Along with the rising popularity of the Tokyo Skytree, observation deck spots around Japan are starting to gather attention. Particularly in Tokyo, there are many observation decks that give the Skytree a run for its money. It's not just height, take a look at the various allures of these observation deck spots!(Top photo: Tokyo City View)
Extremely popular! Top class observation deck spots
The Tokyo Tower, the symbol of an ever evolving Tokyo
The first spot we’ll introduce you to is of course, this spot! The Tokyo Tower, loved as a symbol of Tokyo for over half a century.
Not only is the view spectacular from a height of 150m (Main Observatory) and 250m (Special Observatory), there are also various ideas implemented for visitors to enjoy the view even more, like the look down windows, where parts of the floor are made of glass, and Club 333, where live musical performances further enhance the beauty of the night scenery. The illumination events held a number of times throughout the year are also very popular. The Tower continues to evolve from a tower that you want to climb at least once, to a spot where you can encounter something new every time you visit.
Tokyo Tower Observation Deck
4-2-8 Shiba-koen, Minato-ku, Tokyo. Tel: 03-3433-5111 Hours: Main Observatory 9:00 - 22:00 (last admission 21:45) Special Observatory 9:00 - 21:30 (last admission 21:00) *The hours of the Special Observatory are currently shortened to the hours shown on above due to renovation work. Starting next year, hours are planned to return to normal operation hours of 9:00 - 22:00 (last admission 21:30)
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Observation Deck, where you can enjoy spectacular scenery for free
The observation deck in the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is a popular spot where visitors from around the country and around the world gather. The skyscrapers of the Shinjuku subcenter looms right in front of you, and the Tokyo cityscape spreads out beyond. On days when the air is clear, you can even see the majestic ridge lines of Mount Fuji. The greatest appeal of the observation deck is that you can enjoy the spectacular view from 202m above ground for free.
There is a North and South Building, each with an observation deck. The observation deck is open until 11pm and even has a café and bar. Why not lose yourself in the star-filled night scenery while enjoying cocktails and Italian cuisine?
*Due to renovation work, the number of observation deck elevators will be limited until the end of November 2013. Entry may be restricted when crowded.
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Observatory
2-8-1 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo Tel: 03-5320-7890 (Weekdays 10:00 - 17:00) Hours: North Observatory 9:30 - 23:00 (last admission: 22:30) South Observatory 9:30 - 17:30 (last admission 17:00) *Open until 23:00 on days when the North Observatory is closed (last admission 22:30)
An all-round spot featuring height and entertainment
Tokyo City View, a liberating spot where it feels like your taking a walk in the sky
This the observation deck in the Mori Tower that towers over Roppongi Hills. At a height of 238m above ground, it features a glass walled cloister that is exceptionally liberating, making it feel like your taking a walk in the sky. Because it’s located in the center of the city, the view that spreads 360 degrees around you, is one that will make you feel that “this is Tokyo!” You can immerse yourself in the luxurious night scenery at the Mado Lounge restaurant, where you can enjoy authentic Italian cuisine.
The Sky Deck is an open-air observation deck that boasts the highest elevation in Japan. There are many glamorous events that you can only find in Roppongi that are held here as well, including the Sky Dream Shop and Sky Dream Deck are currently being held (until December 25, 2012), featuring many Disney characters and objects.
Tokyo City View
6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo Tel: 03-6406-6652 Hours: Weekdays and holidays 10:00 - 23:00 (last admission 22:30) Fri., Sat. and days before holidays 10:00 - 25:00 (last admission 24:00) The Sky Deck is open until 22:00 every day (last admission 21:30) *Open until 20:00 after December 26 (last admission 19:30) Closed during inclement weather
Sunshine 60 Observatory, an exhilarating view that unfolds below you
The observatory in the Ikebukuro landmark Sunshine 60 is located 221m above ground. Because there are no high-rise building around the observatory to block your view, an exhilarating view of the Tokyo cityscape unfolds below you. On clear days, you can also enjoy views of the vast outdoors in the distance, including Mount Fuji and the Chichibu mountain range.
The facility itself also offers various entertaining elements including an area where you can go right up to the edge and look down, and a fantastic dedicated elevator. In addition to the observatory, Sunshine City also offers an aquarium, theme park and shopping center, making it a place where can have fun the entire day.
Sunshine 60 Observatory
3-1 Higashi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo Tel: 03-3989-3457 Hours: 10:00 - 21:30 (last admission 21:00)
A must-see for observation deck fans!? Lesser known and unique spots
Seaside Top, a lesser-known spot with lots to see
This is an observation deck located 152m above ground, in the World Trade Center Building in front of Hamamatsucho Station. It’s famous among observation deck and night scenery fans as being a location where you can see the Tokyo Tower from a beautiful angle, but it also offers a lot more. For example, because you can see numerous sightseeing spots in Tokyo including the Tokyo Skytree and Odaiba, there are many visitors who come to talk and reminisce while pointing out famous locations.
There are many Japanese gardens, shrines and temples around the building, making the contrast between these locations and the modern building something you can only see in Tokyo. The Shinkansen, monorail and expressway pass right below, ships glide across the ocean, and planes cruise the sky, making it a popular spot for railroad and other transportation fans.
2-4-1 Hamamatsucho, Minato-ku, Tokyo Tel: 03-6406-6652 Hours: 10:00 - 20:30 (last admission 20:00)
Hachitama, a unique observation deck with a futuristic design
The Hachitama observation deck in the head office of Fuji Television, one of Japan’s leading television stations, is one of the best sightseeing spots in Odaiba. The exterior is a sight to see. The futuristic spherical observation deck will get you excited even before you go up. From the observation deck 123 meters above ground, the Rainbow Bridge and the cityscape of the Rinkai subcenter spreads out below you. You can even view the scenery of the city center such as Tokyo Tower across Tokyo Bay.
Hachitama is not only an observation deck spot but also becomes the stage for many events as well. From live performances by popular idols to screening of anime on the large screen, the events based on Fuji Television programs and movies are very popular. Go check it out!
Hachitama spherical observation deck
2-4-8 Daiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo Tel: 0120-993-188 Hours: 10:00 - 18:00 (last admission 17:30) Closed: Mondays (Tuesdays when Monday is a holiday)