Quirky Christmas: Odaiba, Japan

I found the Christmas tree of my dreams 5 years ago on the man-made island of Odaiba in Tokyo Bay. Accessible by train or car (via the illuminated, colour shifting Rainbow Bridge), Odaiba is a consumer wonderland of shopping malls, amusement arcades, rides and futuristic attractions.

view of bridge at night
Rainbow Bridge
Photo by NihoNorway graphy on Unsplash

Many of Odaiba’s malls are housed in enormous complexes like Palette Town or Aqua City. With their themed levels and one-of-a-kind stores it would take you days to explore every mall but if, like I did, you only have one day the standouts are VenusFort, which is best summed up as “Italy indoors”, and DECKS.

VenusFort is notable for its European decor, but it’s worth a visit for its pet friendly basement level. Down there, you and your canine companion can wander, dine, shop for matching outfits and even have a little hyperbaric oxygen therapy!

Although, sadly, not together.

It’s an oxygen chamber for dogs! Very tiny dogs!

If you’re in the market for a pet, you can also buy one here, but it’ll cost ya. The adorable creature below was 600,000 yen, approximately $7000 Australian dollars.

“I think you’ll agree, I’m worth it.”

DECKS mall is also worth a look thanks to an an entire floor dedicated to amusements and arcade games of yesteryear. All of which are playable. The dΓ©cor is also suitably retro with the walls plastered with posters of Japanese music and film idols of the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Vintage pinball machines

On my visit, even the Christmas decorations had a nostalgic feel, such as this chaotic, pop culture Christmas tree I’ve always wanted to replicate:

Hmmm, what are those?
Pez dispensers!!!!!

Sadly, I just don’t own enough Pez dispensers to pull it off.

Next year, maybe.


  1. Ha ha, cool article! I’ll pass on the 7000 dollar cat. I’ve had plenty of weird Asian Christmases myself over the years, hence some of these images rang very true.

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