Guest Post by Mainak Biswas. Follow Mainak’s journey over on his website www.placesinpixel.com.
Tokyo’s Past, Present & Future – Asakusa, Odaiba and SkyTree
There’s a reason why Tokyo, the capital city of Japan, is known as the city with 100 different faces! Here you can literally find everything.
This one-day tour of Asakusa-Odaiba-Skytree was designed in a way that my parents can see the past, the present and the future of one of the world’s liveliest cities. The water bus ride (on the Sumida River) between Asakusa and Odaiba will feel like a time machine and you will fully enjoy the nice contrast.
Asakusa is located in the north-east part of Tokyo. The Asakusa area was actually outside of the city during the Edo period, but was the center of entertainment and Buddhist spirituality from the 17th century until the 1940s.
The area was historically dotted with kabuki theatres, a form of traditional Japanese theatre considered UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, and later with modern types of theatres and cinemas.
About Odaiba waterfront and the Rainbow bridge
Odaiba is a magical wonderland of entertainment, situated on a man-made island in Tokyo Bay. Not only does this location afford an unbeatable view of the Rainbow Bridge (especially during the Tokyo Bay fireworks, unfortunately postponed until after the 2020 Olympics), it also showcases some of Japan’s best and most futuristic architecture.
About Tokyo SkyTree – The world’s tallest tower
On 22nd May 2012, Tokyo Skytree was officially opened to the public.
With a full height of 634 meters, it is the tallest free-standing tower in the World. The structure evokes a traditional beauty of Japan’s historic buildings with a great combination between an incredible technological advance and technology from the past. Of course, a vibration-controlling system will make the tower safe and reduce swaying from earthquake and strong wind.
The Tour: Asakusa-Odaiba-SkyTree
We started this day from Asakusa, by visiting the oldest temple in Tokyo – Sensoji temple (info: temple guide). The charming shopping streets (Nakamise Dori) around Asakusa provide a fantastic opportunity to do you souvenir shopping. Here you can find absolutely everything – Japanese pictures, dolls, fans, sweets, even swords and kimonos!
From Asakusa you’ll have a splendid view to Tokyo Sky Tree – it’s the perfect distance for making good-quality photos.
Places to see in Asakusa: Sensoji Temple, Nakamise Dori, Sumida park.
We then took the water bus ride down the Sumida River and reached the artificial island of Odaiba in Tokyo Bay. The entire place looks totally different and is always vibrant. Odaiba water front is my favorite area in Tokyo. The view of Tokyo skyline from Odaida is just too awesome!
Things to do at Odaiba:
- Explore the Aquacity and Shopping Decks; Inside you will find a large variety of shops, restaurants, and indoor theme parks such as Joypolis, Legoland, and the Trick Art Museum.
- Take photos at the Statue of Liberty (replica, obviously!)
- Take a walk across Rainbow Bridge (it connects Odaiba with the rest of Tokyo)
- and, most importantly: Visit the Madame Tussaud’s Museum
After enjoying ourselves as much as we could, we headed towards the Tokyo Skytree – the world’s tallest tower. Yes, you read it correct – Burj Khalifa is NOT the world’s tallest tower, it’s the world’s building.
TIP: I would strongly advice pre-booking of the Sky-tree observation deck entry tickets, especially if it’s a weekend or any holiday (info: official website).
Once you are up on the observation deck, you will be able to practically see the entire city glittering and illuminated with neon-lights. There are lots of “photo spots” from where you can take really good pictures of the Tokyo city.
Seven-part Tokyo Travel Guide
With that we come to the end of ‘part-2’ of a my seven-part Tokyo travel guide, which I am compiling from my 4-year-stay in Japan. Hope you liked reading about this Asakusa-Odaiba-SkyTree tour and it inspired you to add this to your bucket list when you visit Japan. You can find the other segments on my website:
- Part 1: Shibuya-Shinjuku-Harajuku
- Part 2: Asakusa-Odaiba-SkyTree
- Part 3: Tokyo Disneyland – The Happiest place to be
- Part 4: Takao San – best hiking destination near Tokyo
- Part 5: Kamakura-Enoshima islands
- Part 6: Yokohama Bay
- Part 7: Mount Okutama – best trekking trails near Tokyo
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