JAPAN: Odaiba, Tokyo Tower and Asakusa

JAPAN: Odaiba, Tokyo Tower and Asakusa Tokyo Japan Odaiba Tokyo Big SightTokyo Japan Odaiba Tokyo Big SightHaving friends in Japan and growing up watching Anime, we can easily come up with a 30-day itinerary in Tokyo alone. Only having 8 days spent in Tokyo, we really had to set our priorities. We also tired ourselves out spending three days in Tokyo Disney so planning the remaining days wasn't that easy.

Odaiba was a place we definitely wanted to visit going into Tokyo since it is popular for having a number of futuristic architectures. We took a bus from JR Yamanote Line's Hamamatsucho Station to Odaiba. The fare is 200jpy. It goes through the Rainbow Bridge and has a number of stops in different landmarks of Odaiba and then back to the station. Just taking the bus alone is already a great sightseeing tour since you can see lots of cool buildings and architectures. We decided to get off the bus at Tokyo Big Sight which is the farthest stop before the bus takes the route back to the station. Another reason we chose to stop here is we wanted to take a waterbus going back to the station.

Tokyo Japan Odaiba pier
View from the pier
We went to the waterbus pier early since we wanted to be able to choose the kind of waterbus we ride on and watch other waterbuses as they pass by. The waterbuses have different designs. The one that we particularly wanted to ride was called Himiko. Unfortunately, we didn't do our research thoroughly and just found out when we got there that Himiko doesn't stop at this particular pier, so we had to ride on a different waterbus.

Tokyo Japan Odaiba waterbus
Inside the waterbus
Still, we were so lucky that Himiko actually pass by while we were waiting for our waterbus =) It was so beautiful and looked like a spaceship flying low just above the water. Because we were so fascinated by it, by the time we realized that we should take a picture of it, it was already too far for our camera to be able to take a good shot. Since we got our camera out already, we just took a picture of the view we had while waiting for our waterbus.

We want to avoid taking bus tours because when we travel, we want to be in control of our time. The only problem this time is that we were too tired to navigate ourselves to get to the landmarks we want to visit so we took the easy route and went ahead and got ourselves in a bus tour.

Tokyo Japan Tokyo Tower Observatory
Bad quality picture taken by the guide =(
Hato Bus offers a number of tours that stops by different Tokyo landmarks. Their tours also starts in Hamamatsucho Station. During this time, the 2 places we said that we have to see before we leave Tokyo were Asakusa and Tokyo Tower and we were lucky enough that they have a tour that stops at both sites.

Tokyo Tower has a decent observatory. Definitely better than the Empire State's observatory but we would say not as good as the Top of the Rock, the observatory atop Rockefeller Center. Being time pressured since we were in a tour-group could also be the reason why we were unable to appreciate the observatory that much. Another sad part of this tour was that we were unable to take a picture while we were at the foot of the tower again because of being in a tour group.

Tokyo Japan Tokyo Tower Observatory
One of the nicer views while in Tokyo Tower's observatory
We were perfectly on-time when we got to the bus that it started moving before we even got to our seats. And you know that they don't mess around in Japan when it comes to being on time. They would honestly leave us there if we started taking pictures at the foot of the tower if we didn't get on the bus. All that being said, we're sorry if there's no picture of the tower from the foot but we do have pictures taken at the observatory.

Tokyo Japan Tokyo Tower Observatory
An altar inside Tokyo Tower's observatory
On our way to Asakusa, our guide, Mr. Sato, was telling us the story behind the temple at Asakusa. But like said earlier, we were too tired that time that the only thing we were able to remember in his story is that there is some kind of religious relic hidden and kept safe in the temple. Asakusa, for tourists, is a popular Japan landmark because of its huge lantern on the temple gates and its 5-story pagoda. We're not sure what we missed when we were there since there is some construction going on and a part of the place was barricaded by a big dragon poster.

Tokyo Japan Asakusa
5-story pagoda in Asakusa

Tokyo Japan Asakusa
Lanterns in Asakusa temple gates

Tokyo Japan Asakusa

Tokyo Japan Asakusa
Part of the place in Asakusa that was in construction.
This was back in April 2010.