Monday, 6 February 2012

A day beside the seaside in futuristic Tokyo

Odaiba is an island of reclaimed land in Tokyo Bay.  It’s also a great day out.  The name Odaiba means “cannon emplacements”, referring to the defences set up in the bay by the shogun in 1853 to protect the city.  Getting to Odaiba via the futuristic Rainbow Bridge, it feels like a high tech British seaside resort.  And yet strangely enough, with Decks Tokyo Beach it even captures some of that old school seaside town charm sadly missing today from many of its British counterparts.

Rainbow Bridge links Odaiba to mainland Tokyo.  This 918-metre-long, single span suspension bridge has two levels, the lower for the waterfront road and the monorail, and the upper for the Metropolitan Expressway. 

At night, the illuminated Rainbow Bridge, giant technicolour Ferris wheel and twinkling towers of the Tokyo skyline makes it a sight to behold.

Fronting Odaiba’s man-made beach are a couple of linked shopping malls, Aqua City and Decks Tokyo Beach.  The latter has an awesome retro arcade (more on this in a future blog) as well as Sega Joypolis. 

Next to the mall is the awesome Fuji TV Building, a futuristic block with a huge metal sphere suspended in its middle.  This is quite possibly my favourite building in the world, I never tire at looking at it!

A short walk away is Palette Town, a vast shopping and entertainment complex.  Here you can also find Mega Web, a showcase for Toyota’s range of cars and the giant Ferris wheel.

Getting back to Sega Joypolis, this was our second visit.  We last came here around three years ago. 

The bob sleigh game has been replaced with Storm-G, a new futuristic version.  One or two players can sit in each sleigh, both players having a twin joystick set up similar to Virtua On.  Me and the wife shared a sleigh and both players work together to steer the sled.  At particular moments you must press the buttons on the joysticks to gain speed.  As you do this the sled spins 360 degrees.  If both players press the button in sync the sled spins 720 degrees.  Great fun, but probably best not to go on this straight after lunch!  Before starting each of the main attractions, there is a safety talk in Japanese.  We were shown cards with English instructions on them.  On some games there is a running live commentary.  Of course its all in Japanese but to my amusement during our go on Storm-G I did hear the commentator say ‘Team England’ from time to time.  Me and the wife done England proud by beating the other three contestants!

Sega's Storm-G youtube video  

My favourite game is still the awesome House of the Dead 4 Special, were your strapped into a chair which spins round as you mow down hoards of crazed zombies and other unsavoury characters with your trusty Uzi.  Great fun!

Other attractions include Let’s Go Jungle! Special, Hummer - a jeep based racing game, Burnout Running - a tread mill based running game (just watching this one is tiring!), and Spin Bullet - an indoor spinning roller coaster.

We had a great time at Sega Joypolis.  An adult day passport is 3500 Yen (after 1700hrs its 2500 Yen).  For this you can go on the main attractions as many times as you like.  Also we generally didn’t have to wait long to go on the rides with most queues only lasting a couple of minutes.  I think the longest we had to wait was around 15 minutes. 

Here are some more pictures of Odaiba and Sega Joypolis:

No comments:

Post a Comment