After hanging out in Shibuya with my university friend, the next day I convinced my fiance to take me to Tokyo Tower & Roppongi Hills.
After nonstop shopping on January 2nd in Ikebukuro 池袋 with my fiance’s mother and January 3rd in Shibuya 渋谷 with my friend from university, I was pretty satisfied with my hauls. So, I was ready to check off a few more sightseeing spots around Tokyo before I headed back to the US.
Tokyo Tower / 東京タワー
That evening, my fiance and I set off for Tokyo Tower 東京タワー to watch the sunset. Tokyo Tower is no longer the tallest tower in Japan at 333 m (that honor belongs to Tokyo Skytree now, at 634 m), but it offers a spectacular view of Tokyo. Unlike my prior trips to Tokyo Skytree, where it ended up being too cloudy and I never went up, the afternoon was nice and clear.
At the base of the tower, we purchased a ticket to the Main Observatory (￥900), which is 150 m high and has a great view of Tokyo. We waited in a group to get on the first elevator, and we only had to wait for one group ahead of us before we got on to ride up to the deck. The trip to the top takes only 45 seconds!
On the Main Observatory level there is Cafe la Tour (which is a little pricey) and Club 333, with live music or DJs or other events in the evening. They were setting up for Club 333 while we walked around and looked at the view from the main deck. 333 is the height in meters of the tower, thus the name Club 333!
When the sun was getting close to setting we purchased our ticket to the Special Observatory (￥700 on top of the Main Observatory fee), which is 250 m high and offers views out to Mt Fuji. The elevator to the Special Observatory is smaller than the main elevator, and therefore the line was longer and we waited a bit before getting to the top. However, when we got to the top it was completely worth it. The view was clear all the way to Mt Fuji, and we (and the other tourists) watched the sun set behind Mt Fuji.
Roppongi Hills / 六本木ヒルズ
After sunset, we headed to Roppongi Hills 六本木ヒルズ for another view of Tokyo, and to look back at the Tokyo Tower that we just came back from. I took my fiance to the Mori Art Museum 森美術館 because the observation deck there has a great view. There was a Tim Burton exhibit (the guy who made The Nightmare Before Christmas), and it looked really amazing, but it was the last night of the exhibition and the line was super long and neither of us wanted to wait, so we decided to just go to the observation deck as planned.
It turned out that the 4th was the last day that the Mori Art Museum would be open – they were closing the next day for several months to complete renovations. I was really glad that we went that day because it really was my last chance!
We headed up to the observation deck – Tokyo City View (￥1800) – which is large, circular, and enclosed, with an awesome 360° view of the city. It’s also at 250 m (the height of the Special Observatory of Tokyo Tower), but it seems like it’s higher than the Tokyo Tower when you look out over the city!
Night had already fallen, and so we sat in the darkened deck near the windows and looked out over the lights of the city. There were other tourists taking photos or video diaries, and it was fun to people-watch.
After viewing the Tokyo skyline we headed back home.
Have you been to Tokyo Tower or Roppongi Hills? What is the highest building you’ve ever visited?
Next Up: Japan Diaries Day 32 – Visa Business