Finally blue sky and sunshine over Tokyo… and what better way to make the most out of this weather then to visit the observatory deck on top of the two towers of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building? The best is that the observation decks are free of charge to the public!
We walked a few minutes from Shinjuku Station to the Tokyo Metropolitan Main building No.1, which is 248 meters from base to top and one of the tallest buildings in Tokyo. Kenzo Tange and associates designed the building to resemble a computer chip, but it could also be a Gothic cathedral.
The tower is 48 stories tall and splits into two sections at the 33rd floor. The two panoramic observation decks are on the 45th floor (that’s 202 metres high) in each tower and contain gift shops and cafes.
You need to take the elevators from the first floor – you can’t change somewhere in the middle, you have to go all the way down to change from one tower to the other.
Once up there, with favorable weather conditions, famous landmarks such as Mount Fuji, the Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Tower, Meiji Shrine and the Tokyo Dome can be seen from the observatories. We went later in the day, so we could not see Mount Fuji – you’ll stand the best chances to see the mountain early in the morning.
- Opening hours are from 9.30 am to 11 pm (the south tower will close at 5.30pm but the north tower will stay open) and there is no admission fee
- The observatories will be closed during the New Year’s holiday season (29-31 December and 2-3 January) and on 20 October 2012 for inspection. At least one tower will always be open on the other days
- Tocho-mae Station on the Oedo Subway Line is located in the basement of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. Alternatively, the building can be reached in a ten minute walk from the west exit of JR Shinjuku Station