A JAM -PACKED DAY OF SHINAGAWA FUN
Entertainment district of Tokyo
Welcome to Shinagawa
Shinagawa Ward offers a lot of wonderful options for the tourist or even a local looking for a day of adventure.
A recommended 1-day itinerary is as follows:
Check out the flea market in the morning, immerse yourself in the various activities at Bigfun Heiwajima, admire the colorful fishes and dolphins at Shinagawa Aquarium, and finally try your luck at horse racing and capture beautiful illuminations at Tokyo City Keiba.
TOKYO MEGA ILLUMINATION
The biggest illumination event in Tokyo only held during the night horse racing's off season at Oi Keibajo.
[TOKYO MEGA ILLUMINATION]
Come evening don’t forgot to check out the breathtaking illuminations on the Oi racecourse grounds. The illuminations are held during evenings on both weekdays and weekends when there are no horse racings from October to March (please refer to the website for specific dates). This is the biggest illumination event in Tokyo and it's themed around "the past, present, and future," aiming it's visitors to not only observe the lights but to experience the sense of time travel. At the illuminations I got my photo taken with an adorable miniature pony, traveled back in time as I enjoyed light displays each modeled on the Edo, Meiji, Taisho and Showa periods in Japanese history, got my photo taken by a professional, enjoyed a delicious matcha green tea flavored tiramisu and watched an amazing projection mapping display. A good end to the night enjoying all you can drink soft drinks and warm soup at the Diamond Turn bar. Free courtesy buses from Shinagawa Station also operate on weekends and public holidays.
[TOKYO CITY KEIBA]
Tokyo City Keiba hold horse races on weekdays during different periods each month, rotating with other racecourses in the region. Head over first to see the horses march on the small field so that you can pick out a winner. There are multiple options for viewing the race. The L-Wing offers spectacular views of the racecourse as well as a variety of affordable dining options.
For someone looking for a night of luxury, the Diamond Turn is highly recommended. Offering a delicious all you can eat buffet, you can relax in comfy seating (or even in private booth) and enjoy betting and dining in style. For those who want to catch a bite to eat between races, Umakatta Square offers outdoor dining (there is even a store which sells craft beer).
Tokyo Mega Illumination / Tokyo City Keiba is just a 2-minute walk from Oi Kebajo Mae Station on the Tokyo Monorail, or 12-minute walk from Tachiaigawa Station on the Keikyu Line.
An exhibition of creatures that inhabit the surrounding aquatic environment ensures a relaxing and pleasant time for the family.
What better way to spend an afternoon than to admire some colorful fish and catch a show? Located next to Shinagawa Municipal Park, the Shinagawa Aquarium is some adorable fish, seals, penguins and even dolphins.
Walking through an underwater tunnel is incredibly soothing, and if you glance up at the right time you may even be able to catch a glimpse of a manta ray swimming overhead. I also particularly enjoyed the jellyfish exhibit, as was mesmerized by the fluorescent creatures bobbing up and down in their tanks. The penguin enclosure is also a must see – who doesn’t like adorable waddling penguins? For young children the Touch Tank is a great choice as it allows to interact first hand with the sea creatures. The aquarium also often holds a special experience in which you can try harvesting your very own pearl from a clam (for a fee). The experience was very popular with visitors to the aquarium. You can even arrange to get your pearl made in to a unique piece of jewelry at the booth, and needless to say I was more than tempted.
A variety of shows are also held throughout the day (which run for a maximum of 20 minutes). I was lucky enough to catch both the seal show and the dolphin show, although there is also a feeding time show and an underwater show. At the seal show the star seal performs some very impressive tricks and is even well conversed in Japanese culture as it can take a deep bow. During the dolphin show there is a possibility that you may get wet, so be prepared. Watch as the dolphins leap out of their tank, race around their tank, do tricks, and even sing. For dining options there is the Restaurant Dolphin right next door, which is decorated with very cute sea creature balloons and overlooks a lake in Shinagawa Municipal Park.
8 minutes walk from Keihin Kyuko "Omori Kaigan Station"
Or 15 minutes walk from JR Keihin Tohoku Line "Omori Station" north exit
Arcade, bowling alleys, hot springs, shopping at Don Quijote, obstacle courses... discover an amusement complex with something for everyone.
Commence your adventure at Bigfun Heiwajima, an amusement complex with something for everyone. Get lost in the aisles of the large Don Quijote store, where you can enjoy tax-free shopping (see the official website for further details). Head over to Taito Station for some UFO catcher games. There are rows upon rows of machines filled with colorful prizes. Why not also try some very cool arcade games?
After Taito Station, try your luck at knocking down pins at Heiwajima Starbowl. Heiwajima Starbowl is open from 10AM - 5AM, meaning that you can enjoy some late-night bowling if you are out on the town. They offer a variety of different tournaments throughout the month and there is even a unique electric car racing game. I was told that the game was loved by both children and adults, with some adults even bringing their own cars in to use on the course!
For some more adventurous fun, why not try some hardcore trampolining at Tondemi. Open from 10AM - 9PM, the trampoline adventure center is home to a variety of trampolines. They also have a bouncy obstacle course which you can race your friend on, as well as many unusual bouldering walls that you would not find in a normal bouldering center. There is also a kids area, a cart area and a rope athletics area. The variety of activities makes the 2 hour activity great value for money.
For some quality relaxation, pay a visit to Natural Hot Spring Heiwajima. The facilities offer a wide range of Japanese baths (one bath that even has a TV). I am also told that they are proud of their variety of different massage options and sure enough you can try shiatsu, Thai, beauty acupuncture, and even more. There is also a restaurant within the facilities. The variety of relaxation rooms (rooms with comfy reclining seats) and the free late-night buses operating from Haneda Airport also make the facilities a perfect alternative to a hotel (please see their website for further details). Bigfun Heiwajima also offers a variety of dining options and has a cinema.
10 minutes by bus from JR Omori Station.
5 minutes by bus, or 10 minutes on foot from Keikyu Heiwajima Station
Oi Keibajo Flea Market
A perfect opportunity to hunt for hidden and original gems you would not find at souvenir stores.
On weekends, when Oi Keibajo, or Tokyo City Keiba, are not holding horse races, they also hold flea markets. The large-scale markets are held in the car park of the facilities and the recommended time of visit is from morning to early afternoon. The markets to not specialize in any particular thing, meaning that you are able to find almost anything. Japanese antique shopping or second-hand kimono shopping is probably one of the best market activities, with the kimonos selling for only a fraction of what they usually would in stores. There is also a food van/food stall area for you to enjoy lunch after a hard morning of shopping.
The flea market typically starts at 8:30 AM and ends at 2:30 PM. You can expect around 300 - 600 vendors, depending on the day. Entrance is free and only cancelled in case of heavy rain. It's only a 3-minute walk from Ooi Keibajo-mae Station on the Tokyo Monorail, and 10-minute walk from Tachiaigawa Station on the Keikyu Line.