Finally, the time came for us to get ready for the boat ride. We went back to the building where we bought our tickets and lined up with the rest of the passengers. The boarding location was at the back of the building. We took the Asakusa-Odaiba Direct Line, a 50 minutes scenic boat ride for 1560 yen per passenger.
There were many different boats in the river in various styles… Some are classic, some are normal…
Ours was very futuristic looking: The Himiko Water Bus. The Himiko Water Bus runs the route to Odaiba, our destination for shopping and entertainment, looked like it came straight from a James Bond movie. It had curved lines all over and the numerous riveted windows are slightly tinted turqoise.
Apparently, later we found out that the vessel, which looked like it came from outerspace, was a design masterpiece of Leiji Matsumoto – the man who brought us galactic titles such as Yamato, Galaxy Express 999, Herlock and many more popular anime in the 1970’s. Which explained why there were cardboard cutouts of the Galaxy Express 999 characters near the cockpit. Amazing…
As we sailed off along the Sumida river, we were treated to a number of unique vistas of Tokyo buildings from the river. According to the river tour map, the trip would pass 12 beautifully illustrated and individually unique bridges. Passengers can follow along where we were as we pass these bridges one by one.
We reached Odaiba jast before sunset and got off near the Odaiba Beach Park on the north west area of the reclaimed land. We’ve been here before when we visited the Doraemon exhibition at the Miraikan (National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation) back in 2010 which was on the south east side. They seemed to be getting ready for Tokyo Olympics 2020 there…
Compared to the beaches that we’ve been to, this one was a no contest. But even though it was crowded, the beach was clean, orderly and the golden hour made things look nicer. There was also a small Statue of Liberty 😉 We passed a couple of picnic tables and made our way to DECKS Tokyo Beach, which was a shopping mall across the road from the beach.
Inside the mall, Shuta explained that there was a really good place to eat takoyaki. So excitedly we searched the place and found a dining area with various takoyaki styles from all over Japan – the Takoyaki Museum.
Basically, there were about 5-6 stalls of takoyaki. Each sells different types of Takoyaki. There were big ones, small ones, crunchy ones, soupy ones… I didn’t know there were so many varieties of this rounded delicacy apart from the normal Osaka version.
Of course we tried several of these and endlessly discussed which one was the best kind… I wished we could try more styles, but eating balls and balls of takoyaki really filled us up pretty quickly.
I believe the result was still inconclusive by the time our bellies were filled. We definitely need to come back to find the winner.
When we came out of the Takoyaki Museum, we saw a small gathering on the lower floor. There was a guy with a monkey doing a show! So random! We went to watch Riki-chan the monkey do tricks and do cheeky monkey stuff. We made a small donation and Aina got a postcard and photo op with Riki-chan at the end of the show.
Since we were all tired from the whole day of walking and eating, we decided to head back. We walked towards the subway station to catch a train to Tokyo. The station was called the Tokyo Teleport Station – how fitting for a place like Odaiba.
From afar, we could see the Odaiba Giant Sky Wheel lit up. I guess we didn’t get to explore Odaiba this time around and see the Gundam statue up close. Maybe next time…