Infrastructure in Odaiba completed before 1995: Yurikamome line
The Yurikamome line project was planned to provide convenient transit in the waterfront area. However, due to the bubble economy in 1991, the plan was once feared to be a multi billion-yen white elephant. Before the economic crash, there was already a pressing issue that there was not enough demand to support the prodigious expense of Odaiba project. In the first few months of operation, as much as 27,000 passengers were taken by the line, which was by a small margin lower than the predicted 29,000, but by a large margin to the profitable 80,000.
To stop this situation from persisting, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government introduced the entertainment industry into the pure business and residential zone in late 1995. Efforts were also invested in promoting the waterfront area as “Rainbow Town”, an island that consists of sparkling attractions for tourists. Among the facilities including restaurants, shopping malls, exhibition centres and museums which pushed the number of riders to 60,000. Looking beyond the endless concrete strip of ports and warehouses from the Tokyo Bay, Odaiba will arise to become the new face of Tokyo.
It was not just the island itself but the Yurikamome line has also become a tourist attraction. Raising itself from the ground level to become part of the Rainbow Bridge, the line makes a famous 270-degree turn, providing panoramic views of both mainland Tokyo and Odaiba.
Fadzli Zubi, “Designing for a New Urban Image: Odaiba Waterfront City, Tokyo”, Thinking Spaces for Making Places, (The University of Tokyo,2007), 1-10.
Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Development and Redevelopment of Urban Areas, (TMG, 2013), 69-103.