Odaiba (お台場) is located in Tokyo Bay, Japan. The large artificial island can be accessed via the Rainbow bridge, which extends from central Tokyo. While the island was originally designed and built as a defensive mechanism in the 1800s it has been used since as a seaport and later as a major residential and leisure district.
The name of Odaiba comes from the name for the six different fortress islands in Tokyo Bay constructed in 1853 by the Shogunate to protect Tokyo from attack by sea. Commodore Matthew Perry arrived in that same year and precipitated much of the building. Of the originally planned 11 batteries, only six were completed and many of them today have been converted for varying purposes.
When the Port of Tokyo was opened in 1941, the batteries were slowly fazed out with only two batteries remaining so that ships could easily come and go from the bay. Battery number three was eventually connected to the land in 1979 and Battery number six was left alone, with any landing or use prohibited.
In the early 1990s, Shunichi Suzuki, the then mayor of Tokyo started a major development project to turn Odaiba (battery number 6) into a showcase for future living with a modern residential development that would house more than 100,000 people.
By the time Yukio Aoshima came to office in 1995, the project had cost more than 1 Trillion Yen and the island was still largely empty with many of the management companies on the island going bankrupt when the plan was stopped. Many people saw the island as being inconvenient for access to central Tokyo and the housing bubble crash as causing a lot of the trouble with selling the lots.
In the late 1990s, tourism and leisure attractions brought much of Odaiba back to life with multiple hotels and malls built on the island. Fuji Television, as well as many other large companies now run their headquarters from the island as well.
Attractions in Odaiba range from strictly commercial to leisurely in nature. The Fuji Television Studios building is a unique and popular building to visit. A few more of Odaiba’s main attractions include:
Today, two Shuto Expressway lines connect Central Tokyo to Odaiba – Route 11 and the Wangan Route. Additionally, the Yurikamome Transit System from Shimbashi and Toyosu and the Rinkai Line from Shin-Kiba and Osaki both reach Odabia. Additionally city busses are available as well as ferries between Odaiba and Akusa.