Japan's got a thing for really, really big Ferris Wheels. One of my first Japan memories is of zipping (wait, we were stuck in traffic. Make that inching.) past Yokohama towards our new home, and seeing a massive Ferris Wheel glowing from across the bay. "Wow, that is the biggest Ferris Wheel I've ever seen," I managed to mumble, before falling back into my jet-lagged haze.
The Yokohama Ferris Wheel, officially known as the Cosmo Clock 21, displays the world's largest clock. At 369 ft, it was also the world's biggest Ferris Wheel until it was dethroned by Osaka's Tempozan Ferris Wheel (so says Wikipedia). Kasai Rinkai Park, in Tokyo, boasts another massive Ferris Wheel; known, because of its brilliant nighttime sparkle, as the Diamonds and Flowers Ferris Wheel.
|A view of Cosmo Clock 21 from the top of Yokohama's Landmark Tower.|
This past weekend the TF Family took an MWR tour to Odaiba, the location of the enormous Giant Sky Wheel. Side note: Odaiba may not belong on your list of must-see Tokyo locations. Attractions such as the shopping malls, the Ferris Wheel, a Toyota showroom, the Fuji TV building, etc are just too spread out. Much of your time will be spent hiking from one spot to another. Nothing seems worth the effort required to see it, either. Especially the Fuji TV building. The displays there are rather lackluster. However, this is the place to go if you want a massive dose of tacky, especially in the Venus Fort shopping mall. Hello, colonnades and "Roman" fountains!
Anyways. Little TF spotted this Ferris Wheel from a mile away (literally) and insisted she had to ride it. When we got closer and she realized the seating pods were colored, proclamations that her ride be pink were issued. Luckily for her (and for us), there was no line, otherwise the attendant would have had to enforce the prominently displayed "Please Do Not Ask For A Specific Color" sign.
|Here comes a pink one!|
Mr. TF and Little TF hopped inside the pink pod. I generously volunteered to stay on the ground and take photos. Actually, I've never gone up in a Japanese Ferris Wheel. I am firmly convinced that a massive earthquake will hit just as I reach the top. By volunteering to stay on the ground, I am simultaneously taking photos and saving Tokyo from the Great Kanto Earthquake (yes, this future earthquake is already named). Really, it's my civic duty to not go up in a Ferris Wheel.
|Waving to Mr and Little TF. Have fun!|
Mr. Tofu Fox tells me that Little TF had a fantastic time. For five minutes. Until her mommy started to get smaller and smaller.
"I want to get down."
"This is too high. I want my mom."
"Uh...mommy's taking pictures. Hey, look at the airport over there!"
15 minutes later, I finally saw a little tear-streaked face slowly coming down the other side. Perhaps, it's a good idea to make extra sure that your kid knows she's going to be up there awhile. Of course, twenty sniffly minutes later, all Little TF could talk about was how much fun she had on the super big Ferris Wheel. Revisionist history...
Those who have been up in a Tokyo-area Ferris Wheel tell me the view is incredible. Mt. Fuji can be seen on a clear day. And seeing just how monstrous Tokyo is absolutely mind-blowing. This particular Ferris Wheel ride was a rather expensive place to catch the view, at 900 yen for anyone age three and older. But hey, worth it for a 16 Minute Memory of crying kid, right?
Mr. TF might be going up by himself next time...
The Cosmo Clock 21 can be accessed via Minato Mirai Station on the Tokyu Toyoko/Minato Mirai Line Express train. Exit the station and walk towards the water.
The Giant Sky Wheel is in Palette Town, Odaiba, and can be accessed via Aomi Station on the Yurikamome Line. Exit the station (I didn't take the train here, but logic seems to suggest taking an East Exit). Palette Town will be immediately in front of you.
Disclaimer: I do my best to make sure all my information is accurate. However, details may change or I may just be flat-out wrong. Please let me know if something needs a correction. Thank-you!