Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Odaiba Minato & Gundam Tokyo Bay, Japan


There are many places for shopping and leisure with your loved ones or children in Tokyo city but they are always crowded and swarming with people throughout the day. It is not easy to find a place which makes you more relaxing without feeling overcrowded while you are shopping, dating or enjoying your entertainment activities. 

Odaiba has become a popular shopping and entertainment destination among the Japanese on a man made island in Tokyo Bay. Odaiba (お台場) is located at a large artificial island in Tokyo Bay and just across the Rainbow Bridge from Tokyo central in Japan. It takes about 35 minutes ride from Tokyo Station to Odaiba by subway train as it is located outside of the busy downtown of Tokyo. Yurikamome elevated train line connects the visitors from Shimbashi Station on Yamanote Line to Odaiba in Tokyo Bay and vice versa.

There are many activities/attractions for you, your loved ones and children to enjoy at Odaiba Tokyo Bay. You can plan for the whole day shopping, dining and participating with the indoor theme park and entertainment at Odaiba. There are a number of shopping malls located within Yurikamome train line namely, Aquacity Odaiba, Divercity Tokyo Plaza and Decks Tokyo Beaches. 

As when you visit Odaiba Tokyo Bay, you will be amused with some modern and futuristic building concept such as Fuji TV Building and Telecom Center. Visitors are allowed to take pictures of Odaiba bay area at the observation decks of these futuristic buildings, when you purchase the admission tickets. 

If you are into food adventure, you should visit Food Theme Park which offers different kinds of ramen all over Japan at Aquacity Odaiba. Beside that, Odaiba Tokyo Bay also offers some indoor theme parks and interactive learning activities such as Legoland Discovery Center, Trick Art Museum, Museum of Maritime Science and National Museum of Emerging Science.

Generally, I love visiting Odaiba Tokyo Bay at night when the buildings, the giant Ferris Wheel, the walkway, the stairways and the life sized Gundam robot are light up with neons which keep changing the colours.

How to get to Odaiba?
Subway : Get down from Shimbashi Station on Yamanote Line and purchase train ticket for Yurikamome Line. Follow the signboards by getting on the escalators and walking across to the next platform in order to get on Yurikamome Line. The Yurikamome train connects all of Odaiba's attractions and Toyosu Station on the Yurakucho Subway Line.


Walking along the platform to take Yurikamome transit ride from Tokyo central to Odaiba Tokyo Bay in Japan
Walking along the platform to take Yurikamome transit ride from Tokyo central to Odaiba Tokyo Bay in Japan

Crossing the popular Rainbow Bridge during the ride on the Yurikamome rapid transit line which connects the Tokyo central and Tokyo Bay artificial island in Japan
Crossing the popular Rainbow Bridge during the ride on the Yurikamome rapid transit line which connects the Tokyo central and Tokyo Bay artificial island in Japan

Welcome to Odaiba which is a large artificial island in Tokyo Bay and across Rainbow Bridge from the central Tokyo in Japan
Welcome to Odaiba which is a large artificial island in Tokyo Bay and across Rainbow Bridge from the central Tokyo in Japan

18-metre tall Gundam robot in front of Gundam Cafe at Odaiba in Tokyo Bay, Japan
18-metre tall Gundam robot in front of Gundam Cafe at Odaiba in Tokyo Bay, Japan

The detailed back view of the components of the giant Gundam robot in front of The Diver City Plaza at Odaiba Tokyo Bay in Japan
The detailed back view of the components of the giant Gundam robot in front of The Diver City Plaza at Odaiba Tokyo Bay in Japan

Gundam Cafe on the ground floor of The Diver City Tokyo Plaza at Odaiba Tokyo Bay in Japan
Gundam Cafe on the ground floor of The Diver City Tokyo Plaza at Odaiba Tokyo Bay in Japan

Colourful illuminated lights keep changing along the walkways at Odaiba Tokyo Bay in Japan
Colourful illuminated lights keep changing along the walkways at Odaiba Tokyo Bay in Japan

Palette Town shopping centre with its popular Venus Fort, a Venice-themed shopping mall  and the giant light up Ferris Wheel, known as Daikanransha at Odaiba Tokyo Bay in Japan
Palette Town shopping centre with its popular Venus Fort, a Venice-themed shopping mall  and the giant light up Ferris Wheel, known as Daikanransha at Odaiba Tokyo Bay in Japan

Colourful lights keep changing on the stairways at night at Fuji Television Headquarter Building in Odaiba Tokyo Bay, Japan
Colourful lights keep changing on the stairways at night at Fuji Television Headquarter Building in Odaiba Tokyo Bay, Japan

