Monday, July 14, 2014

Free Observation Decks to View Tokyo From

You've been all over Tokyo at street level.  You've been under the city in the depths of the subway.  Now is the time to claim the high ground and get the bird's eye view of the city.  There are usual suspects to get a great view from such as the Tokyo Tower, the Tokyo Skytree, the observation deck at Sunshine 60, and the Mori Tower in Roppongi.  All of these observation decks charge a small to a more hefty fee view for their views, but there are also places to view the city that are free.  Now having said that, I do have to say that it was worth the price for me to get the views from the Skytree and also the Mori Tower.  Plan according to your budget.  I blogged about the Skytree here, and the Mori Tower here.
View from Mori Tower
Some of the free observation decks are at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Offices, the Bunkyo Civic Center, and Tower Hall Funabori.  There are also many lounges / restaurants offering great views from tall buildings as the restaurant floors are sometimes placed really high up in the buildings. You can get great views from the restaurant floors at the Caretta Shiodome Tower (46 and 47th floors), and the Ebisu Garden Place Tower (38 and 39th floors).  One of the neatest buildings, the Shinjuku NS Building, also in west Shinjuku, has a restaurants on the 29th floor and a way cool atrium with a skywalk inside the building.

http://tokyoexcess.blogspot.ca/p/my-sf-writing.html

 Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Observation Deck
This is the most popular of the free observations decks and it is the most accessible as most visitors end up in Shinjuku at some point.  Head west from Shinjuku Station into the business area.  On the way to this building you can enjoy some wonderful public sculptures and the many skyscrapers in the area.
Metropolitan Building


The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is an incredibly large building too that is well worth viewing, I also hear there is a good cafeteria here for bargain eats that is open to the public.  There is an excellent tourist information center in the building too!  There is one observation deck in each of the two towers on the 45th floor and they offer some great views.  The view from Tower 1 is slightly better.
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, 2-8-1 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
http://www.tokyometro.jp/en/attractions/metropolitan_govt_bldg


Bunkyo Civic Center Observation Deck
This observation deck is more off the beaten track. It isn't the tallest of observation decks but there are not that many tall buildings nearby to obstruct your view so you can see toward Shinjuku, the Metropolitan Government Building and even Mount Fuji in one photo frame.  The building is unique too with the observation deck looking like a saucer embedded in a building on the 25th floor.  Nearby is the Tokyo Dome and one of the prettiest Japanese Gardens, Koishikawa Korakuen (fall is pretty).  The nearest train station to here is the Korakuen station on the Marunouchi and Nanboku lines.

Bunkyo-ku, Kasuga 1-16-21, Bunkyo Civic Center Bldg 25F. 
http://www.city.bunkyo.lg.jp/sosiki_busyo_shisetsukanri_shisetsu_pamphlet.html

Tower Hall Funabori
Definitely not on the beaten track, this small observation deck is in a tower that is only 115 meters tall, but that is still about 28 stories. You can see the Skytree to the north and Tokyo Disney to the south. It is near Funafori Station, on the north side, and it is on the Toei Shinjuku Line.

Tower Hall Funabori 4-1-1 Funabori Edogawa, Tokyo 134-0091 Japan
 http://www.towerhall.jp/

More Tokyo Highlights Posts, Shibuya Crossing, Skytree Information, etc.

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