The story of Tokyo’s Odaiba district is extraordinary. Originating as a series of man-made forts over 200 years ago, it’s now home to a number of world-class event facilities, giant shopping centres, impressive company buildings and all of it sits within a setting that gives delegates the feeling of a resort. The Waterfront’s popularity has risen quickly over the last decade, helping to drive growth and increase the area’s capabilities. As a result, it has seen a greater number of business events arriving from all around the world. While Asia has brought a particularly large influx of MICE business, its modern and welcoming venues accommodate all. Planners looking for somewhere new to take delegates in Tokyo can be confident that Odaiba has everything to make their event a success.
When it comes to accessing the area, international delegates can get there easily from both Haneda and Narita airport. Rainbow Bridge is the district’s main connection to central Tokyo, entering at the heart of the City. Getting around Odaiba is stress-free on the sleek Yurikamome; a fully automated monorail-style system that services the area. Its routes provide panoramic views of the bay.
Rainbow Bridge and Yurikamome
The area is home to several major MICE venues including Japan’s largest exhibition centre, Tokyo Big Sight, which already hosts over 300 events each year, seeing over 1.5 million people visit the venue. There are numerous hotels to accommodate its high number of visitors and they are available to fit every budget, so planners can be flexible when picking what best suits their own and their guest’s needs. The high capacity makes the area a perfect choice for those looking to host large meetings or major industry conventions, conferences and expos. Plus, the area is so new that most facilities are less than 20 years old making them incredibly contemporary and at the forefront of what MICE organisers need in terms of facilities and infrastructure. Additionally, much of Odaiba is built on foundations that date back centuries to the Edo Period. This stark contrast of new and old adds a new dimension to visitor experiences as they learn and have the chance to appreciate its legacy.
Tokyo Big Sight
Odaiba also works perfectly for team-building trips and small gatherings, which can make use in particular of two unique cruise offerings. Either the Yakatabune Cruises, which are reminiscent of traditional Japanese houses - floating on the water; or the far more contemporary Hotaluna Cruises. Ultimately both offer a truly unique and inspiring view of the city and are therefore considered the ultimate dinning option as guest take in the Tokyo Skyline, Raindow Bridge and of course much of Odaiba Island, whilst eating. In fact, the waterfront offers another unique opportunity – which is the launching of high-end firework displays from platforms moored in the water – visible from a host of viewing points these end an event in true style.
Yakatabune and fireworks
Another option for delegates is to be transported to the past via Oedo Onsen Monogatari – an “oasis in the heart of Japan’s Capital City”. Guests are able to take a gentle foot bath at natural hot springs and walk around wearing Yukata (traditional light robes). There is also ample opportunity to shop, play carnival games, have your fortune told and taste-test street-foods. Alternatively, an Onsen party can let delegates feel like they are slipping back in time to Japan’s Edo era as they enjoy an ambient, sit-down meal together sat in the lantern-lit “Hinomi Yagura”.
Oedo Onsen Monogatari
Ultimately, when holding an event in Odaiba, organisers are spoilt for choice, having both internal and external options for special events, meaning they can choose what works best for each individual group. Appealing to the more eco-conscious, Odaiba is Tokyo’s leading example in the way it approaches sustainability – their culture is very environmentally-conscious and 100% of its metal, food and construction waste get recycled.
It is no surprise the Waterfront area has seen its popularity surge in all sectors over the last two decades. The surrounding oceans give this compact area a wide-open feel while extensive leisure facilities and green space lets delegates unwind and enjoy their free time. Innovative venues are constantly being created, bringing new opportunities and inspiration to event planners. Its serene, easy-going atmosphere provides a contrast against the rest of bustling central Tokyo, making it a real hidden treasure for the MICE industry. So for those looking for somewhere fresh in Tokyo but without sacrificing convenience, capacity or quality; Odaiba is the perfect solution.
Landscape of Odaiba
Tokyo Waterfront City Association
Area Management: Tokyo Waterfront City Association