Tokyo Metropolitan Government building twin towers

Japan: Nishi-Shinjuku — views from Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building sky deck

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.

Halc Odakyu mall Shinjuku Tokyo
I got off at Nishi-Shinjuku station and ended up at a Uniqlo (yes, again) and Bic Camera (electronics store)
Mode Gakuen cocoon tower Japan
I was in Nishi-Shinjuku mainly to go to the Tokyo Metropolitan Building for the free observation deck
Sompo Japan building Shinjuku Tokyo
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
Mode Gakuen Cocoon building Japan
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 business district Tokyo
Nishi-Shinjuku is home to the corporate offices of many major Japanese and international businesses
Love art installation Shinjuku Tokyo
Japan’s installation of artist Robert Indiana’s famous LOVE sculpture
Tokyo metropolitan building side view
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 twin towers
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!

Entrance to Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
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
Basement Tokyo Metropolitan Building Japan
To get to the top, you first have to go down — to the floor below the main entrance
Opening hours observation floor Tokyo
Here’s the schedule. There was a bit of a wait to enter the elevators but not too long.
North tower observation deck Tokyo
I first went to the north tower observation deck
Nishi-Shinjuku skyscrapers Tokyo
The views are not bad
View from North Tower Tokyo
To the right is Yoyogi Park
Yoyogi aerial view Tokyo
Yoyogi park is in Shibuya ward
Yoyogi national gymnasium Tokyo Japan
That’s the roof of the National Gymnasium
Tokyo Skytree from afar
That in the distance is Tokyo Skytree — the tallest structure in Japan
Mori Tower Roppongi hills Tokyo
That’s the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower — the 6th tallest building in Japan
Shinjuku park tower Tokyo Japan
Shinjuku Park Tower — the second tallest building in this ward — is right next to its taller counterpart
Shinjuku aerial view infrastructure Japan
Took out my 70-200mm zoom lens
House rooftops Shinjuku Tokyo
The more ‘down to earth’ buildings behind the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
Tokyo city aerial view
The wards beyond Shinjuku
Mt. Fuji view from Tokyo
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.

Gift shop observation floor Tokyo Metropolitan
You have gift shops and restaurants up here
Cityscape Tokyo from skyscraper
The view at the back
View of Tokyo city from skyscraper
From the front
Views from south tower Tokyo Metropolitan building
The views from the north tower are certainly better
Information center Tokyo Metropolitan building
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.

Tokyo assembly building Japan
After that I walked across to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Assembly Hall building
Tokyo government assembly hall Japan
It’s open to public (but not all the time)
Tokyo metropolitan basement Japan
Took this photo through the window
Tokyo assembly press seats Japan
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.
Tokyo assembly hall panorama
A panorama of the assembly hall
Afternoon Shinjuku business district Tokyo
With that, I was done
Shinjuku business district Tokyo
I used Google Maps to direct me back to Shinjuku station
Shinjuku underground pedestrian walkway Tokyo
I found myself entering a massive underpass that connected several buildings and eventually led to Shinjuku train station
Walkalator shinjuku underground Tokyo
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.

Shinjuku train station Tokyo
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

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