Tokyo Skytree is the only large tower right within shitamachi on the eastern bank of the Sumidagawa river. It’s a bit far from the major urban centres, but it gives unprecedented views over the city as the tallest tower in Tokyo at 634 meters (highest observation deck is at 450 meters).
Tokyo has plenty of tall structures with observation decks from which you can enjoy a beautiful view over the city. Some are free, many are paid. The oldest tall structure is Tokyo Tower, which still attracts busloads of tourists as it is a piece of history, as well as that it actually provides a pretty nice view over the city. From each of these towers your vantage point changes quite a lot, so each of these towers has their value.
The Sumidagawa river as seen from Tokyo Skytree
Tokyo Skytree is right within the shitamachi areas I love write about and gives great views of the Sumidagawa river, Asakusa and the undervalued area of Mukōjima. Ryōgoku, Nihombashi, Kameidō and Fukagawa are also very close. However, the skyscraper districts of Shinjuku and Roppongi are fairly far away, so you do not have the feeling as being in between large towers. While the night view is spectacular at Tokyo Skytree, it is even more spectacular at Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, where you can see Tokyo Tower and other skyscrapers from up close.
So, what are the pros and cons of Tokyo Skytree?
- Great view over the Sumidagawa River
- Tallest building in Tokyo (most value when the weather is clear)
- Sola city (shopping complex) has a pretty nice selection of shops and restaurants (nana’s green tea!)
- Far away from the skyscraper districts, it makes you feel far away from the city
- Nothing to see on the northern and eastern side as you are quite on the edge of the city (especially at night a strong negative point)
- If you do not know the areas of Asakusa, Mukōjima, Ryōgoku, Nihombashi etc very well it is probably not as interesting to see
Please note that Tokyo Skytree is one of the most popular tourist spots in Tokyo, so it is important to go very early in the morning and avoid weekends and holidays in order to avoid long queues.
Downstairs at Tokyo Skytree: Sola City
Address: 1-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida-ku, Tokyo
Tokyo Skytree Station (Tobu Skytree Line)
Oshiage Station (Hanzomon Line, Keisei Oshiage Line, Tobu Skytree Line, Toei Asakusa Line)
Opening hours: 8:00-22:00 (go early in the morning to avoid queues)
Entrance fee: for an adult to go to the floor at 450 meters: at least JPY 3090 (fast lane ticket JPY 4000)
Names in Japanese: 東京スカイツリー