Date: 1st May 2015
Walking to Odaiba via the Rainbow Bridge
Odaiba is a man made island in Tokyo with famous sights of Fuji TV and Tokyo Big Sight. There are many ways to access Odaiba, taking the train, boat, or even walk. I chose to walk, crossing the Rainbow Bridge. Taking the Yurikamome elevated train, I arrived at the Shibaura-futo station which marks the start of the pedestrian path. Clearly, not many people walk on the Rainbow Bridge. It was quiet despite being a sunny day and the crowd earlier I saw in Asakusa. Or is Odaiba just not crowded?
I was surely glad I decided to walk, it took me roughly 30 minutes and the view of the waterfront was spectacular.
The Fuji TV building was visible at the end of the pedestrian walkway.
The first goal, being an anime fan, is to look for the famous Gundam Statue, which is located at DiverCity Tokyo Plaza. The shopping complex is not too far away from the pedestrian exit. Note that the statue will be taken down on March 5, 2017. Sad right? Well good thing there is a new Gundam here now.
Next I found myself in Palette Town (no, not where Ash is from), a large shopping? complex. Venus Fort was pretty, so I could not help myself from taking pictures.
They had all kinds of Hawaiian related performances, booths etc. on that day in Palette Town.
I took the Ferris Wheel, yes alone. LOL. Nothing special.
Ooedo Onsen Monogatari
Next was my first experience of either a public bath or onsen in Japan. I headed to Ooedo Onsen Monogatari, a hot spring theme park in Odaiba. I know onsen is different, but let me experience this urban style of onsen! The place is designed to look like Edo Japan.
Obviously, no photos allowed in the bath area, but there were both indoor and outdoor baths. Drinking milk after the bath is awesome. For some reason, Gintama was all over the place when I was there, which is great as I am a big fan!
After soaking for quite long actually, I headed to one of the restaurants for some light food and a drink.
A Japanese couple sat next to me was friendly enough to start a conversation with me, my first decent Japanese conversation. Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia seems to be quite known among Japanese. I even had a taste of the cheesy chicken they were having. The couple was from Sendai and recommended me to visit there someday, talking about Date Masamune. They were telling me how early the sakura bloomed this year, and maybe sakura at the places that I wanted to visit in the North would no longer be blooming anymore. (They were right).
Having tried different onsen now, Ooedo Onsen Monogatari is not bad especially if you cannot get out to try the REAL onsen.
Opening hours: 11:00 to 09:00 (next day), Last entry: 07:00
Closed once a month after 23:00
Entrance fee: 2,720 yen (weekdays), 2,936 yen (weekends), 3,044 yen (special days) *discounts for evening admissions, and additional discounts for late night (after 02:00) admissions
Ooedo Onsen Monogatari is a 7-mins, 550m walk from the Telecom Centre Station on the Yurikamome Line.