When was the last time you visited Odaiba or Ariake? The bayside’s set to be one of the epicenters of Olympic activity this summer — home to the Olympic Village and 13 sporting venues. But beyond all these major developments and classic tourist spots like teamLab or Tokyo Big Sight, there’s a host of quieter, lesser-known gems to discover.
The Open Bakery Sandwich and Coffee
When Odaiba in-the-knows are craving a good loaf, the spot they head to is THE OPEN BAKERY. Crunchy loaves, a sea-view terrace and oh-so-French espressos.
BBQ season is upon us and, if your tiny Tokyo apartment doesn’t have the capacity for a cookout, this South American-style BBQ joint is the spot to go.
Nestled on the 13th floor of the SOHO building, it’s hard to get more chic in Odaiba than an evening at The BAR. A dazzling 360-degree view of Tokyo and a drink menu with over 170 kinds of whiskey.
Designed by Motosuke Mandai as part of the ARTBAY HOUSE project, grab an iced coffee at this architectural delight in the middle of the subcoastal center.
Sadly, this architectural wonder from 1996 by Makoto Sei Watanabe is closed permanently — so don’t miss seeing it at least from the outside as it might soon be gone forever.
The BBQ Beach
Grill meat & seafood from Toyosu Market at this BBQ venue with a great view of the Rainbow Bridge. Canopies make this a nice hangout for a rainy summer Sunday as well. Dogs welcome!
Citabria Bay-Park & Grill
European beer garden meets city beach club at this chilled spot by the bay. Head here in time for sunset to enjoy DJ music and a view of the Olympic Village.
Tokyo Sports Playground
You have until September to don your favorite pair of sneakers to run, climb, skate or swing a bat for free at this Nike-themed park. Simply install the Nike app to visit.
Wild Magic The Rainbow Farm
Camp out on the beach in the capital with a view of the cityscape at Wild Magic Rainbow Farm. Go in the afternoon and grill a BBQ set over your own fire pit.
Taiyo No Marche (Market of The Sun)
Every second weekend of the month, this local farmers market is held at the Tsukishima Second Children’s Park in Kachidoki.
Olympic Venues in Odaiba and Ariake:
1. The Tokyo Olympic Village
With sustainability in mind, all the rooms’ bed frames will be made of cardboard and — along with the mattresses — will be recycled into other products post-Olympics.
2. Odaiba Marine Park
// Marathon swimming // triathlon
A popular tourist destination with views of the Odaiba Statue of Liberty — a replica of the one found in New York — and Rainbow Bridge.
3. Ariake Urban Sports Park & BMX Track
// Skateboarding // cycling BMX racing // cycling BMX freestyle
Tokyo 2020 marks the long-awaited debut of skateboarding in the Olympic Games.
4. Ariake Tennis/Park Ariake Coliseum
// Tennis // wheelchair tennis
Opened in 1987, the coliseum’s retractable roof predates the one installed at Wimbledon, London.
5. Ariake Gymnastics Center
// Artistic gymnastics // rhythmic gymnastics // trampoline gymnastics // boccia
The venue will be turned into an exhibition hall after the Olympic Games.
6. Ariake Arena
// Volleyball // wheelchair basketball
This newly built facility is designed to hold up to 15,000 spectators.
7. Shiokaze Park
// Beach volleyball
Catch views of Mt. Fuji from Shiokaze Park on a sunny day.
8. Aomi Urban Sports Park
// 3×3 basketball // sport climbing // football 5-a-side
Tokyo 2020 marks the first time sport climbing will be a medal sport in the Games, combining lead climbing, bouldering and speed climbing.
9. Tokyo Aquatics Center
// Swimming // diving // artistic swimming
Formerly known as “synchronized swimmers,” did you know that artistic swimmers hold their hair back with gelatin and wear waterproof makeup for their routines?
10. Tatsumi Water Polo Center
// Water polo
Water polo was the first ever team sport to be included in the Olympic Games.
11. Yumenoshima Park Archery Field
Despite its name, meaning “dream island” in Japanese, Yumenoshima was originally a landfill site until 1967. The artificial island was then expanded and became a park.
12. Sea Forest Cross-Country Course
// Equestrian cross-country
The dressage and jumping will be over at Baji Koen Equestrian Park in Setagaya.
13. Kasai Canoe Slalom Center
// Canoe slalom
Japan’s frst man-made course for canoe slalom. The canoe sprint will be held at the Sea Forest Waterway running through Reiwajima.
14. Oi Hockey Stadium
Post-Olympics, the stadium will be used as a multipurpose facility for sports like hockey and futsal.