Overlooking Tokyo Bay is one of the most unique little tourist destinations in Odaiba: a replica of New York’s Statue of Liberty. At first glance it’s easy to be fooled into thinking that this is a to-scale recreation, but in reality it’s about 1/7th the size of the original.
Backdropped by the iconic Rainbow Bridge, this statue was first erected in 1998 in dedication to Japan’s ties with France. After a year on display, the statue was taken down, as originally intended. However, mini-Lady Liberty’s popularity was so strong that they brought her back for good in 2000. What’s particularly interesting about this statue is that it’s actually not Japan’s only Statue of Liberty: she has twin sisters in Shimoda and Osaka.
Odaiba is an artificial island, so Odaiba Beach is, of course, also an artificial beach. Hang out on the sandy shore, check out the views of the iconic rainbow bridge and Statue of Liberty, but be aware that swimming is prohibited. To explore Edo-era ruins, walk along the shore to Daiba Park.
Odaiba has no shortage of unique mega shopping outlets: there’s Decks, which was the area’s first; then there’s Venus Fort, a mall designed to look like some unidentifiable ancient European city. But Aqua City has something extra special, and she goes by the name of Chihira Junco. The humanistic android was created by Japanese tech giants Toshiba, and is one of the first of thousands of many helpful robots the company expects to produce in the coming few years. Use the touchpad to ask Junco a variety of questions, from “where is the nearest bathroom?” to “what’s your favourite food?”
1 Chome-7-1 Daiba, Minato, Tokyo 135-0091, +81 3 3599 4700
This one may seem like a bit of a car geek’s paradise, but in reality it’s a whole stack of fun for the non-automotive-obsessive too. A theme park created by Toyota, Mega Web is divided into three areas, titled ‘look’, ‘feel’ and ‘ride’. Look and feel are exhibits dedicated to the history and future of their cars, but the most exciting section is the ‘ride’ exhibit. Here, try out a multitude of different Toyota cars on their on-site 1.3 km track. There are even go-kart style options for the kids.
1 Chome-3-12 Aomi, Kōtō-ku, Tōkyō-to 135-0064, +81 3 3599 0808
For anime lovers, this is a Tokyo highlight. Check out the 19-meter tall illuminated Gundam statue, which towers over Diver City. Recently upgraded for the 2020 Olympics, the current Gundam is a new and improved RX-0 Unicorn Gundam, which–even if you don’t know what that means–is pretty impressive. This current model transforms daily at 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm and 5 pm, and also puts on a very entertaining light show every half hour between 7:30 pm to 9 pm.
Though it doesn’t open until summer (June-August) this is definitely one to add to your Japan itinerary. The enigmatic 400 member art collective teamLab have announced they’ll be unveiling Japan’s first ever digital art museum. Given their groundbreaking past works that they’ve taken around the world, this is set to be something pretty special.