Odaiba – お台場

Odaiba has several interesting things to photograph. Some of which are simple, yet beautiful, and other “Instagram worthy” spots. I had the privilege of shooting with my friend Frank (@francoimaging). Frank showed me some great photo spots, so let’s take a look!

The first spot is more of a tourist attraction – the Unicorn Gundam Statue. If you’re not familiar with the term “Gundam”, they’re essentially giant humanoid robots. They are the subject of many anime and manga. When I was younger, I enjoyed “Gundam Wing” on Cartoon Network’s Toonami after school every day.

Unicorn Gundam Statue at Night

This gundam statue moves and lights up for around 5 minutes twice an hour, so it’s a fun spot and children enjoy watching it.

The next place has a few photo spots – Aqua City. Aqua City is a mall and entertainment area. If you’re visiting with your family, there is a LEGOLAND Discovery Center an indoor amusement park, and more.

As far as photo spots, there is a great spot to take a photo of both Tokyo Tower and the Rainbow Bridge in the same shot. This shot is, in my opinion, best taken at night. If you catch it at the right time, you can get a photo of the Rainbow Bridge lit up in multiple colors as well. See Franks Instagram for a nice shot.

Rainbow Bridge and Tokyo Tower at night

There is also an Instagram worthy “LOVE” display that is also great to photograph at night and a Statue of Liberty replica that was initially erected as a tribute to Japan’s ties with France.

Aqua City “LOVE” sign – you’re likely to see many people taking photos with this sign.

The last place that is actually in Odaiba on this list is the Soho Building. The Soho building could be one of the hardest places to photograph in Tokyo. Getting “any” shot isn’t that hard – the courtyard is a publicly accessible space. But, as you can see, it’s not a great photo.

The Soho Doors from the public area

The photo that many want to take is much more difficult due to two reasons.

  • You have to have a key card to get into the building
  • Security will kick you out if they see you trying to take photo

The first hurdle is relatively easy – you can just follow someone in, or go in as someone comes out. The second is more difficult. They always have security on-site, and if they see you – on camera or in person – they will escort you out. If they catch you a second time, they will call the police (which is 100 meters away).

When we visited in January I witnessed two photographers getting kicked out soon after I arrived. Fortunately for us, we were not caught.

The Soho Doors from the 8th floor

The last shot is pretty interesting. It is a somewhat technically difficult rolling shutter shot. This is taken on the Yurikamome Line train going to or from Odaiba. From the front of the train, you can get an interesting motion blur shot around a turn in a “tunnel”. The interesting thing is that you can see the buildings, etc, in the background.

There are other spots to take photos as well – the Fuji TV Building, whose observatory has great views, a ferris wheel close to Aqua City that is lit up at night and a few other places.

Have you had the opportunity to explore Odaiba? Any hidden gems you’d like to share?

3 Comments on “Odaiba – お台場

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