With all of my convincing prowess complete with search results from the internet, it appeared at least to me like winning over a well-fought battle. Then we were off to set foot on the notable manmade island.

We first went to Chidorigafuchi moat for a boat ride (I have written about this from a previous entry), ate late lunch on a picnic ground not far from the pier, window shopped at the busy crowded Asakusa Nakamise Shopping St. and paid respect at the Temple.

Boat ride in chidorigafuchi moat
Asakusa Sensõji

Exhausted after all those, we leisurely moved to Odaiba. Because it’s a first time for most of my companions, astounded by the rainbow bridge and the replica of the statue of liberty they took off immediately for some photo ops. Walking here and there, completely unaware of the hour, it was almost dusk when hunger struck us. We responsively grabbed a meal and went on probing the rest of the area. Hurling ourselves towards opposite direction of the bridge, we bear witness to the new self-aggrandizing life-size Unicorn Gundam. Unveiling it with our own eyes is undoubtedly seventh heaven as majority of the anime enthusiasts may agree on. It is still the renowned robot but an upgraded and modernized version. On the spur of the moment we were back to being youngsters!

The new and improved unicorn gundam

We learned that the gigantic figure will have a show later that night at 7:30pm. Yet we decided to start rambling again and just go back closely when it starts. That’s when our pedes brought us to palette town. Part of it is a shopping mall patterned in an 18th century European town, the Venus Fort. Inside is an exhibit free-of-charge showcasing vintage cars and a small library compiling their chronicles accessible for public reading. There are besides a series of posh restaurants and boutiques. Its best feature for me would be the domed ceiling in an artificial deceptive real looking sky. With our eyes replete, we head to Megaweb Toyota City Showcase. It is home to latest models of the popular brand where you can test drive any of the cars displayed for a certain amount provided that you have driver’s license accredited in Japan. Unfortunately we got there a minute later than their closing time. Probably another reason to hark back again huh?

One amongst many featured vintage cars in megaweb history garage
Fountain Plaza in Venus Fort
Church Plaza under the artificial sky

Afterwards we were sitting in Diver City Tokyo Plaza all good and ready for the Unicorn Gundam presentation. Basically it is a 3-5minutes entertainment showing transformation from Unicorn mode to destroy mode of gundam vice versa with Japanese animation demo in a huge projector alongside. I’m not sure if they do but it would be nice though if they have a certain schedule where it can be watch dubbed in English or maybe with subtitles in it. Nonetheless this kind of amusement for me is outstanding, interesting and unique.

Rainbow bridge at night

I reckon the day had been awesome enough to conclude. While we were directing towards the train station going home I laid my eyes ahead to the rainbow bridge. As a debut viewing it during night time I was instantly hooked. I got really infatuated and that’s when I recognized that was it. The pain has been cured and the empty hole has been filled up. I sat down and stayed awhile cherishing and capturing the mesmerizing structure in front of me. Moment passed and we went along. And so whilst my spirit was on high I left with a grateful heart. So long Odaiba!

Advertisements

Another Day In Tokyo

February of this year I returned to Japan for another training job assignment. Being its economic and cultural center as well as the most sought after tourist attraction, Tokyo was my first on the list to drop by for a revisit. However, it hasn’t been carried out easily as it was a really busy work kick off. It was only two weeks later, when we (me with two of my work friends) had the chance to do so.


Our first stop, Odaiba. This long-familiar manmade island in Tokyo Bay was home for this full scale Gundam. We swung by very timely before it’d be taken down and replaced by another notable figure. Recently, an upgraded version, illuminated Unicorn Gundam unveiled as successor. We also yearned to see this renowned rainbow bridge connecting Odaiba to central Tokyo. Aside from that, there are many other amazing sceneries (the Fuji TV tower, the Palette Town Ferris wheel etc.) and plenty other activities to do.


After the gratifying view of a cityscape, we carried on to our next destination. It felt surprisingly great seeing rushing people cutting through Shibuya crossing (arrogating to be the busiest pedestrian intersection in the world). We, later on, blend in the crowd passing over. Several times back and forth until our legs hurt to satisfaction. We then paid visit to statue of Hachiko, an Akita dog remembered for his remarkable loyalty to his owner.


Akihabara a.k.a. Tokyo’s Electric Town was the next place we walked around to. It’s like a promenade exhibiting different electronic shops. To elaborate, this is a shopping district for video games, anime, manga, and other computer-related goods.


Heedless of our weariness, we headed towards Asakusa Sensoji. It is the oldest, most colorful and most popular Buddhist temple in Tokyo. It is also entertaining due to series of souvenir items and food stores demonstrating rich Japanese culture situated prior to entrance of the temple.


It was surely a bona fide shattering yet gleeful day for us. Intensifying the depth of our perceptions of this city, we capped the night off with two of its tallest landmarks: the Tokyo Sky tree and the Tokyo Tower. Both are sights endearingly difficult to forget.

Upon learning the possibility of coming back next year, I marvel at the thought of how I’d like to spend another day in Japan’s capital and largest city, Tokyo. With splendid culture, tradition and innovation too, I bet it offers a lot more than what I’ve already encountered.