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Futuristic City: Five Cool Places Around Tokyo!

Thuy FangThuy Fang
Published Time
Posted on 
June 07, 2024
Modified Time
Updated last 
June 17, 2024
A psychedelic art projection at TeamLab Planets.

Tokyo dubbed the world’s futuristic city, leads groundbreaking innovations in industries like manufacturing, agriculture, and robotics. Let’s explore the famous destinations together to better understand Tokyo’s forward-thinking approach!

Fuji Television Building

The Fuji Television Building in Odaiba is a must-visit landmark for anyone interested in Japanese TV. This futuristic city building, designed by the famous architect Kenzo Tange, is a key part of Odaiba’s skyline. Finished in 1996, it stands out with its unique design, featuring a massive 32-meter-wide sphere called “Hachitama Observatory.” This observatory offers stunning 360-degree city views such as Tokyo Bay, Tokyo Tower, Tokyo Skytree, and even Rainbow Bridge.

The Fuji Television Building, which features a large chrome sphere in its center.
This television building is named after Mt. Fuji. Image via Shutterstock

Visitors can explore the TV studio where these shows are filmed and even see autographs from famous Japanese actors. The building also has a modern broadcasting center that shows Japan’s dedication to innovation and technology. Yet, the Fuji Television Building is more than just a TV station. It includes a variety of attractions and fun activities.

The “Wonder Street” inside the building features interactive exhibits and displays of well-known anime characters. The place also hosts several large-scale public events throughout the year. On the 7th floor, there is also a rooftop garden where people take a little break during their exploration. Besides, the shopping area also sells interesting items from popular Fuji TV shows like One Piece and Dragon Ball.

Odaiba Gundam Statue

This is truly a masterpiece of a futuristic city that Gundam lovers must admire. The impressive life-sized Unicorn Gundam stands at DiverCity Tokyo Plaza in Odaiba. When unveiled in September 2017, Guinness World Records acknowledged it as the world’s most enormous animated statue.

The Odaiba Gundam statue at DiverCity.
This statue was inspired by Mobile Suit Gundam. Image via Shutterstock

This beloved statue, which reaches an impressive height of 19.7 meters (65 feet), can transform between Unicorn Mode and Destroy Mode, just like in the anime. In Unicorn Mode, it looks smooth and white with one antenna. When it transforms, panels open to show a glowing red frame, and its head changes to reveal its face. This transformation happens several times a day. There are also special shows with videos and music in the evening, creating a magical experience.

In addition, fans can visit the nearby Gundam Base Tokyo, a grand store offering a wide variety of Gundam model kits and exclusive merchandise. The Tokyo Annex store, positioned at the foot of the statue, also caters to international visitors and offers a vast selection of Gundam-themed souvenirs. 

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Pasona O2 Underground Farm

The former Pasona O2 Underground Farm was a hidden gem in Chiyoda Ward, where agriculture merged with the corporate world in a distinctive collaboration.

A spinach garden at the Pasona O2 Underground Farm, an example of futuristic Tokyo.
This garden is in a former bank vault! Image via The Unravel

This farm, occupying around 10,000 square feet of space, was the brainchild of Pasona Group, a staffing corporation, and Kona Designs, an architectural firm. Their vision was transforming the mundane office environment into a vibrant green space where crops and employees coexist harmoniously.

Using advanced technology, Pasona O2 grew hundreds of crops without sunlight or average weather. They used LED lights, high-tech climate control, and hydroponic methods to grow things like roses, rice, beans, and lettuce inside the office. Despite its closure in 2017, Pasona O2 left a lasting mark, symbolizing the potential of urban farming to revolutionize food production and reshape our urban landscapes.

Miraikan 

Miraikan, also known as the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, is in a purpose-built Odaiba district building. This futuristic museum was established by Japan’s Science and Technology Agency and opened its doors in 2001. At Miraikan, visitors can discover diverse interactive exhibits showcasing the latest advancements in science and technology.

An elaborate globe in Miraikan.
This display is at The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation. Image via Shutterstock

One of the museum‘s most iconic attractions is the Geo-Cosmos, a high-resolution globe that displays real-time data about Earth’s weather, ocean temperatures, and plant life. Another highlight is the Geo-Palette, which uses a unique method to make a world map that shows the Earth accurately on a flat surface. Additionally, visitors will have a chance to learn about the K-T boundary and the impact event that led to the extinction of dinosaurs, as well as interact with Asimo, a Honda’s lovely robot. 

Moreover, Miraikan hosts many special exhibitions, workshops, and educational demonstrations throughout the year, covering various environmental topics and space exploration. The museum’s Dome Theater also provides inviting 3D experiences that explore the mysteries of the universe.

Koukokuji Buddhist Temple

Nestled in a serene corner of the Shinjuku area, Koukokuji Buddhist Temple welcomes visitors to its tranquil grounds, where ancient traditions meet modern technology. In the middle of the temple is the Ruriden Columbarium, a unique building shaped like an octagon. This innovative Ruriden, built over two years ago, shows Japan is changing its traditions to remember loved ones.

Koukokuji Buddhist Temple, a temple with LED display Buddhas.
Each LED Buddha stores someone’s ashes. Image via Dorje Shugden

Inside are 2,046 crystal statues of Buddha lit up with LED lights. Each statue represents a departed soul whose ashes are stored in drawers beneath. Surrounding the columbarium are beautiful gardens with two ancient ginkgo trees, believed to be more than 300 years old.

Why is Tokyo such a futuristic city?

Tokyo is a futuristic city because of its innovative landmarks and attractions. People can easily witness Japan’s dedication to technology and creativity, from the Odaiba Gundam Statue with impressive transformation displays to Miraikan with intriguing science exhibits.

A futuristic Tokyo display at TeamLab Planets.
Have you ever been to a futuristic site in Tokyo before? Image via Shutterstock

Even memorial sites like the Koukokuji Buddhist Temple embrace modern technology, blending ancient traditions with contemporary practices. Which Tokyo’s futuristic wonder would you like to explore first? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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