|Rainbow Bridge, as seen from Odaiba.|
|A map of the major points in Odaiba.|
Odaiba（お台場）began as a collection of islands created during the Edo Period (1603-1868) as a place to build forts to protect Tokyo. Now, it's one of the largest leisure centers of the city with several entertainment complexes (i.e., Decks Tokyo Beach, Aquacity Odaba, DiverCity Tokyo Plaza). Odaiba is the perfect place to spend an entire day. Between playing games in Tokyo Joypolis, catching a 3D movie, chowing down at the ramen food theme park, relaxing at the hot springs (onsen; 温泉), and posing for the perfect selfie in front of the life-sized Gundam robot, you won't need to leave Odaiba for hours once you get there.
|Part of the Odaiba skyline.|
|Fuji TV headquarters as seen from|
One of the biggest attractions in Odaba is Rainbow Bridge (reinbo burijji; レインボーブリッジ), the link between Tokyo-proper and the island. During the daytime, why it's called Rainbow Bridge might boggle the mind, but at night the 798 meter (2,618 ft) long suspension bridge lights up with the colors of the rainbow.
The base of the bridge can be reached from Shibaura-futõ or "Shibaura Pier" Station（芝浦ふ頭駅）on the Yurikamome Line or Tamachi Station（田町駅）on the Japan Railway Company's East Line. I chose the former station. From the station exit the base of the tower, which leads to the bridge's walkway, is only about a five minute walk.
|Rainbow Bridge map.|
|The Rainbow Bridge tower entrance.|
The entryway of the Rainbow Bridge tower is hard to miss as there are rainbows all over the windows! Once inside, you'll pass through a clean lobby where there are restrooms and signs to the elevators. It's a bike-friendly bridge, so if you have a pair of wheels you're welcome to cross.
There are two paths: the South Route and the North Route. Naturally, what you're able to see from the bridge depends on the route you take. The Skytree and Tokyo Tower are visible from the North Route, while the Odaiba skyline can be seen from the South Route, the path I selected.
After taking the elevator up, you'll be right there on the bridge! I don't think trekking across Rainbow Bridge is a good activity for those who are afraid of heights. I'm a deathly afraid of roller-coasters, but I suppose walking and biking across high bridges in Taipei prepared me for this one. Additionally, if you find yourself in Tokyo during wintertime and hate the cold, you might not enjoy Rainbow Bridge as it's quite windy up there.
|The Rainbow Bridge pathway.|
This shot makes it look creepy, right?
Including the times I stopped to take pictures, it took me about 40 minutes to walk across the bridge. I think I would have taken my time if it weren't so cold and windy! It was fun nonetheless, but a little exhausting as I went to Odaiba on my last day in Japan. If I weren't so tired, I would have taken the North Route back, but I opted for the train as my feet said "no".
Walking across Rainbow Bridge is a must if you have the stamina and want to see many of Tokyo's landmarks for free. I believe it's perfect to go on a weekday morning. It wasn't crowded at all when I went. In fact, I saw a grand total of three people on the bridge!
|The descent of the bridge on the Odaiba side.|