My Older Post:
  • Asakusa Sensoji Kannon Buddhist Temple in Tokyo, Japan
  • Tokyo Imperial Palace East Gardens
  • Meiji Jingu Shrine in Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan
  • Sky Bus Tokyo ride in Marunouchi district, Japan
  • Kit Kat, Ikebukuro Tokyo Store
  • Tokyo Station & Tokyo Tower, Japan
  • Akihabara Anime, Manga and Maid Cafe in Tokyo, Japan
  • Hachiko Shibuya in Tokyo, Japan
  • Observation Deck: Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building at Shinjuku, Tokyo
  • Shinjuku Skyscraper & Kabukicho in Tokyo, Japan
  • Tokyo Subway Metro Train Guide in Japan
  • Japan Culture & Vending Machine Introduction


  • Monday, June 15, 2015

    Asakusa Sensoji Kannon Buddhist Temple in Tokyo, Japan


    Asakusa Sensoji Temple is the oldest Buddhist temple in Tokyo, Japan. It was built on the site in 645 AD which is dedicated to the bodhisattva Kannon or also known as Guan Yin or the Goddess of Mercy

    According to the legend, two fishermen were fishing along Sumida River and found a statue of Bodhisattva Kannon floating on the river. When the village headman of Asakusa heard about this, he immediately realized that the object was an important Buddhist deity Bodhisattva Kannon statue thus, he took the vow to remake his home into a temple and spent the rest of his life in devotion to Bodhisattva Kannon.

    The Kaminarimon Gate or the Thunder Gate, is the main entrance of the outer gate of Asakusa Sensoji Temple. There is a huge red paper lantern with a black Chinese character hanging in the middle of The Kaminarimon Gate (or the Thunder Gate). As when a visitor walks through the Kaminarimon Gate (or The Thunder Gate), you will find the shopping street of Nakamise-dori which is lined up with rows of small vendors selling snacks and Japanese souvenirs. 

    As when you walk to the end row of the shopping street of Nakamise-dori, you will find another huge gate which is similar to The Kaminarimon Gate (or the Thunder Gate). The second entrance gate is known as Hozomon Gate which will lead you to the main temple's hall of Asakusa Sensoji Temple for worshiping. There is a large incense burner in the middle of the main temple's hall as you walk through the Hozomon Gate. You will find a five-story pagoda as well, next to the main temple's hall.

    How do you pray at a Japanese temple? 
    Firstly, you purchase and burn incense (osenko) in a large incense burner, which is situated in front of the main temple's hall. Then, you fan some smoke towards yourself as the smoke is believed to have some healing power. After that, you walk all the way to the offering hall. You must remove your shoes before entering the temple hall. When you stand in front of the Kannon Bosatsu shrine, you throw a coin into the offering box then, bow at 90 degree before clapping both hands twice. Then, you pray and make your wish before bowing at 90 degree once more.

    How to get to Asakusa Sensoji Temple?
    Address: 2 Chome-3-1 Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo 111-0032, Japan
    Subway Station
    Tobu Isezaki Line          : 5 minutes by foot from Asakusa Station
    Tokyo Metro Ginza Line : 5 minutes by foot from Asakusa Station
    Tsukuba Express          : 5 minutes by foot from Asakusa Station
    Toei Asakusa Line        : 7 minutes by foot from the A4 Exit of Asakusa Station

    Opening Hours :  6am to 5pm daily
    Entrance Fees  :  FREE


    The main entrance gate of Kaminarimon Gate (Thunder Gate) at Asakusa Sensoji Temple which is always crowded with Japanese and tourists at Tokyo, Japan
    The main entrance gate of Kaminarimon Gate (Thunder Gate) at Asakusa Sensoji Temple which is always crowded with Japanese and tourists at Tokyo, Japan

    A giant red lantern is hanging at the main entrance gate of Kaminarimon Gate (Thunder Gate) at Asakusa Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Japan
    A giant red lantern is hanging at the main entrance gate of Kaminarimon Gate (Thunder Gate) at Asakusa Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Japan

    You can find a crafted dragon as you bend and look under the base of the giant red lantern at The Kaminarimo Gate of Asakusa Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Japan
    You can find a crafted dragon as you bend and look under the base of the giant red lantern at The Kaminarimo Gate of Asakusa Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Japan

    You will find  typical Japanese souvenirs and snacks along the shopping street of Nakamise after passing the outer gate of Asakusa Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Japan
    You will find  typical Japanese souvenirs and snacks along the shopping street of Nakamise after passing the outer gate of Asakusa Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Japan

    An arch at the end of Nakamise shopping street before heading to the temple's main hall at Asakusa Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Japan
    An arch at the end of Nakamise shopping street before heading to the temple's main hall at Asakusa Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Japan

    Japanese doll statues display at the end street of Nakamise before heading to the Hozoman Gate and the main temple's hall at Asakusa Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Japan
    Japanese doll statues display at the end street of Nakamise before heading to the Hozoman Gate and the main temple's hall at Asakusa Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Japan

