About Tokyo Skytree
Twenty minutes from Senso-ji Temple is the tallest skyscraper in Tokyo and in the world. The Tokyo Skytree began its construction July of 2008 and was completed end of February 2012, one week before the Great East Japan Earthquake.
During the day, the Tokyo Skytree gives off a porcelain glow as the white exterior is blended with the faintest hue of blue. At night, the colors of the tower alternative from a blue to purple to orange. In Japanese, iki is the faint blue that represents water of the Sumida River. The miyabi is the bluish violet color that is accented with gold to highlight the tower’s elegance. The nobori is a shade of orange that is considered a lucky color since ancient times.
The 634-meter-tall Tokyo Skytree accommodates up to 2,900 visitors in the Tembo Deck and the Tembo Galleria altogether. However, there is plenty of room for thousands of visitors to explore the base of the tower and the underground passageways beneath it.
A few things I wish I had known before visiting the Tokyo Skytree.
Exploring the Tokyo Skytree, one of the city’s most popular attraction, could take up an entire day
When you arrive to the observation deck, you cannot return after you leave
If you want to see the daytime view AND the nighttime view of Tokyo, visit an hour or so before dusk
Tokyo Skytree Base & Solamachi Shotengai
At the base of the tower, the Tokyo Skytree is filled with cafes, shops, food courts, restaurants and even a planetarium and an aquarium! I recommend starting your visit in the morning or early afternoon exploring this part of the tower. My favorite area are the shops on Solamachi Shotengai. It’s a 120m shopping district with dozens and dozens of food shops, stores and cafes reminiscent of the shops and alleyways during the Edo period. It is conveniently located above the subway station to the Tokyo Skytree and is connected to the center plaza.
Theme Elevators To The Tembo Deck
An hour or so before sunset, head up to the Tembo Deck in one of the four different themed elevators. They all feature beautifully intricate artwork along the elevator walls and ceilings with atmospheric lighting. You might enter the elevator with bright pink and purple cherry blossom skies or the one with an explosive blueish firework reflecting over the Sumida River. You might also enter the one with festival skies with feathers and shrines or the one filled with miyakodori in the skies, Japanese birds often found flying along the Sumida River.
Once you arrive on the Tembo Deck, you’ll be greeted with swarms of visitors. They are all edging their way to the glass windows for a panoramic view of the city. Each section of the city is labeled and marked by numbered pillars so you’ll always have a point of reference on your map. On the 350th floor, you’ll find a gorgeous painted folding screen of the Edo Hitomezo Byobu. It depicts the panoramic view from the Tokyo Skytree during the Edo period.
There are three levels on the Tembo Deck. The top floor offers panoramic views of the city through massive windows. The middle floor has a souvenir shop and the famous Musashi Sky Restaurant, which serves French-Japanese fusion cuisine. The lowest floor on the deck has a cafe and a few glass floor panels that gives you a knee-trembling view all the way down to the base of the tower.
For an extra $1,000 yen, you can take a different set of elevators takes visitors from the Tembo Deck to Tembo Galleria. This part of the Tokyo Skytree is known as the world’s highest skywalk. It certainly has a more expensive entrance fee than the Tembo Deck, but there tends to be fewer people in this section. You’ll get to enjoy the view without having to compete with the masses. Unfortunately, you cannot purchase tickets to the Tembo Galleria only. If you wish to go to the top, you’ll have to biy the combo tickets for both the Tembo Deck and the Tembo Galleria.
The Tembo Galleria has a spiral ramp that leads you to a steel and glass tube. This area gives daring visitors a chance to look down from the tower and out over the Kanto Region. At the top of the spiral ramp is a more of a typical observation deck floor with lounging areas and tall glass windows. This floor, also known as the Sorakara Point, is 1,480 feet above ground and is the highest point of the observation decks.
Admission & Fees
You can purchase same-day tickets to the Tokyo Skytree, but queue lines are typically over an hour long. During peak seasons, the tower caps visitors at 10,000 per day. If your a foreigner, the Tokyo Skytree offers Fast Skytree Ticket is for international visitors only. It’s essentially an expedited service to skip the long line and to secure your visit the day you arrive. That, of course, comes at price. Here are the admission options for the Tokyo Skytree tickets.