Odaiba is a well-known entertainment and shopping district, located on an artificially constructed island within Tokyo Bay. “Daiba” is the Japanese word for “fort,” as the island itself was originally a group of four smaller fort islands, constructed slightly before the Meiji Restoration in the 1860s. Their purpose was defensive, and they were built as a result of Commodore Perry’s gunboat diplomacy.
More than 100 years later, these smaller islands were enlarged and eventually joined together using landfill. During the eighties, the aim was to convert the area into a modern business and residential area. Unfortunately, development stalled in the nineties, leaving the area almost vacant.
After 1995, however, a number of hotels and shopping malls were opened, along with the Yurikamome monorail. This led to a surge in Odaiba’s popularity. It is now a favorite dining, shopping and dating spot among Tokyo residents and tourists alike.
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