Japan, an island nation located in the Pacific Ocean with compact cities, historical magnificent palaces, hilly national parks, and a lot of shrines and temples to visit. This nation has been the apple-of-the-eye of travellers and tourists for quite a long time due to its variety of tourist spots that suit the appetite of its visitors, the wide selection of food, and more importantly, the people and its culture that makes it unique. Evidently, in 2015 alone, Japan opened its doors to a multitude of nearly 20 million visitors. While a lot of us have had their slice of Japan, it is true that not all can experience everything that Japan has to offer, thanks to its efficient National Tourism Organization, travellers have more and more reason to go back each time they visit this island nation.
As an addition to their list of places to visit, the Tokyo Skytree, one of Japan’s newly opened landmarks, was introduced to travellers back in 2012. It was designed by the renowned sculptor Mr Kiichi Sumikawa and has a mind-boggling height of exactly 634 meters which became the reason of its recognition as the world’s tallest tower by Guinness World Records on November 11, 2011. As of writing, it is recognized as the second tallest freestanding structure in the world. There are truly lots of exciting things to do at the iconic tower that has become a new symbol of Tokyo, besides going up and just enjoying the view, visitors can shop and dine in the tower as well. Let’s take a quick look at what Tokyo Skytree can offer:
Tokyo Skytree – Interesting Facts
Albeit the recognition of Tokyo Skytree as the world’s second tallest tower, its initial function is to really replace the main radio tower of Tokyo which was in the position since 1958. Because there are a lot of other buildings that sprung since the 1950s, it resulted in a negative impact on the Tokyo radio tower’s performance. It was the reason why they saw the need for a new radio tower to be built. There were several considerations in building Tokyo Skytree, and one of them was giving the tower its unique name. The term “Tokyo Skytree” came from the image of an enormous tree that aims to the skies. Numerous names – Rising Tower, DreamTower, and Edo Tower – were suggested, but it was decided by the public in 2008 because the name “Skytree” is prevalent of the warm and hopeful image that it suggests.
The number “634” – the exact height of the tower in meters – can be read as “mu-sa-shi,” a very familiar number to the people. It is also a meaningful reminder of the Musashi Province – the old name of the huge region that covered part of Tokyo, Saitama, and Kanagawa. Going deeper with numbers, the tower has a total of 2,523 steps when taking the stairs, the number of stairs from the first floor to the Tembo Deck (340th Floor) is 1,929, plus the Tembo Galleria (445th Floor) which is 594. The total weight of the steel framework of the tower which includes the observation deck is 36,000 tons. Just imagine 200 pieces of 180-ton jumbo jets stacked on each other, making it strong enough to accommodate about 2,900 people in the Tembo Deck and Tembo Galleria at any given time.
Tokyo Skytree – How to get there?
The exact address of the tower is 1 Chome-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida, Tokyo 131-0045 and you can access the map here:
Depending on where you stay in Tokyo, there are several options to choose from in getting to the tower. Visitors can either opt to go by car, by train, or by shuttle service which the tower gladly offers. For locals and even seasoned travellers to Japan, taking a car or hailing a taxi is often less suggested because of the city’s efficient public transport system and it can be expensive when renting a car in large cities such as Tokyo. Nevertheless, it is still an option for first-time visitors as it is an alternative to getting around the city once buses and trains stop operating at midnight. Download the approach and return view of the access map here.
The most suggested and most convenient mode is taking the train where visitors can take note of four stations in getting to the Tokyo Skytree quickly – Tokyo Skytree Station, Oshiage Station (Skytree), Asakusa Station, and Kinshicho Station. The “Tokyo Skytree Station” on the Tobu Skytree Line and “Oshiage Station” on the Hanzomon Line are the most convenient stations to take.
