I’m not sure if it’s common knowledge to a lot of foreigners living in Tokyo, but there is a way to travel that isn’t as slow as walking or as crowded by trains. Boats! That’s right, you can take a big, weird boat in between places like Asakusa and Odaiba, and it’s pretty cheap.
Truth be told, my girlfriend and I took this trip in August, when the weather was much nicer, but our boat trip to Odaiba was a pretty great experience for both of us. We had been looking for an excuse to try a boat ride for a while, and on that day we had a craving for Takoyaki. A bunch of kinds of takoyaki. In a museum. In Odaiba.
If you check Tokyo Waterways online, you’ll see that there are a variety of routes and boats to choose from. Our boat was a standard party-boat, but there are several others such as two boats designed by the same guy who designed Space Battleship Yamato from its eponymous series. Our boat, as plain as it was, did featured multiple decks of seats and plenty of viewing space, as well as a small bar and snack counter on the lower level.
Our trip was under an hour, but we got to see a completely different side of Tokyo for the very first time. The air was crisp and trip was smooth. We took a lot of photos. The snacks weren’t anything special, but the beer was a limited Asahi brew from the nearby Asahi beer company building, and it was delicious. When we finally got to our port, we took a few photos of the incoming boats, and made our way to Odaiba Decks.
Decks is a multilevel indoor-outdoor mall full of lots of shops and restaurants right next to the water. If you’re a fan of retro video games and spooky stuff, Decks has an old-school arcade stocked with games from the early 80s as well as a mini haunted house. I even found retro soda cans, a 3 wheeled Daihatsu Midget, as well as a man-sized robot from Tetsujin 28.
Decks also features the Takoyaki Museum, which is less of a museum and more of a food court with several varieties of takoyaki to choose from. There are about 6 different stalls for takoyaki, and each stall has it’s own vending ticket machine with a huge variety of quantity and choice. We got a variety set, and took our place in the seating area. The smell of this whole place is wonderful, and the taste and texture of our meal was fantastic.
After the meal, we walked around a bit. Fun fact if you are a fan of Dippin’ Dots ice cream—Decks has Dippin’ Dots on the first floor! It was the last snack I expected to find in Tokyo. Eating mint-chocolate Dippin’ Dots in Tokyo really made my trip perfect. After that, we walked around the side of Diver City to score a few shots of the miniature Statue of Liberty nearby. Why is there a miniature Statue of Liberty within a few steps of a giant Gundam statue? Not sure, but it’s pretty awesome.
Odaiba lends itself to a lot great photo opportunities and good food, and next time you’re in the mood to see a different side of Tokyo, why not try Tokyo by boat?