The Best Views in Tokyo

ByMichael Stigall
Jun 27, 2023

The Best Views in Tokyo

Tokyo is so many things and includes so many places that it is often hard to take it all in. Being in the city can sometimes remind me of a computer struggling to read a large file. There’s just so much information and data and noise. To some, that may sound tiring, but I find Tokyo to be beautiful and energizing in a way that is hard to explain properly. Probably the easiest way is to direct you to one of Tokyo’s many observation decks, where you can get a bird’s eye view of the city and a different perspective on things. Tokyo has one of the most breathtaking cityscapes in the world. All around the city, there are high-rise buildings that you can access, and from their observation decks, you can take it all in.

Tokyo Skytree

There is no other place for us to begin than with Japan’s tallest structure. At 634m, Tokyo Skytree became the world’s tallest tower and the second-tallest building in 2012. As such, it has the two highest observation decks in the country. The top deck is 450m high, and the lower deck is 350m; the latter boasts expansive windows, a restaurant, a cafe, and shops. Both decks afford an unrivaled and unobstructed view of much of the Kanto region.

Hours: 10:00 – 21:00

Closed: Open year-round

Deck Height: 350 meters (first), 450 meters (second)

Address: 1 Chome-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida (map)

Roppongi Hills Tokyo City View

The focal point of the Roppongi Hills complex, the 238m tall Mori Tower, is startling for its bold, glittering design and effortlessly embodies the glitz and glamour of the Roppongi district. On cold or windswept days, you can take views of the city from the 52nd floor, but the best are from the open-air Sky Deck on the roof of the building that offers panoramic views of the city.

Hours: 10:00 – 22:00, 11:00 – 20:00 (Sky Deck)

Closed: Open year-round

Deck Height: 218 meters; Sky Deck: 238 meters

Address:6 Chome-11-1 Roppongi, Minato (map)

Sunshine 60

At 240m high, when completed in 1978, Sunshine 60 was the tallest building in Japan and Asia generally. Part of the adjoining Sunshine City complex, the building is 60 stories (hence the name), and on the top floor, there is an observation deck from where you can take in the view. However, being in Ikebukuro, it isn’t the most central of buildings meaning the views are not quite so devastating, though they are impressive nonetheless.

Hours: 10:00 – 21:00 (entry until 20:00)

Closed: Open year-round

Deck Height: 226

Address: Toshima-Ku Higashi-Ikebukuro, 3 Chome-1 No. 1(map)

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

The building that took the crown for the tallest building from Sunshine 60 was the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in 1991. Also referred to as Tocho, it stands at 243m, although the observation deck is 41m below that. Still, being in the center of Shinjuku, it affords some quite spectacular scenes, including Meiji Jingu, Tokyo Tower, Tokyo Skytree, and Mount Fuji, on clear days. Also, it’s open late, providing an opportunity to see the city at night. Oh, and it’s free!

Hours: North Deck: 9:30 – 22:00; 

Closed: December 29 to January 3 except January 1; North Deck: 2nd and 4th Mondays each month; South Deck: 1st and 3rd Tuesdays each month.

Deck Height: 202m


Address: 2 Chome-8-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku (map)

Bunkyo Civic Center

Short but sweet is possibly the best way to describe the Bunkyo Civic Center. Although only 146m high (to put that into perspective, stand three of them on top of each other, and you still can’t top the Skytree), its location makes for perfect viewing. From the 25th floor of this building, once rather accurately described as a ‘giant Pez candy dispenser’ by The Japan Times due to the way the observation deck juts out, you can see quite breathtaking views of Mount Fuji behind the skyscrapers of Shinjuku on one side, and the Tokyo Skytree on the other.

Hours: 9:00 – 20:30

Closed: 3rd Sunday in May, December 29 to January 3

Admission: Free

Deck Height: 130m


Address: Bunkyo ku, Kasuga, 1-16-21 (map)

Tokyo Tower

Before the construction of the Skytree, Tokyo Tower was perhaps the city’s emblem. When completed in 1958, it symbolized the rebirth of Japan as a post-war economic power and was inspired by the Parisian Eiffel Tower, which stands a good 13m shorter. It is so tall that it is painted orange and white to comply with air traffic regulations and is the second tallest structure in the city. The tower has two observation decks, the main observatory at 150 meters and a special observatory at 250 meters.

Hours: 9:00 – 22:30 (entry until 22:00)

Closed: Open year-round

Deck Height:150 meters (main), 250 meters (upper)

Address: 4 Chome-2-8 Shibakoen, Minato (map)


Ruthsic, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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