In the Tobu Skytree Line, there are two options, one is a 13-minute train ride from “Kita-Senju Station” to “Tokyo Skytree Station.” The other one is a five-minute train ride to “Asakusa Station” via Tokyo Metro Ginza Line from “Ueno Station”. Then interchange to Tobu Skytree Line. Afterwards, a three-minute train ride to “Tokyo Skytree Station.”
Meanwhile, in getting to “Oshiage Station,” there are four options. One is, taking the eight-minute travel at “JR Sobu Rapid Line” from Tokyo Station and transfer to “Kinshicho Station” for the Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line for a three-minute train ride going to “Oshiage Station.” Second is, taking a 25-minute train ride from “Shinagawa Station” to “Oshiage Station” in the Toei Asakusa Line. The third is, a 39-minute train ride from “Haneda Airport” to “Oshiage Station.” And lastly, a 49-minute train ride to “Oshiage Station” if you are coming from “Narita Airport.”
Lastly, visitors can use the Skytree Shuttle for added convenience. Visitors must take note of places such as Haneda Airport, Tokyo Station, Ueno Station, Tokyo Disney Resort, Odaiba district, Shiki Station, Asakadai Station, and Wakoshi Station to Tokyo Skytree Town where the shuttle picks up and drops off passengers.
Tokyo Skytree – What to see?
The best that Tokyo Skytree can offer is its 360-degree view of the Tokyo concrete jungle in its Observation Deck. The “Tembo Deck” is at 350 meters and the “Tembo Galleria” is at 450 meters above the ground. If the weather is at its best, visitors can see as far as 75 kilometres from the Tembo Galleria and a breathtaking view of the Mt. Fuji. In addition, gazing at the view of the Tokyo streets while coloured in red during the evening is highly recommended. Tem Galleria offers a glass passage that lets you see the City of Tokyo to the fullest. Taking a stroll at the sloped spiral “Airwalk” will make you feel like you are walking on air.
The highest part that guests can visit in the tower is the Sorakara Point. It is a stage space built at the height of more than 451 meters. Encircled by light and glass, the point creates a perplexing, pleasing atmosphere with just glass and light. Visitors can enjoy the experience through an amazing three-dimensional view that makes it feel like you are floating and have the sense of roundness of the Earth.
The view of the deck can be surely a lot to take in. It’s a good thing to know that the tower has a restaurant up in the air, named as “Sky Restaurant 634,” visitors will surely enjoy a meal or two on the 345th floor. Savour creative cuisines that are merged with traditional taste and modern touch while marvelling at the Tokyo metropolis.
However, it doesn’t stop in just the photo-op and sightseeing from the deck. Once finished, guests can shop from a selection of fine items that will make beautiful memorabilia of your visit. The Skytree Shop is located at 1F Group Floor where Japanese and other international desserts, general merchandise, stationery, fashion items, limited edition items, and more, can be found.
Tokyo Skytree – Get to the top!
The tower is open every day – with special consideration to holidays – to all guests and is subject to entrance rates from 08:00 in the morning until 10:00 in the evening. Reservations are not required and visitors can purchase a ticket before they enter. For same day ticket, the prices range from ¥310 to ¥2,060 depending on the age range and the floors you will avail. Special rates are given to Persons With Disability (PWD), while children aged three years and under can be admitted for free. They also have a Fast Skytree Ticket ranging from ¥1,500 to ¥4,000, again subject to age range and the floors guests will avail.
For international visitors, you can skip the lines on your way to the main observation deck on the 350th floor once you purchase a Fast Skytree Ticket 4th floor west entrance. Just note that a valid passport is required to avail this service.
For a more convenient and hassle-free way of visiting the Tokyo Skytree, we recommend that guests book e-tickets in advance to easily get to the top of the tower. Skip the long lines and get to the top right away, you can also choose on which date you would prefer to use the e-ticket. In addition, you also have the flexibility to select a single floor to visit or a combo of both.
Tokyo Skytree is a very interesting tourist spot and one of the sites which either first time or seasoned travellers must not forget to visit. Truly, Japan is a place that never runs out of things to offer its visitors.