Tokyo can be quite overwhelming because it’s massive, both by population and in size. In fact, Tokyo almost triples the size of New York City making it a must-do to catch views from observation decks like Tokyo Tower to fully comprehend Tokyo’s true dimension.
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About Tokyo Tower
You may have already noticed Tokyo Tower’s architectural resemblance to the Eiffel Tour in Paris and that is not a random coincidence. In fact, it’s exactly the opposite; Tokyo Tower took its cue from the Eiffel Tower. The aim of the government was to create a building that symbolizes Japan’s strengthened economic power after World War II. In 1958, Tokyo Tower was completed and at a height of 1,053 feet, it is standing even taller than its counterpart in Paris.
In addition to the cultural significance, Tokyo Tower also served as a broadcasting station for 23 television and radio channels over several years. When one building after another surpassed Tokyo Tower’s height throughout the years, however, the signals of Tokyo Tower could no longer reach far enough. That’s the reason why Tokyo Skytree was built in 2012. It replaces Tokyo Tower as Tokyo’s TV tower. Nevertheless, Tokyo Skytree remains a recognized symbol of the nation’s economic success. To this day, Tokyo Tower remains the second tallest building in Japan and its observation platform has attracted over 150 million tourists.
Because of its popularity and historical importance, it is one of Tokyo’s top attractions you need to tick off your bucket list.
How to get to Tokyo Tower
Tokyo Tower is located in the Minata District and therefore super easy to reach by subway:
- Oedo Line: Exit at Akanebashi Station (5 minutes to Tokyo Tower)
- Asakusa Line: Exit at Kamiyacho Station through exit 1 (7 minutes to Tokyo Tower)
- Hibiya Line: Exit at Kamiyacho Station through exit 1 (7 minutes to Tokyo Tower)
- Mita Line: Exit at Onarimon Station through (10 minutes to Tokyo Tower)
Tokyo Tower Tickets
To avoid the crowds, you should consider visiting Tokyo Tower early in the morning or alternatively, buying a ticket in advance to skip the long lines. I highly recommend you purchase your tickets online as it’ll make your visit much smoother.
Keep in mind though, that this ticket only includes the main observation deck. To visit the top deck, you can opt for an upgrade. Generally, Tokyo Tower ticket prices vary from $8 to $25 for adults.
After you have purchased your ticket, you may choose whether you want to ambitiously climb up the 600-step staircase or just take the elevator that lets you get off at either observation deck within seconds.
Views from Tokyo Tower
Tokyo Tower’s main observation deck is located at a height of 490 feet and offers unique views of Tokyo. Many people actually skip the main deck and take the elevator straight up to the top deck, which is 820 feet high. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend skipping the main deck. After all, you can still enjoy slightly different views from each platform and thus make the most of your visit.
From the main deck, you can see everything from parks to shrines in the area. A special feature of Tokyo Tower is its glass floor on the main deck that lets you catch a breathtaking glimpse of the city beneath you. In springtime, you can expect even more gorgeous views from Tokyo Tower: cherry blossoms in the nearby Shiba Park.
The top deck provides a breathtaking 360-degree view of Tokyo’s most spectacular landmarks such as the Tokyo Skytree and on clear days even Mount Fuji! The large windows are equipped with information screens that help you navigate the city from above.
Did you know there is a shrine inside Tokyo Tower?
The small Shinto Shrine located on the main deck is undoubtedly unique. At a height of 490 ft, it is the one with the highest altitude in Tokyo! People come here to pray for success at school before taking their exams and, of course, for love.
Best time to visit Tokyo Tower
You can visit Tokyo Tower year-round, from 9 am to 11 pm. Don’t arrive too late though, as you won’t be admitted after 10:30 pm. Personally, I love to come here about one hour before sunset. This way, you do not only see the city during the day but also at night. This way you can observe the city transform into a sea of lights – a magical experience!
As you may imagine, watching the sunset from Tokyo Tower is a popular experience. Because it gets very busy during peak times, it’s best to purchase your Tokyo Tower tickets in advance.
Things to do near Tokyo Tower
Visit Food Town
Feeling hungry? Located directly underneath Tokyo Tower, you can find “Food Town” alongside an aquarium with over 900 rare fish species, various souvenir stores, as well as plenty of restaurants to dine. If you’re just craving a snack, the food court there also houses international fast-food chains. Click here to find out about the entire food offer in Food Town.
The One Piece Theme Park
The One Piece Theme Park offers games and entertainment based on the characters of the Japanese anime series of the same name. It’s open from 10 am to 10 pm with the last admission at 9 pm. Secure your ticket online before visiting and avoid standing in line. Visiting the One Piece Theme Park is a must-do for all anime fans!
Tokyo Tower vs. Skytree – should I visit both?
In such a massive city, you should take every chance to escape the busy streets and enjoy some breathtaking views. Both observation decks offer unique views, as they’re located in different parts of Tokyo. If you ask me, try to visit both of them if you can spare the time!
Is Tokyo Tower wheelchair accessible?
Yes, it is! An elevator can take you straight to the first and the second floor. It is also possible to rent a wheelchair directly onsite. Because the number of wheelchairs is limited, however, it’s best to reserve yours in advance by calling 03-3433-5111.
Are there lockers at the Tokyo Tower?
Yes, there are lockers located inside Tokyo Tower. Depending on the size of your belongings, it’ll cost between 100 and 300 Yen. Please also note that the lockers only accept coins.
What if I start to feel dizzy because of the altitude?
Don’t worry, there is a medical office located on the first floor of Tokyo Tower. Nurses will be working from 9 am to 5 pm. After 5 pm beds and first-aid kits are available to you.
Are there restrooms at the Tokyo Tower?
Yes. As with most tourist attractions in Tokyo, you will also find restrooms inside Tokyo Tower. They are located on the first and second floors.