Tokyo’s Skyscrapers

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SGMT Japan Tokyo Skyline 03


If plans for the Sky Mile Tower in Tokyo are approved, it will become the tallest building in the world, with a height that will be twice that of the current champion, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa. At a proposed height of 1600 meters — 1 mile, hence the name — it will be taller than even the Jeddah Tower, which is on course to be the world’s tallest once ongoing construction is completed. The Sky Mile Tower complex will be built in Tokyo Bay and will include such cool stuff as hexagon-shaped wave-breakers that will double as freshwater reservoirs and urban farming plots.
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Sky Mile Tower - Tokyo, Japan
The proposed Sky Mile Tower | Image by TJ | CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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Looks like something out of the future, doesn’t it?

The present Tokyo skyline isn’t too shabby either. The day after my trip to Lake Kawaguchi, I found my way to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building to get a good aerial view of the city. (Yes, after getting lost 3 times in 24 hours, I actually successfully found my way to something for once. 😀 Although it took me a surprisingly long time to get there — longer than it should have, I think — following signs in the underground walkways from Shinjuku station to the TMGB, so don’t give me too much credit.)

Tokyo Skytree and Tokyo Tower — the two tallest structures in Tokyo — are generally the vantage points of choice for taking in the city’s skyline BUT they charge admission fees:

  • Tokyo Skytree 350 m observatory – ¥2,060 (PHP 846)
  • Tokyo Skytree 450 m observatory – ¥1,030 (PHP 423)
  • Tokyo Tower Main Observatory (150 m) – ¥900 (PHP 370)
  • Tokyo Tower Special Observatory (250 m) – ¥700 (PHP 288)

Courtyard of the Tokyo Metropolitan Govenment Building

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In contrast, going up the towers of the TMGB is completely free. There are two towers — North and South — each with an observation deck at the 45th level.

  • North Observation Deck
    • Opening hours: 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
    • Closed on the second and fourth Monday of every month
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  • South Observation Deck
    • Opening hours: 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., except when the North deck is closed, in which case it closes at 11:00 p.m.
    • Closed on the first and third Tuesday of every month
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Note that, every day, either one of the observation decks will remain open till late at night so you can come (or come back — doesn’t matter, it’s free) in the evening to see the city lights. On a clear day, you can see Mount Fuji from the TMBG. And the TMBG complex itself is beautiful (that’s its courtyard in the photo above) so it’s a winner in all fronts.

How to get to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
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SGMT Japan Tokyo Skyline 02

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Tokyo’s Skyscrapers
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7 thoughts on “Tokyo’s Skyscrapers”

  • Holy smokes that will be so tall that I can’t really grasp it…very futuristic. The future is here! You are brave and impressive adventuring around Tokyo because my impression is that I’d get overwhelmed and quite lost there (but also be in awe). And you did get lost but you ventured on. I would hide in my hotel.

    • Tokyo probably isn’t as confusing as I make it sound — I think it was just the combination of traveling all alone and in a country where not everyone can speak English. I did get overwhelmed but I really had no choice but to keep going. 😀 Looking back at the entire trip, I can’t say it was one of the best trips I’ve had in terms of how happy I felt while I was there, but I think it did me a lot of good.

      • I seem to get more & more thrown off kilter when I’m in big cities which is nothing I’d never have expected 15 years ago. If anything though your post makes me think I could do it–you do just have to keep going.
        That’s a thought…remembering trips according to where they rank with happiness on the trip. I guess we would be inadvertently factoring that in usually because how can it not have it make an impact on our assessment of a trip but at the same time thinking about past experiences that way now with “How happy was I?” at the forefront makes me see things differently…There are some trips that were overall great but I recall some inner turmoil or loneliness or discomfort and not necessarily in an educational way if that makes sense. You’re making me think!!
        I don’t know if this seems too negative but I’m wondering if you’ve ever just ranked your trips that way? It could not necessarily be directly attributed to the location but it is interesting to think about and draw the connections.

      • Hmmm, now you’re making me think. It’s a very interesting concept to explore… When people ask me where they should go or what they should see, I always tell them to find things that they can personally connect to, like a place in a movie they’ve always loved. I felt that was the way one could get more out of a trip, not just pictures or being able to tick something off a list… But now it’ll be interesting to look back and see which places you were happiest in…

      • There’s so much that factors into it. I was thinking about this and certain trips I might’ve felt incompatible with my traveling companion, unfortunately, or I didn’t enjoy exploring a city as much as I’d anticipated orrrrrrrrr other reasons. I gotta think this over.
        You are so right about finding a place with a personal connection. Definitely relate to that.

    • True! When I saw the courtyard of the TMGB, my first thought was that it looked like something out of a movie where we’re all wearing space suits and deciding on the future of planets…

Share your thoughts!