If you’re longing for beach life and sand in your toes, look no further than Odaiba Beach. The man made island Odaiba is just a short ride with the Yurikamome train, which departs from Shimbashi station and takes you across Rainbow Bridge to the island. We got off at the Odaiba Kaihinkoen station, which is located right at the beginning of the beach.
It was very hot, so before we started our walk along the beach promenade, we went for a kakigori (shaved ice) at a café near the beach. The café looked like one of those beach cafés you’ll find along the Californian coastline and the music played was old surfer classics, so you could easily imagine being somewhere along Highway 1 instead of in the middle of Tokyo.
Swimming is not allowed at Odaiba Beach, but in spite of that, a couple of surfers were out testing the waters. I’m not sure why surfing was allowed and not swimming, as I suppose both activities include water contact, but most people on the beach didn’t even wear bikinis and seemed to prefer to stay out of the water anyway.
In the summer months, Odaiba is notoriously busy on weekends and public holidays, but during the week, it’s usually not a problem to find a quiet spot on the beach or along the narrow stretch of grass lining it.
One of the most remarkable Odaiba buildings is Fuji Television’s headquarters, which most of all looks like a futuristic space station. Inside the building, you can buy different kinds of merchandise or visit the observation deck, from where you may be able to get a glance of Mt. Fuji in clear weather. In the evening, there’s a light- and sound show rolling across the building, using the windows to display colorful illustrations and text messages.
Last time I went to Odaiba was in December, a couple of years ago, and I was amazed by the beautiful, Rainbow Bridge which, after sunset, displayed all the colors of the rainbow. I wanted Poul to see this impressive sight too, so even though we were done with shopping and dining around 17:00, I forced him to stay until sunset at 19:00. It got darker and darker, and then the lights were on. Hmmm… All the lights were white! It was still a beautiful sight, but not as impressive as the rainbow-colored version. I found out later that the Rainbow Bridge is only rainbow-colored around Christmas.