    This is Hozomon Gate, located at the end of Nakamise shopping street at Asakusa Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Japan
    This is Hozomon Gate, located at the end of Nakamise shopping street at Asakusa Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Japan

    Beyond the Hozomon Gate is the temple's main hall and a five storied pagoda at Asakusa Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Japan
    Beyond the Hozomon Gate is the temple's main hall and a five storied pagoda at Asakusa Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Japan

    The rear view of Hozomon Gate before heading into the main temple's hall of Asakusa Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Japan
    The rear view of Hozomon Gate before heading into the main temple's hall of Asakusa Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Japan

    O-waraji is the traditional straw sandals made by 800 citizens of Murayama City as it's believed as the charm against the evils at Asakusa Temple in Tokyo, Japan
    O-waraji is the traditional straw sandals made by 800 citizens of Murayama City as it's believed as the charm against the evils at Asakusa Temple in Tokyo, Japan

    Heading to the main temple's hall of Asakusa Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Japan
    Heading to the main temple's hall of Asakusa Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Japan

    Fan some smoke towards yourself as the smoke is believed to have healing power and throw a coin into the offering box, clap your hands twice and pray for a few seconds at Asakusa Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Japan
    Fan some smoke towards yourself as the smoke is believed to have healing power and throw a coin into the offering box, clap your hands twice and pray for a few seconds at Asakusa Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Japan

    The visitors bow and pray in front of the Asakusa Shrine at the main temple's hall of Asakusa Sensoji Kannon Temple in Tokyo, Japan
    The visitors bow and pray in front of the Asakusa Shrine at the main temple's hall of Asakusa Sensoji Kannon Temple in Tokyo, Japan

    It's getting crowded with Japanese and the visitors at the main temple's hall of Asakusa Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Japan
    It's getting crowded with Japanese and the visitors at the main temple's hall of Asakusa Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Japan

    A five-story pagoda at the main temple's hall of Asakusa Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Japan
    A five-story pagoda at the main temple's hall of Asakusa Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Japan

    Two Buddha statues outside of the main temple's hall and near to Tokyo Skytree at Asakusa Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Japan
    Two Buddha statues outside of the main temple's hall and near to Tokyo Skytree at Asakusa Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Japan

    The beautiful view of a statue which is wrapped with a red cloth in front of Hozomon Gate of the main temple's hall at Asakusa Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Japan
    The beautiful view of a statue which is wrapped with a red cloth in front of Hozomon Gate of the main temple's hall at Asakusa Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Japan

    Friday, May 22, 2015

    Tokyo Imperial Palace East Gardens


    Imperial Palace East Garden (皇居東御苑, Kōkyo Higashi Gyoen) is a well-maintained historical inner palace area which is open to the public for free. Imperial Palace East Garden is surrounded by skyscrapers in the district of Marunouchi in Tokyo, Japan. It is just a short walk from Otemachi Station to The Oteman entrance which will lead you to the Imperial Palace East Garden. 

    Imperial Palace East Garden is open to the public for free but you need to get your number card at the ticket counter from the main entrance gate. You must return the number card at the ticket counter before you leave the park. Imperial Palace East Garden is a very huge park so, the authorities must ensure all the visitors to leave the park by the closing time.  

    Imperial Palace East Garden was used to be the former site of Edo Castle's innermost circles of defense, the honmaru ("main circle") and ninomaru ("secondary circle"). However, the Edo Castle was destroyed completed by fire except, the foundation of the former Edo Castle which still remains until today. As such, the former site of Edo Castle is preserved and transformed into a beautiful park similar to the Central Park in New York City. 

    How to get to Imperial Palace East Garden?
    Address: 1-1 Chiyoda, Chiyoda 100-0001, Tokyo Prefecture
    Station : A short walk from Otemachi Station to the Oteman entrance of Imperial Palace East Garden
    Opening Hours :  9am to 4:30pm except Monday, Friday, New Year and some special occasions
    Entrance Fees  :  FREE


    Heading to Imperial Palace East Garden as we enter through Otemon main gate entrance in Tokyo, Japan
    Heading to Imperial Palace East Garden as we enter through Otemon main gate entrance in Tokyo, Japan

    Close-up view of the Otemon main gate entrance of Imperial Palace East Garden which has been preserved until now in Tokyo, Japan
    Close-up view of the Otemon main gate entrance of Imperial Palace East Garden which has been preserved until now in Tokyo, Japan

    Imperial Palace East Garden is surrounded by skyscrapers in Marunouchi district of Tokyo, Japan
    Imperial Palace East Garden is surrounded by skyscrapers in Marunouchi district of Tokyo, Japan

