One of Tokyo’s landmarks are the Observatories at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku. The upper floors of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building are separated into two: the north tower and the south tower. Each tower has an observatory on the 45th floor offering a view of Tokyo’s landscape. The south observatory is free of charge and open until 10:30 p.m. The timings may vary during the pandemic.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is easily accessible either from the West side (Skyscraper District) of Shinjuku station or from Tochomae Station.
At the bottom of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is a large open courtyard and there are signs clearly showing the way to the observatory.
Just follow the signs and there is no way you could get lost.
On the day we visited, we decided to check out the South Tower.
The area may seem quiet especially in the evenings.
Before taking the elevator to the observatory, there will be a baggage check following which you line up.
Since the pandemic, there are fewer people visiting the observatory, so we did not have to wait for long. However, note that once the borders open again, this is a popular destination among foreign travelers.
The 45th floor has a large floor space with a cafe and souvenir shop. There are plenty of seats to relax and take a break.
Even though admission is free, the view you get is from a height of 202 meters and is just as beautiful as Tokyo Tower or the Tokyo Skytree. On a fine day when the sky is clear, you can even see Mount Fuji in the distance toward the west.
From the observatory, you can see Tokyo’s many landmarks such as the Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Tower, and Tokyo Bay.
As one may expect, you will see hundreds of buildings dotting the city and this concrete jungle might be overwhelming for some.
You can also see patches of green: the massive area with trees above is Yoyogi Park close to Harajuku.
During the emergencies of the COVID-19 outbreak, the observatories are temporarily closed to prevent the spread of the virus.
It has always been a popular spot to enjoy the glorious sunsets followed by the twinkle of lights turning on-a very romantic setting.
In Japan, many places offer stamps featuring the location to add into your diaries or travel journals. If you’re a seal or stamp collector, make sure to carry your journal.
You can clearly see the pattern featuring the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. This is a great way to keep a note of the places you visited.
We know it may not be possible to travel to Japan any time soon but do visit this spot on your next trip!
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (東京都庁舎)
Opening hours: 9:30-23:00 (South Observatory open until 17:30
Access: 10-min walk from Shinjuku Station; 2-min walk from Tochomae Station on the Oedo Line
**Please make sure to check the latest updates on the official website/twitter.
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