People love to get a 360 degree view of a city from high above. The London Eye, the Eiffel Tower, and the Singapore Flyer are examples of big-city tourist hot spots with a view, where the panorama function on smartphones is used more than anywhere else.
If you’re visiting Tokyo, the best place to get your stunning panoramic city view is at the Tokyo Skytree, an enormous monument and radio tower with multiple observation decks. However, it’s not just about the views. Visitors to the Skytree tower can make a day of it by enjoying all that Tokyo Skytree Town, the shopping and entertainment complex that surrounds the tower, has to offer.
Glass floors 350m above the ground are not for the faint-hearted
The Tokyo Skytree tower itself has three main parts. The 4th floor is the entrance floor where the ticket counters and the elevators to the observation areas are located. The other two floors are known as the Deck (350m above ground) and the Galleria (450m). A standard ticket gets guests into the Deck area and offers magnificent 360 degree views of Tokyo through floor to ceiling windows. The Deck also has an area with glass floors, where visitors can get the chilling sensation of floating well over one hundred stories in the air. The Galleria offers the same views from a bit higher, in addition to the thrilling notion that you are 450m above ground.
Informational pamphlets known as Floor Guides, which have colorful photos alongside information and history about the Skytree tower and its design, are available in English, Japanese, Chinese and Korean. The Floor Guides are also available in 14 other languages in PDF format on the website. The Skytree has free Wi-Fi so all guests are able to download a guide in their preferred language.
Guests can choose to observe Tokyo from 350m or 450m above ground
Tickets vary in cost according to which observation area the guest chooses, in addition to age, method of purchase and disability status. Tickets can be reserved online for a discounted price, but the purchasing website is in Japanese only. For tickets purchased on the same day of the visit, the wait can be one hour or more at peak times; early morning visitors tend to have the shortest waits.
The average visitor, one who is over 18 years of age who purchases a ticket from the ticket counter, will pay 2,060 JPY (17.32 USD) to get to the Deck at 350m. Tickets for the highest observation area, the Galleria at 450m, can only be purchased from the ticket counter located in the Deck area. In other words, these tickets cannot be purchased in advance, and they will cost 1,030 JPY (8.66 USD) for a guest over 18 with no additional discounts. Check with the main ticket counter for discounts for international visitors, which can be redeemed with a valid passport.
Tokyo Skytree Town offers a variety of entertainment aside from the tower itself
Skytree Town is the complex that surrounds the Tokyo Skytree tower itself. Before or after ascending the tower, visitors can spend hours exploring the Skytree Town. This area is home to a planetarium, a large aquarium, numerous plazas and green areas, and Tokyo Solamachi, an enormous shopping and dining area with something for everyone.
The beautiful aquarium alone can entertain visitors for two hours or more. Aside from jellyfish, sea lions, stingrays and penguins, this aquarium also offers ‘behind-the-scenes’ displays for guests to get a more hands-on view of how the aquarium works and how its creatures are cared for.
Tokyo Solamachi is home to a huge variety of shopping and dining choices
The shopping and dining options in Solamachi are seemingly endless. There is an enormous variety of restaurants, including everything from McDonald’s to fine dining, American and Italian cuisine to Chinese and, of course, Japanese. It’s a great place for tourists to sample authentic Japanese food, such as the tonkatsu pork pictured above from Saboten Restaurant, which is located within Solamachi in the Skytree Town. A huge variety of stores is also available, where visitors can buy everything from clothing, handbags and kitchenware to sweets, souvenirs and ice cream.
Tokyo Skytree and the surrounding Skytree Town have something for everyone
The Tokyo Skytree tower is the world’s largest freestanding radio tower at 634m, and the views offered by its two main observation decks are unparalleled. However, it’s not the only attraction in the area. Easily reachable by Tokyo Metro, the entire Skytree Town provides a variety of activities for visitors of any number of tastes and moods, including adults and children, and individuals or groups. With so many different options, guests can build their own perfect day, full of jellyfish sightings, glass floors, designer handbags, Japanese delicacies, or anything in between. If you have a free day to spend in Tokyo, Skytree Town will be well worth your while.
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