    Look at the strong thick wooden structure to support the weight of the Otemon entrance gate at Imperial Palace East Garden in Marunouchi, Tokyo, Japan
    Look at the strong thick wooden structure to support the weight of the Otemon entrance gate at Imperial Palace East Garden in Marunouchi, Tokyo, Japan

    Hyakunin-bosho Guardhouse is the biggest guardhouse to inspect visitors who entered from ote-mon gate in the Edo period at Imperial Palace East Garden, Tokyo
    Hyakunin-bosho Guardhouse is the biggest guardhouse to inspect visitors who entered from ote-mon gate in the Edo period at Imperial Palace East Garden, Tokyo

    Giant walls are surrounding the Imperial Palace East Garden in Tokyo, Japan
    Giant walls are surrounding the Imperial Palace East Garden in Tokyo, Japan

    Pink Cherry Blossom at Imperial Palace East Park in Tokyo, Japan
    Pink Cherry Blossom at Imperial Palace East Park in Tokyo, Japan

    Beautiful pink cherry blossom at Imperial Palace East Garden in Tokyo, Japan
    Beautiful pink cherry blossom at Imperial Palace East Garden in Tokyo, Japan

    White Cherry Blossom at Imperial Palace East Park in Tokyo, Japan
    White Cherry Blossom at Imperial Palace East Park in Tokyo, Japan

    Fujimi-Yagura is a building for storage and defense as well as the place to enjoy the view of fireworks at Ryogoky and Tokyo bay at Imperial Palace East Garden
    Fujimi-Yagura is a building for storage and defense as well as the place to enjoy the view of fireworks at Ryogoky and Tokyo bay at Imperial Palace East Garden

    Visitors are busy taking pictures of cherry blossom at Imperial Palace East Garden in Tokyo, Japan
    Visitors are busy taking pictures of cherry blossom at Imperial Palace East Garden in Tokyo, Japan

    Beautiful park in the beginning of Spring at Imperial Palace East Garden in Tokyo, Japan
    Beautiful park in the beginning of Spring at Imperial Palace East Garden in Tokyo, Japan

    The remaining foundation of Edo Castle at Imperial Palace East Garden in Tokyo, Japan
    The remaining foundation of Edo Castle at Imperial Palace East Garden in Tokyo, Japan

    Tenshudai Donjon Base of Edo Period was symbolised the authority of the Tokugawa Shogunate but being burnt down at Imperial Palace East Garden in Tokyo, Japan
    Tenshudai Donjon Base of Edo Period was symbolised the authority of the Tokugawa Shogunate but being burnt down at Imperial Palace East Garden in Tokyo, Japan

    Honmaru Goten Palace divided to Omote for general public ceremonies while Nakaoku and Ohoku were where shogun and families lived at Imperial Palace East Garden
    Honmaru Goten Palace divided to Omote for general public ceremonies while Nakaoku and Ohoku were where shogun and families lived at Imperial Palace East Garden

    walking up to the top of the foundation of Edo Castle at Imperial Palace East Garden in Tokyo, Japan
    walking up to the top of the foundation of Edo Castle at Imperial Palace East Garden in Tokyo, Japan

    Enticing by a well-maintained park with a pond in the beginning of Spring at Imperial Palace East Garden in Tokyo, Japan
    Enticing by a well-maintained park with a pond in the beginning of Spring at Imperial Palace East Garden in Tokyo, Japan

    Crossing a little bridge over the pond in the beginning of Spring at Imperial Palace East Garden in Tokyo, Japan
    Crossing a little bridge over the pond in the beginning of Spring at Imperial Palace East Garden in Tokyo, Japan

    The oldest Suwa Tea Pavilion can be seen at the far end of the Japanese garden and pond at Imperial Palace East Garden in Tokyo, Japan
    The oldest Suwa Tea Pavilion can be seen at the far end of the Japanese garden and pond at Imperial Palace East Garden in Tokyo, Japan

    Restoration Shiomi-zaka Slope used to connect Honmaru (inner citadel) to Ninomaru (second citadel) with embankment at Imperial Palace East Garden in Tokyo, Japan
    Restoration Shiomi-zaka Slope used to connect Honmaru (inner citadel) to Ninomaru (second citadel) with embankment at Imperial Palace East Garden in Tokyo, Japan


    My Older Post:
  • Meiji Jingu Shrine in Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan
  • Sky Bus Tokyo ride in Marunouchi district, Japan
  • Kit Kat, Ikebukuro Tokyo Store
  • Tokyo Station & Tokyo Tower, Japan
  • Akihabara Anime, Manga and Maid Cafe in Tokyo, Japan
  • Hachiko Shibuya in Tokyo, Japan
  • Observation Deck: Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building at Shinjuku, Tokyo
  • Shinjuku Skyscraper & Kabukicho in Tokyo, Japan
  • Tokyo Subway Metro Train Guide in Japan
  • Japan Culture & Vending Machine Introduction