It was our first full day day in Tokyo after our flight and we were jetlagged up to the eyeballs – an eight hour time difference really messes with you! We wanted to do something not too taxing for our zombified state, so we headed off to Tokyo Tower to soak up some views of the city.
Tokyo Tower is located in the Minato ward of Tokyo and is a familiar sight within the Tokyo Skyline. You’ll probably recognise its shape, as it is effectively a red and white version of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, which is where its inspiration came from. It was built to be used for TV broadcasting (it has an antenna within it) and also contains observation decks for tourists, along with a shopping centre at the bottom called ‘Foot Town’ (yes, we did find this funny).
We approached from Zōjō-ji (a Buddhist temple), which provides a wonderful contrast between old and new. It was a good spot to both take a look at the amazing temple, but also see Tokyo Tower from afar which, being in a very built up area, is pretty much impossible to do from anywhere else.
Tokyo Tower is an interesting thing to approach; you see it from far away and head towards it, but when you get closer it hides itself behind some tall buildings and you lose your bearings – then suddenly when you round another corner, there it is!
At 333 metres tall (13 metres taller than the Eiffel Tower), it is the second tallest structure in Japan after Tokyo Skytree. Its distinctive colouring is to comply with aviation safety regulations, and it is repainted every 5 years.
You can really get the scale of the thing close up by looking at one of its massive legs (unknown person for scale).
Having been first opened in 1958, it is Tokyo Tower’s 60th anniversary this year in 2018. In true Japan style, some cute mascots are there to celebrate the occasion.
After getting our tickets, we made our way straight to the ‘Top Deck’ via a series of elevators. The space is filled with geometric mirrored walls and has fantastic 360° views of the city.
We then made our way to the lower ‘Main Deck’ to soak in some more views of Tokyo.
I plucked up the courage to walk across the ‘skywalk window’ – I just didn’t look down whilst I was doing it 🙂
On our way out, we walked past the Mausoleum of Taitokuin, still within the grounds of the Zōjō-ji temple.
If you were to read my previous post about visiting Tokyo Tower from three years ago, you may be forgiven in thinking it was the same day, as the weather was exactly the same – grey and mild. This trip to the tower wasn’t during a whistlestop tour of the city in one day, so we actually got to enjoy it without feeling the need to rush off super quickly.
If you need to choose between Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree for budget reasons, I’d recommend Tokyo Tower as it has cheaper admission and is just as good, in my opinion. You shouldn’t need to book in advance (we didn’t), but you can buy tickets on the Tokyo Tower website if you feel you will be going in a busy season.
If you get the chance, you should definitely do both, though – they are in different areas of the city so you will get different views.