Top of Tokyo: Observation decks offer panoramic city views

International

A woman leans over to view the cityscape of Tokyo at Sky Circus Sunshine 60 observatory Monday, Oct. 7, 2019, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

TOKYO (AP) — Tokyo is a gigantic concrete jungle built on layers of tradition and culture. It’s difficult to grasp the enormity of Japan’s capital in just a few days.

One way to gain some perspective on the complex city is to get above it — way above it.

Skip the sidewalks and subways and take an elevator to any one of the observation decks that dot the cityscape for a stunning vista. No two perches offer the same view, but they are all spectacular.

Greeted with a bow by the elevator operator, take a ride up to the top of some structures for as much as $30 a trip. But the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building’s observation deck is free. The 48-story office is surrounded by Shinjuku district’s skyscrapers. The view is more intimate than from most other observatories.

Try the panoramic views from Tokyo Tower — an homage to the Eifel Tower that was built in 1958 to signify Japan’s economic revival — where you can take a selfie with Mt. Fuji in the background on a clear day. Lean in and look down on the traffic patterns of the famed Shibuya crossing from the 46th floor of the East Tower of slick new Shibuya Scramble Square.

Visitors are silhouetted against a floor-to-ceiling window as they view Tokyo’s skyline from an observation deck located on the top floor of Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Or just pick a spot and watch one of Japan’s spectacular sunsets beyond the glass, steel and concrete horizon.

A man watches the cityscape of Tokyo from an observation deck located on the top floor of Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Tourists watch the cityscape of Tokyo from the observation deck of Tokyo Skytree, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019, in Tokyo. The Skytree is the tallest tower in the world. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A tall apartment building is seen through the window of the Seaside Top observatory located on the 40th floor of the World Trade Center, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A group of tourists pose for photos while visiting an observation deck located on the top floor of Roppongi Hills Mori Tower Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
An usher bows to visitors in an elevator going up to Tokyo Tower’s observation deck Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

A cutout of a Japanese manga character is displayed on the large window of the Sky Circus Sunshine 60 observatory Monday, Oct. 7, 2019, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Two women wear VR headsets while playing a video game at the Sky Circus Sunshine 60 observatory Monday, Oct. 7, 2019, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Visitors pray in front of a Shinto shrine located on the main observation deck of Tokyo Tower, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, in Tokyo. The tower is the second tallest structure in Japan. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A group of Japanese salarymen pose for photos on an open-air observation deck located on the rooftop of Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
With a view of Tokyo’s cityscape, a man wearing a VR headset plays a video game at the Sky Circus Sunshine 60 observatory Monday, Oct. 7, 2019, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
People view Tokyo’s skyline from the Seaside Top observatory located on the 40th floor of the World Trade Center, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Chandre Groenewald, visiting from South Africa, uses a selfie stick to photograph himself with a view of the cityscape of Tokyo at Tokyo Skytree’s observation deck Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019, in Tokyo. The Skytree is the tallest tower in the world. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A tourist uses her smartphone to photograph Tokyo’s skyline from the Seaside Top observatory located on the 40th floor of the World Trade Center Building, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A young boy sits on a glass floor at Tokyo Tower’s main observation deck Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, in Tokyo. The tower is the second tallest structure in Japan. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
People take pictures of Tokyo’s skyline during sunset from the Seaside Top observatory located on the 40th floor of the World Trade Center, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Recent Updates

More 7 Day Forecast

More Political Stories

More Politics

Trending Stories

Don't Miss

Trending Stories