Tokyo Skytree is one of the most amazing places you can visit in Tokyo. In fact, it is one of my favorite places in all of Japan because it has amazing views and there’s nowhere else like it in the world. At 2,080 feet (634m) high, it’s the tallest radio broadcast tower in the world and the second-tallest structure in the world. It also offers the best views of Tokyo. On a clear day, you can see major landmarks like Mount Fuji, Tokyo Tower and Rainbow Bridge from its 360-degree observation decks.
And, the Skytree is not just a tower. It’s packed with things to do. It has shopping, dining and even an aquarium at its base. You can spend an entire day at the Skytree, or just a few hours – it’s up to you.
Insider Tips for Tokyo Skytree
Tip #1: Get there about an hour and a half before sunset. This will let you see the city in daytime, as the sun goes down, and at night. All offer spectacular, but very different views. The downside is it will be crowded at this time of day, but it’s worth it, and in my experience, the Japanese are very good about sharing space and letting everyone have a chance to take pictures.
Tip #2: If you are an international traveler not living in Japan, you can use the Fast Ticket Line. Located just to the side of the main ticket windows, the Fast Ticket Line allows you to receive a discount and gets you to the elevators more quickly. (The Fast Ticket Line is on the right as you face the main ticket windows.) Technically you need ID to prove you’re not a resident of Japan, but I have never had to show any to use the Fast Ticket Line (but bring it just to be safe!).
Tip #3: Go to the Tembo deck. It’s (1,148ft/350m) feet high and offers a 360-degree view. The upper deck, called Tembo Galleria (1,476ft/450m), is smaller, has an additional fee, and unless you really want to check the box and say you did it all at Skytree, it’s probably not worth it. (Trust me, the view is incredible from the Tembo deck.) The one bonus of the upper Tembo Galleria deck is you do get away from some (but not all) of the crowd on the lower deck.
Tip #4: Skytree is easily accessible. There are 2 train stations less than 1 minute from the tower: Oshiage Station (across the street, also called Skytree-mae Station) and Tokyo Skytree Station (at the base of the tower). You can use the Tobu Skytree Line for Tokyo Skytree Station. For Oshiage Station, you can use the Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line or the Keikyu/Toei Asakusa Line.
The easiest access to the tower is once you exit either station, go up the concrete steps at the base of the tower and walk into the restaurant/shopping area (if McDonalds is on your right, turn left, head outside, then turn right). The tower entrance is on the 4th floor. (If you don’t want to go up all those stairs, there is an elevator in the Solamachi shops, though it’s a little hard to find.) Here are some helpful train routes to Tokyo Skytree:
Tip #5: There is so much more to Tokyo Skytree than just the tower. Underneath are numerous shops, restaurants and even a market with fresh meat and vegetables (and if you head to the market about an hour before closing, they slash prices so it’s a great way to try different Japanese foods. I got a huge plate of sashimi for about 500 Yen (about $5 U.S.!).
To get to the shops, you can use the entrance on the west side of the tower, or you can use the elevator located near McDonalds.) There is also a great aquarium near the Skytree main entrance (look for the escalator/moving sidewalk). The aquarium is very modern, has really cool tank displays (look for the super cute sand eels who pop in and out of their holes – it’s really entertaining!), and the penguin exhibit is AWESOME (Bonus: They get to come out and meet the crowd!). The entrance fee to Sumida Aquarium is 2,050 Yen for adults, and the hours are 9am-9pm daily.
- Location: 1 Chome-1-2 Oshiage, Tokyo (See map below)
- Hours: 8am-10pm daily (last admission at 9pm)
- Admission (using Fast Skytree Ticket Line): One deck (Tembo only): 3,000 Yen (adult); Both decks (Tembo & Tembo Galleria): 4,000 Yen (adult)
- Trip duration: Plan at least a half day to visit the tower and Solamachi shops. Plan a full day if you also plan to visit the aquarium.
- Helpful links:
- Tokyo Skytree information: Tokyo Skytree
- Solamachi shops and restaurant information: Solamachi
- Sumida Aquarium information: Sumida Aquarium
For more on Tokyo Skytree, check out Tokyo Skytree: A Magnificent Must-See
Images: Top , 2 , 3&4 , 5 , 7 , 8
Sources: Tokyo Skytree , Tokyo Solamachi , Sumida Aquarium
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