Stepping Into the Past at Odaiba’s DECKS Mall

From the outside, DECKS looks like a pretty ordinary shopping centre.The centre is one of many shopping hot shops on Odaiba, a man-made island, at Tokyo Bay.  DECKS is divided into two malls, the ‘seaside mall’ and the ‘island mall’. What makes DECKS an interesting tourist site is located in the seaside mall’s fourth floor. The entire area is decorated and designed to replicate an old 1960s town. I visited DECKS at around 6pm and stayed until 8pm, surprisingly enough, there weren’t many people around, so I got to enjoy a rather quiet journey through time!

Lucky Box Store

Otakara x Ichiba Lucky Box Store Odaiba .jpg

One thing that is on pretty much every single youtuber’s Japan travel vlog is a trip to Otakara x Ichiba, the lucky box store. The store used to be in Harajuku but has either moved to Odaiba or just closed down the Harajuku branch. The store is filled with wrapped boxes with prices ranging from 300 yen to 10000 yen. Traditionally, it’s expected that you will pick up a few boxes and shake them, so try not to grab the first one you see. You’re aiming to get a box that contains a yellow card which will correlate to one of the bigger prizes that hang on the walls of the shop. Unfortunately you aren’t allowed to take pictures inside, in fact there’s a giant sign with the word ‘Youtube’ and a cross through it. While I didn’t get a yellow card, I’d like to think I did ok. I bought two 300 yen boxes. I have no idea where the plushie is from but it looks like an anime character, and the coloured tin I saw in another shop being sold for 450 yen. So yeah, I did alright.

Otakara x Ichiba lucky box wins.jpg

Arcades

Odaiba DECKS arcade old.jpg

Probably the most exciting part of this area were the arcades! There were so many games that I had never seen before. For example on really fun game was a Sailor Moon one where you had to line up silver balls 3 in a row to win a prize. Many of the games’ instructions are in Japanese, but most have pictures to show you want to do. However, don’t expect to win anything here, especially in the prize machines. Just play for fun. My favourite part of the arcade were the pinball machines. I’ve also loved these machines ever since I was young and was so excited to see a Lord of the Rings one. I played it once as I was running out of coins, will definitely have to go back and play more one day!

Towards the entrance of the floor there was also a shooting gallery. I believe it was about 300 yen for 5 corks, and you have to try to shoot down moving sweets or figurines. I’m usually quite good at shooting things but for some reason I could just not get the hang of the thing! The worker was so nice and kept giving me tips but ultimately I didn’t win anything. Nevertheless it was good fun.

Odaiba DECKS old pinball machines.jpg

Sweets & Toys

ODAIBA Decks old confectionary and toys.jpg

The floor is set out like one long alley which eventually leads to a takoyaki (octopus balls) themed food court. Along the alley are a number of stalls that sell various types of candy and toys. Many of them are quite cheap, and interesting souvenirs but it is sometimes a bit jarring to see random Minions merchandise interspersed amongst the older things. I personally bought one of those eggs you put in water and wait for something to hatch, I hadn’t seen something like that for ages and was really pleased when I saw it in the pictured shop. The alley has definitely done its job of making visitors feel nostalgic and reconnect to their childhood!

Besides the DECKS mall, if you’re in Odaiba you can also check out the Rainbow Bridge over Tokyo Bay. Unfortunately, when I visited it was late and cold so I quickly hurried home. The location is definitely worth at least half a day to explore all the different shops and museums. Hopefully next time I get a chance to stay a little bit longer. Till next time!

 

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