Translated by Jasmine Nishino
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Observatory: Enjoy The City View For Free!
Written by Kazuki Tsuchido
Enjoy a 360 degree view of Tokyo and find out about all the great facilities inside the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Observatory for free!
After walking about ten minutes from JR Shinjuku Station, you will spot a sci-fi looking structure among the many skyscrapers within the Shinjuku metropolis. This building with a unique design is the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building. It is a hidden tourist spot that many people visit.
While it is a building where mainly government issues are carried out, it is also a spot where you can see the grand view of Tokyo from the observatory for free!
Free Entry! See Tokyo From All Angles
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government building is one of the major landmarks of Tokyo. It has two towers, simply called tower one and tower two, but the observatory is located on top of tower one.
Located 202 meters above ground, it is on the forty-fifth floor. You may not be able to tell from the unique shape of the building, but there are two observatories, one facing the north and one facing the south.
The left side faces the south and the right side faces the north. It is quite a sight already, even looking from bottom up! It almost gives off the feel of the moment you enter a dungeon in a video game.
After going through a security check, take the observatory elevator located on the first floor to go soaring up 202 meters high. It only takes 55 seconds for you to reach the observatory!
Upon arriving at the observatory, you will see a grand panorama of Tokyo spread 360 degrees before your eyes! Since it is free, you will see many visitors from all over the world witnessing the spectacular view. Take this great opportunity to walk around the observatory to enjoy the view of the different sights and angles of the city.
Toward the north-east, you can spot Tokyo SKYTREE and the Tokyo Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower.
In this photo, it is rather small, but you can see Tokyo Tower in the middle from the southeast side of the observatory.
On a clear, sunny day, you will even be able to see snow-capped Mt. Fuji from the western side.
Spend A Day Relaxing At The Cafe And Shopping For Souvenirs
Not only can you gaze at the view of Tokyo, but there are relaxing cafes and shops where you can purchase souvenirs. It's great how you can take your time here and really enjoy the area.
This is the souvenir shop Hakuhinkan. It carries many character goods and items related to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building, so they would make perfect souvenirs.
This is Tokyo Cafe 202 that is located in the south observatory. With a comforting atmosphere, you will almost forget you are 202 meters above the ground. The north observatory is open until 11 PM, so you will be able to have a delicious meal with a great night view of Tokyo from the Good View Tokyo restaurant.
As you can see, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building makes a great highlight during your tour around Tokyo. Despite it sounding rather uptight from the name, it is a great place to see Tokyo from above without spending a single yen. Why not see the 360-degree view of Tokyo from the observatory next time?
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Observatory
Address: Tokyo, Shinjuku, Nishi-Shinjuku 2-8-1
Business Time: 9:30 - 23:00 (South observatory is open until 17:30)
Fixed holidays: South observatory is closed on the first and third Tuesdays of every month.
North observatory is closed on the second and fourth Mondays of every month along with December 29-31, January 2 and 3.
Nearest station: Shinjuku Station (新宿駅) on the JR and other lines; Tocho mae Station (都庁前駅) Oedo Subway line
Access: 10 minute walk from Shinjuku Station
Telephone number: +81-03-5320-7890
Website: Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Observatories