Date: 27th March 2015
I had a packed day yesterday. A day that began at
Senso-ji in the morning, Ueno Park and Zoo in the afternoon and Shibuya in the evening. I slept well — a bit too well because by the time I had breakfast and left the hostel, it was already noon.
I got off at Nishi-Shinjuku station and ended up at a Uniqlo (yes, again) and Bic Camera (electronics store)
I was in Nishi-Shinjuku mainly to go to the Tokyo Metropolitan Building for the free observation deck
Nishi-Shinjuku is the area of Shinjuku Ward dubbed ‘Skyscraper City’– which is why I wanted to see it as I appreciate tall structures and good architecture
It has the highest concentration of skyscrapers in Tokyo. Including cool-looking building like the Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower — which houses three educational institutions
Nishi-Shinjuku is home to the corporate offices of many major Japanese and international businesses
Japan’s installation of artist Robert Indiana’s famous LOVE sculpture
I used Google Maps on my phone to guide me to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, the 8th tallest building in Japan
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is the headquarters of the local government for the Greater Tokyo Area
The 48-storey, 243-metre high building rises to form a twin tower at the top and on the 45th floor of each tower is an observation deck which is open to public — completely free!
There are a few other options across Tokyo for observation view points at a considerable height — Mori Tower at Roppongi Hills & Tokyo Skytree — but both charge an entry fee
To get to the top, you first have to go down — to the floor below the main entrance
Here’s the schedule. There was a bit of a wait to enter the elevators but not too long.
I first went to the north tower observation deck
The views are not bad
To the right is Yoyogi Park
Yoyogi park is in Shibuya ward
That’s the roof of the National Gymnasium
That in the distance is Tokyo Skytree — the tallest structure in Japan
That’s the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower — the 6th tallest building in Japan
Shinjuku Park Tower — the second tallest building in this ward — is right next to its taller counterpart
Took out my 70-200mm zoom lens
The more ‘down to earth’ buildings behind the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
The wards beyond Shinjuku
On a clear day, you can see the peak of Mt. Fuji from here
After I had seen enough from the north tower, I went back down and waited in line for the elevator to go up the south tower. I mean, it’s free, so I figured why not see both.
You have gift shops and restaurants up here
The view at the back
From the front
The views from the north tower are certainly better
I didn’t spend much time at the south tower as the views weren’t as good, so I went back down
There was a tourist information center (picture above; left) with English-speaking staff and so I made the most of it and asked a few questions about the trips I planned for the next few days in Tokyo.
After that I walked across to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Assembly Hall building
It’s open to public (but not all the time)
Took this photo through the window
I was now inside the assembly hall. By the way, there is security here, so don’t assume it’s not manned by staff or anything.
A panorama of the assembly hall
With that, I was done
I used Google Maps to direct me back to Shinjuku station
I found myself entering a massive underpass that connected several buildings and eventually led to Shinjuku train station
And if walking the long stretch gets tiring for you, there are travelators on side. Amazing infrastructure!
It made sense. Plenty of offices in one area means huge pedestrian movement by foot before and after office hours. When you have space constraints above to accommodate wide footpaths beside the roads, just build such underpasses for pedestrian traffic and connect each building and shopping mall along the way.
Once I arrived at Shinjuku station, I wondered where to go next
It was too late to go to Yoyogi Park or Shinjuku Gyoen to see what the cherry blossom scene at both those parks was like, so I decided to explore a bit more of Shinjuku ward. That’s the next post.
Next post in this series:
Japan 2015: Shopping in Shinjuku, and Kabukicho
Japan 2015: Denboin garden, near Sensoji Temple
Japan 2015: Cherry blossom celebrations by Sumida River
Japan 2015: Boat ride to Odaiba; giant Gundam statue at DiverCity Mall
Japan 2015: Cherry blossoms at Tokyo Imperial Palace east garden
Japan 2015: Cherry blossom sightings at Shinjuku Gyoen
Japan 2015: Harajuku on a Sunday – Meiji shrine and Yoyogi Park
Japan 2015: Harajuku at night — Takeshita Street
Japan 2015 – Visiting Akihabara a second time, because why not?
Japan 2015: Cherry blossoms in full bloom at Ueno Park
Japan 2015: Rikugien garden’s weeping cherry blossom tree
Japan 2015: Getting to Hakone; Lake Ashi sightseeing cruise
Japan 2015: Hakone ropeway; onsen at Hotel Green Plaza
Japan 2015: Ōwakudani sulphur springs, views of Mt. Fuji — and last night in Tokyo
Japan 2015: Getting to Narita Airport — and flying an Airbus A380 for the first time
Previous posts in this series:
Japan 2015: Shibuya – the busiest crossing in the world, and home to a loyal dog
Japan 2015: Ueno Zoo – pandas, a lonely polar bear, and more
Japan 2015: Nakamise street, Senso-ji temple, and Ueno Park sakura at half-bloom
Japan 2015: Nadagiku Shuzo Sake Brewery, leaving Himeji for Tokyo — and my last bullet train ride
Japan 2015: Himeji Castle, and the unexpected air show
Japan 2015: Kyoto Station, and arriving at Himeji by shinkansen
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Monkey Park in Arashiyama
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Bamboo Forest in Arashiyama
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Gion Corner Cultural Show
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Kinkaku-ji and Kiyomizu Dera temple
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Fushimi Inari-taisha, and climbing to the mountain top
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Nishiki market and Teramachi
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Nishi & Higashi Honganji, Shijo street, and Gion
Japan 2015: Riding a bullet train for the first time, Tokyo to Kyoto
Japan 2015: Walking around Akihabara and Ginza
Japan 2015: Going to Akihabara, and spending way too much time in Yodobashi Akiba
Japan 2015: Landing in Tokyo… and using a communal bath for the first time