Day Two – Odaiba

Fuji TV Building

Fuji TV Building

Fair warning, Sunday was the day I took to geek out by myself. Since I was alone on this trip, I figured I might as well enjoy some things my inner twelve-year-old has been looking forward to for the last 13 years.

Odaiba is an artificial island, formed in the 1800s to provide a battery platform for defending Tokyo Bay. It’s also the site of the Fuji TV headquarters. Fuji TV is a national TV broadcasting…company? Network? They produce and broadcast TV anyway. In fact, they broadcast most of the TV I watch – my morning and afternoon news programs, the lunchtime variety show I watch with the office ladies,* Sunday evening cartoons,** Sunday morning cartoons, and most of the quarterly “dramas” featuring popular actors and singers. So I had to make a pilgrimage. It helps that Fuji TV sneaks a shot of its distinctive building into its shows wherever plausible. (Thus I was able to identify it at the age of ten from Digimon.)

To get up to the main area, there was this crazy long half-escalator, half-moving walkway thing:

Escalator/Moving Walkway

Escalator/Moving Walkway

They had various attractions available, including a 500yen trip to the top of the building. Burnt out as I was by my previous trip to the top of a building, I decided to skip that. There was a gift shop selling items from various shows, which was pretty cool. Finally, at the front of the building, you could go in and see memorabilia from shows put on by the network, such as the morning news program, Mezamashi TV and SMAPxSMAP.*** You can also look in on the studios of currently filming shows (since it was Sunday, all that was visible was dark sets and some assembly work). All for free.

There are many shopping opportunities near the Fuji TV building, including Aqua City and Diver City. Diver City has a rather unique display…

Gundam

Gundam

A life-size RX-78 Gundam, from the original series, Mobile Suit Gundam. There’s also a Gundam Cafe (an offshoot of the one in Akihabara) and Gundam Crises, a sort of theme park game.

*Waratte Iitomo (It’s Okay to Laugh) – a show that’s been running continuously since 1982. The host holds a record for the longest continued hosting of a TV show, over 5000 shows.

**One of which is Sazae-san, which has been on at 6:30PM on Sunday since 1969. Gah.

***A hard to describe show, SMAPxSMAP – cooking show? Comedy sketch show?

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