The southeastern part of central Tokyo hosts dense clusters of office buildings. Some of Tokyo’s most recognisable landmarks, such as the Tokyo Tower and the Rainbow Bridge are here too, as well as the most modern and gigantic malls in Odaiba. This part of the city is mainly all about business, with large business districts such as Shimbashi and Akasaka, and the ultra high end shopping area of Ginza.
Shimabashi is one of Tokyo’s business districts. Though not us stunning as Marunouchi or as busy as Shinjuku, Shimbashi is one hectic place nonetheless. A day in Shimbashi can characterised as two things. In the morning it is a rushing crowd of salarymen and women heading to their offices, and in the afternoon and evening it is the same rushing crowd, heading home.
Shimbashi is also the jump off point to Odaiba, an outlying island connected to Tokyo mainline via the the photogenic Rainbow bridge and a futuristic train line that uses driverless trains with rubber tires, called the “Yurikamome”. The Yurikamome line originates at Shimbashi, with a station that is connected with the JR and subway lines via a walkway, and runs all around Odaiba. The highlight of taking the Yurikamome is the amazing views one would get as the train makes a 270 degree semi-loop going up the rainbow bridge on the way to the island. From there one would see virtually all of Tokyo bay and the skyline of the city, and is even more dramatic if you’re taking the train close to sunset. Also try to sit at the frontmost seats…even the locals scramble for it.
The island of Odaiba is one gigantic entertainment and shopping complex, with malls and entertainment centres covering much of the island. Apart from some of the largest malls, one can also find here Tokyo’s Legoland, huge gaming arcades, a “life sized” gundam “mobile suit”, and a large ferris wheel called the “Daikanransha”, which at its opening in 1999 was the worlds tallest, before it was surpassed by the London Eye in 2000. If you don’t feel like going to Tokyo disney but still want some “child-like” fun, then Odaiba is a good alternative.
Odaiba is also a good place to see the Tokyo skyline, especially at night. And it even comes with it’s own replica of New York’s Statue of Liberty.
*Photos taken last April 2015.