When I was planning our autumn trip to Japan, I made it easy by dividing up different districts of Tokyo to explore. For this post I’ll be focusing on Odaiba which is located at the southeastern part of Tokyo on a man made island in Tokyo Bay.
For our trip to Odaiba I knew for sure I wanted to go to the Oedo Onsen Monogatari Hot Spring resort. I had read about this ultra ultra ultra touristy attraction in books and didn’t care that it was possibly a tourist trap. 🙂 All I knew was I had to visit because I love saunas & hot “springs”. Springs in quote since this isn’t a real hot spring. Anthony on the other hand was most excited for the Gundam statue which is located in the Diver City area.
From Shibuya Station we caught the Ginza line then transferred onto the Yurikamome line and got off at the Telecom Center Station stop. From there it was about a 5 minute walk to the resort. The trip took a total of about 40 min by train from the city BUT a very easy and scenic ride.
Upon entering the onsen resort, we were greeted by the front desk. We paid our entry fee which is good for the whole day so we could stay however long we pleased. They supply you with a yukata to wear and even offered different colors and patterns to choose from!
We each entered the gender separated locker rooms to change. Inside the locker rooms there was a locker room, changing area, showers, a few different pools all with varied temperatures and then an outdoor hot spring. You wear your yukata around the resort but when you enter the hot spring, pool area and saunas you go nakie wearing nothing except you can cover up with a tiny little hand towel that they give you….It was weird at first being “free” but if you are in the resort alone without a female friend or companion and don’t know anyone like I did it wasn’t too bad! It actually felt kind of liberating.
I spent most of my time in the hot spring bath outdoors. Sitting on the bed of hot rocks outside with the crisp fall air made for such a relaxing afternoon. Prior to the trip we were busy with work and house reno projects like painting so our vacation couldn’t have come at a better time. We had been on the go the few days prior to our visit to Odaiba so this was a much needed afternoon of relaxation & tranquility.
After some time, we finally met up in the gender free area and walked around the rest of the resort. The inside was cutely decorated with lanterns strung all over and themed to feel like we were inside an old bath house from the edo period. One section of the resort had many booths where you can buy snacks, clothes, little trinkets and souvenirs. Another section was full of different kinds of amusement park games and about 75% of the rest of the resort was full of booths & restaurants selling all kinds of typical japanese snacks & food like ramen, takoyaki, yakitori, mochi, curry, etc.
After a few hours at the resort we made our way to Diver City to check out the Gundam statue. Having limited internet access, we used our google maps app which we pre-downloaded at our airbnb in Shibuya before going to Odaiba. I think we took the long route according to the map because after walking through two large corporate parks in the dark, we saw a giant statue all bright & light in the far distance.
It was a really nice walk from the resort to the statue and if you were to ask me which route I took I couldn’t tell you haha. I just know it was FAR. It was a good 30 minute walk but peaceful and it felt so safe. Even walking in the dark for that long we didn’t feel like we would get mugged or attacked by anyone or anything. In the US, I probably wouldn’t advise anyone to walk in dark or even dim lit areas at night.
As we approached the Gundam statue it got bigger and bigger and when we finally reached the front of the statue and looked up it was massive. It was much taller, wider, brighter and heavier looking than I had imagined or seen in pictures. It was incredible to see all of the details put into making the state and how real it looked in comparison to my brothers gundam figures that he put together when he was little. And believe me those tiny figurines are chalk FULL of fine lines and details.
The statue is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen and if you don’t have it on your itinerary for Tokyo, put it on there RIGHT MEOW! It is absolutely worth the trip out and it would be weird to describe the Gundam statue like this but it was jaw-droppingly stunning. It is a MUST SEE.
Feeling hungry we stopped inside the mall just behind the statue for some delicious food court yakisoba and takoyaki. After our quick meal, we walked around to take photos of the Wangan bridge above Tokyo Bay and “statue of liberty” which looks very similar to the real deal ;). It was a beautiful sight at night with all of the lights and the lit up Wangan bridge as the backdrop.
Anthony is a huge japanese car fan and one of his highlights of our trip was seeing the Wangan bridge. Fun fact: apparently a lot of “tuner” car [aka fixed up Japanese cars] enthusiasts like to drive along the Wangan highway where the bridge is located. I have no idea if this is a real fact or not but it seems like it since many youtube videos feature tuner cars on this bridge. 😉
It was a long & eventful day. I would recommend both of these stops to anyone visiting Odaiba! Although the island feels incredibly artificial because it’s so new & modern spending time at the onsen resort was a nice way to relax & get away from the hustle and bustle of central Tokyo. The Gundam statue was unique in that you don’t see many statues of that size & kind anywhere else in the world.