This is a detailed post of my 2 weeks long solo backpacking trip to Japan. Please see a preview and itinerary/index of my complete trip on this post.
Day 12 – Tokyo
Back to City of Lights
I liked Nikko as it is scenic and it has ample nature trails to explore. But as I had only one day in Nikko, I could not do justice to this place.I would have loved to visit Lake Chuzengi as well.
I boarded an early train back to Tokyo. I have a long day ahead, as I plan to travel to the western coast of Japan using an overnight bus. I would be visiting a UNESCO world heritage site and inaugurating snow corridors for 2016 season. But not before I explore a man-made island near Tokyo, called Odaiba.
My train ended at Asakusa station. Asakusa station is an important place as it is a tourist hub in Tokyo. I boarded a water taxi from Sumida park and decided to drop at Hinode pier. There is another water taxi service that drops directly in Odaiba also but I wanted to walk to Odaiba crossing over Rainbow bridge. Rainbow bridge is fifteen minutes walk from Hinode terminal.
Rainbow Bridge is a suspension bridge connecting Tokyo and a manmade island known as Odaiba. Bridge itself is 800 m long and 52m above sea level. Entry to the bridge is free. I started my walk from Shibaura side. There are two walkways on the bridge. One towards the north has a view of the city and one towards the south has a view of Mt Fuji (on a clear day). Chances of seeing Mt Fuji from Tokyo are very meager so walking on the Northern side made more sense for me. Rainbow bridge has many observation platforms. After every few minutes, one can stop and take a break on these platforms. Unfortunately, entire bridge is heavily fenced and clicking pictures is really a pain. It is impossible to avoid those fences in images unless zoomed in. I could extend my phone out of the fences to click a video of the magnificent view. Using a tripod was nearly impossible as bridge shakes with every passing train and vehicles. The bridge is over open seas and it was extremely windy and cold post sunset. All images from the bridge have been shot handheld.
Bridge has a fantastic view of Tokyo. I think walking over Rainbow bridge was one of the best decision I made and I would highly recommend doing this to anyone visiting Tokyo. Entire walk took me over two hours as I took long breaks clicking skyline and awesome view of the city. I was so impressed with the view, I went there again on my last day in Tokyo.
Over to Odaiba
Odaiba is a man-made island, mainly used for commercial purposes. Island has a lot of malls and recreational areas. Odaiba also has a nice small beach. Odaiba is also a hub for tourists as has a lot of options for shopping, dining, and entertainment. As I was not interested in any of these activities I did not venture into the commercial area. Views of Rainbow bridge from beach and Decks Tokyo (shopping mall) are totally worth it. Decks Tokyo has one Indian restaurant as well. Though I did not eat there. Nothing beats the view of a Rainbow Bridge, Tokyo city, and an Asahi 😉
I took a train ride back from Tokyo Teleport Station on Odaiba to Shinjuku station, which takes 25 minutes and costs 500 yen. I have to late overnight bus to Kanazawa (Shirakawa-go) from Shinjuku. I booked my bus through Willer highway bus service. The Bus will start around 11 PM and will reach Kanazawa next morning 7 AM. Overnight bus charged me 5100Y. I saved 2140Y night stay cost and more importantly 8 hours of travel time by using an overnight bus. No doubts, using the overnight bus is the most cost and time effective solution for traveling in Japan.