Posts Tagged odaiba

July 8, 2005 – Rainy day in Odaiba

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In the continuing adventures of my week off, I met up with The Penpal today and we went to Odaiba in Tokyo. It was a rainy day, which is unusual because for the first year or so that we knew each other, it never EVER rained when we were together. We walked around some of the same places that I went with my crazy friends when they came to visit last summer.

In the evening we had dinner in Yokohama. It was fun to get to spend a whole day out of the city with my wonderful girlfriend.

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May 26, 2004 pt2 – Toyota Megaweb

Smart car 1

After dinner at Saizeriya, we decided to continue our Odaiba adventures with a visit to the Pallet Town shopping area. Pallet Town is an upscale shopping area with a cool European theme. The shopping area was okay, but for us the big attraction was MegaWeb, a giant Toyota showroom and “automobile theme park”. We got to look at and sit in all of the current and upcoming Toyota models including a tiny smart car model. The smart car was a comfortable fit for Code Red and I, but Flounder literally could not fit in the car at all. We got dirty looks from one of the employees while we laughed at Flounder.

Smartcars are not for everyone

Smartcars are not built for everyone

MegaWeb also had several driving simulator games. Normally the driving simulators cost 600 yen, but today they were all FREE! We took full advantage of the simulators, with our favourite being the off-road simulator that we were all terrible at.

While the guys were enjoying the games, I ended up talking with one of the female employees who was looking to practice her English. She started with the standard question – asking if we were American. I explained that we were all Canadian, and I was living in Japan teaching English. It turns out she was a NOVA student from the Chiba area. We chatted for a few minutes and then surprisingly she gave me her email address and phone number. This earned me some praise from the guys and a nice ego boost. If I was single I would have definitely called her, but I decided to be a faithful boyfriend and dispose of the contact info when I got home.

At the end of a long day in Odaiba, we made a point of riding the Yurikamome back towards home, mistakenly believing that it was the Tokyo Monorail. The Yurikamome is an automated train that offers spectacular views of Tokyo Bay. Thinking we were on the monorail, we all started singing the Monorail song from the fantastic Simpsons episode “Marge vs. the Monorail”. We got off at Shiodome station to walk to the JR lines, stopping at an area with hand and face prints from Japanese sports figures and TV personalities. I recognized a few pro wrestlers, but we didn’t know any of the other names.

Sometimes the best vacation experiences come not from the major tourist destinations, but just from being around a fun group of people away from home. Monorail! Monoraaaail! MONORAAAAAAIL!

Mono… d’oh!

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May 26, 2004 pt1 – Odaiba

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Once again we got a late start on the day, both due to recovery from the previous evening and because we are a bunch of guys on vacation. After we finally got moving, we headed out to Odaiba.

Odaiba is a large artificial island in Tokyo Bay. It was originally created for sea defence in the 1800s, but has now turned into a developed area with hotels, shopping, and other fun things. Our first stop was the Fuji TV building, which looks like something out of an episode of Star Trek. We would have enjoyed the building more if we were familiar with any of Fuji TV’s shows. While we were wandering around, a group of school kids approached Flounder to ask him questions in English for a school project. I am sure it was intimidating for the kids to approach the giant gaijin, but Flounder is actually great with kids and had fun answering the questions.

We explored some of the malls and found a game center, which has become a recurring theme of our adventures. The picture above is from an awesome 4 player air hockey game that suddenly went into a bonus mode with multiple pucks. We also found a Biohazard (Resident Evil) 4D-Executer machine. The machine shows a 20 minute animated movie based on Biohazard, complete with 3D effects, a moving seat, and air cannons designed to scare the viewer. It was pretty cool.

After some gaming we ended up at Saizeriya to get some food. Saizeriya is a family restaurant that features a inexpensive Italian food and a regular, non-alcoholic drink bar. After our misadventures of the previous night, a non alcoholic drink bar was a good idea.

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