Palette Town

Five top things to do at Palette Town

A large-scale entertainment facility out on Odaiba, Palette Town has a host of attractions, shops and restaurants for everyone

Time Out in association with Palette Town

Odaiba, an amusement district out on a man-made islet in Tokyo Bay, is famous for its mini Statue of Liberty, which is especially photogenic when framed against the colourful Rainbow Bridge and iconic Tokyo Tower in the backdrop. That’s not all; it’s also a popular destination for shoppers and theme park fanatics. One of the best places to fulfil both interests is the entertainment complex Palette Town, which is easily recognisable by the large Ferris wheel towering over the facility. To make the most of your visit, follow our guide to the best five things to do at this multi-facility attraction.

Palette Town at a glance

Shopping: Venus Fort

This three-storey mall has an interesting interior design, featuring stylish faux-classic Graeco-Roman decorations to evoke the feeling of strolling through Florence or Milan in the 18th century. Look up at the ceiling and you’ll see an artificial sky which changes colour with the time of day. For the perfect photo op, head to the second floor, where you’ll find a giant fountain incorporating six statues of goddesses, as well as a life-size facade of a mock church.

All three floors of Venus Fort, which houses 170 shops and restaurants in total, boast different themes. The first floor, called ‘Venus Family’, comprises a selection of shops catering to the whole family, including pet shops for your furkids. The second floor, Venus Grand, sees a large variety of international labels such as Diesel, Tommy Hilfiger, United Colors of Benetton and Nike Factory, as well as a variety of jewellery and accessory shops. For bargain hunters, go straight to the third floor for some outlet shopping; the area offers about 50 fashion and lifestyle brands, including Levi’s, Puma and Gas.

1-3-5 Aomi, Koto (Tokyo Teleport, Aomi stations). 03 3599 0700. 11am-9pm, restaurants 11am-11pm (last orders 10pm).

Amusement: Mega Web

This massive automobile-themed amusement park is a dream-come-true for fans of all ages. At the huge car showroom Toyota City Showcase, a large number of the newest models are on display, and you can even take a test drive (¥300) on the two-lap track (Japanese or international driver’s licence required).

Mega Web doesn’t only showcase the latest Toyota models and future prototypes. At the two-storey History Garage, classic car-lovers can gaze at dozens of historic objects gathered from all over the world – for free. Especially picturesque are the many heritage vehicles parked against a backdrop of vintage facades resembling Tokyo’s cityscape in the 1960s.

At Ride Studio, children aged three to five can enjoy driving mini-cars while learning about common traffic rules. Older kids and adults, on the other hand, can get behind the wheels of several small vehicles, including go-carts (¥300), Camatte two-seaters (¥300), or Pius one-seaters (¥300).

1-3-12 Aomi, Koto (Tokyo Teleport, Aomi stations). 03 3599 0808. Toyota City Showcase, History Garage 11am-9pm, Ride Studio 11am-7pm.

Music: Zepp Tokyo

This state-of-the-art music venue has become a popular stage for both Japanese and international artists, particularly of the rock and electronic genres. With room to accommodate more than 2,700 spectators, Zepp Tokyo is the second outpost of the Sapporo-born concert hall.

Compared to similar venues around town, Zepp Tokyo lets you get quite close to the artists themselves – if you make it up to front row. Zepp Tokyo also has a sister venue, known as Zepp DiverCity, located in DiverCity Tokyo Plaza, right next to Palette Town. Additionally, Greater Tokyo will welcome two more world-class music spaces next year: one in Yokohama (Kanagawa prefecture) and another in Haneda.

1-3-11 Aomi, Koto (Tokyo Teleport, Aomi stations). 03 3599 0710.

Art: Mori Building Digital Art Museum: teamLab Borderless

This immersive digital art museum, jointly operated by the Mori Building group and the art collective teamLab, comprises a space of 10,000sqm inside Odaiba’s Palette Town complex, and it’s located right next to the giant ferris wheel Daikanransha. You can easily spend a whole day in teamLab’s three-dimensional art world, exploring the many exhibits spread across the vast space, which most of them are created to interact with its viewers. You're encouraged to touch, follow, disrupt or add to them. Some artworks can even move between rooms, hence the museum’s ‘borderless’ moniker.

The entire museum is divided into five different sections: Borderless World, Athletics Forest, Future Park, Forest of Lamps, and the En Tea House. Of these, Borderless World is by far the largest exhibit. The lack of signs is a deliberate decision as you’re supposed to wander in any direction you like and be surprised by every encounter.

1-3-8 Aomi, Koto (Tokyo Teleport, Aomi stations). 03 6368 4292. 10am-7pm, Sat, Sun & hols 10am-9pm, closed 2nd & 4th Tue of the month. ¥3,200, children aged 4 to 14 ¥1,000.

Amusement: Daikanransha ferris wheel

Palette Town’s Ferris wheel Daikanransha is a landmark of Odaiba, and it looms over the neighbourhood at a height of 115 metres. When it opened back in 1999, it was the world’s largest ferris wheel. It features 64 gondolas, four of which are completely see through, perfect for those seeking a thrilling experience.

During the 16-minute long ride, you’ll get to enjoy spectacular views of Tokyo over the bay – watch out for Tokyo Tower, Tokyo Skytree, Rainbow Bridge and on clear days, even the majestic Mt Fuji. Come nighttime, a ride on Daikanransha gets even more exciting and picturesque, when 98,000 LED lights create kaleidoscopic patterns in over 16 million different colours. Plus, the theme changes each season.

This is, undoubtedly, one of the most popular date spots in the city. And the best part is, you can even have your souvenir photo taken right before boarding the big wheel.

1-3-10 Aomi, Koto (Tokyo Teleport, Aomi stations). 03 5500 2655. 10am-10pm, Fri, Sat & before hols 10am-10.40pm. ¥1,000, children aged 4 to 11 ¥500.

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