5 views of Tokyo available for free

Free vantage points from which to admire Tokyo

With its countless buildings, its two towers, and Mount Fuji in the background, Tokyo from the sky is a treat for the eyes as well as for the heart. If we tend to prefer the rooftops of Shinjuku City Hall to save a few yens, there are actually other places to admire the capital at a lower cost ! 

Here are 5 observatories totally free to admire Tokyo.
 

Siège du gouvernement métropolitain de Tokyo

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Headquarters is an emblem of the country's capital, along with the Tokyo Sky Tree. With a gigantic and unique architecture, which splits a block into two towers, the Tokyo City Hall offers a magnificent view of the whole capital. Located in the Shinjuku district, this building stands out from other buildings with its 243 meters height! 

Beyond its primary role, which consists in managing the Tokyo prefecture, this city hall is distinguished by the presence of two panoramic observatories located at the top of its two towers.

Accessible free of charge, they are very popular with tourists who want to have a panoramic view of Tokyo. Beware of vertigo: located at 202 meters high, the observatories are accessible via a special elevator that leads to the 45th floor in 55 seconds. Once on top, the view is splendid and allows one to notice the immensity of Tokyo. The most interesting views are those from the east and the south: you can see the silhouette of the NTT DoCoMo Tower or the Meiji-Jingu park. When the weather is clear enough, Mount Fuji even makes an appearance!

Practical information

Address: 2 Chome-8-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 163-8001, Japan
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
 

Siège du gouvernement métropolitain de Tokyo en noir et blanc

Siège du gouvernement métropolitain de Tokyo en noir et blanc

©Nicholas Doherty, unsplash

Siège du gouvernement métropolitain de Tokyo vu d'en bas

Siège du gouvernement métropolitain de Tokyo vu d'en bas

©Wally Gobetz, flickr

Vue du siège du gouvernement métropolitain de Tokyo la nuit

Vue du siège du gouvernement métropolitain de Tokyo la nuit

©Takashi Hososhima, flickr

Bunkyo Civic Center (Korakuen)

The Bunkyo Civic Center offers a 333-degree view of the Japanese capital from its 25th floor. Not only can you see the Skytree and the Koishikawa-Korakuen Garden, but when the weather is good, you’ll also get a glimpse of the famous Mount Fuji.

This panorama is by itself already very appreciable, but the Civic Center also features a makeshift lounge. Located on the ground floor of the building, the Café de Crié offers a selection of breakfasts for less than 500 yen per person (about $3.59). Chairs have been set up in the observatory - perfect for sipping your coffee in front of the Sky Tree! Do note, however, that eating your sandwich is forbidden above 130 meters of altitude. The building opens at 9 a.m., so it's a great place to come and have breakfast.

Practical information

Address: 1-Chome-16-21 Kasuga, Bunkyo City, Tokyo 112-0003
Opening hours: Every day, from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Route: Close to Korakuen Station (Namboku and Marunouchi lines)

Pause café au Bunkyo Civic Center

Coffee break at Bunkyo Civic Center

PhL

Carrot Tower (Setagaya)

Located in the chic residential area of Setagaya, the 26th floor of the Carrot Tower offers a beautiful panoramic view - Shibuya and Tokyo Tower to the north, and Mount Fuji to the south. The bar and the restaurant you’ll find on the same floor makes it very popular amongst cocktail lovers. We recommend you come here in the late afternoon; the sunset makes the view from even more stunning.

Practical information

Address: 4-Chome-1-1 Taishido, Setagaya City, Tokyo 154-0004
Opening hours: Every day from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., closed the 2nd Wednesday of each month
Directions: In front of Sangen-jaya Station (Tokyu-Setagaya and Den-en-Toshi lines)

Tokyo, depuis la Carrot Tower

Tokyo, from the Carrot Tower

Flick - Nemo's Great Uncle (2007)

Caretta Shiodome (Shimbashi)

From the top of its 47th floor, Caretta Shiodome offers views of the capital from a height of more than 200 meters. Though the view on the Rainbow Bridge is stunning, it’s when the Disney-themed winter illuminations come around that countless visitors will flock towards the building.

You truly start to appreciate their beauty when you view them from up in the sky, especially with a meal on the side. As a luxury building, Caretta Shiodome has an upscale Thai restaurant on the same floor.

We recommend you pass by before visiting the advertising museum, located a few floors below.

Practical information

Address: 1-Chome-8-2 Higashishinbashi, Minato City, Tokyo 105-7090
Opening hours: Every day from 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. (restaurant from 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., shops from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
Directions: In front of Shiodome Station (Oedo and Yurikamome lines) and a few minutes away from Shimbashi Station (Asakusa, Keihin-Tohoku, Ginza and Yamanote lines)

Rainbow bridge

©Not Quite a Photographr, flickr

Coucher de soleil depuis la Tower Hall Funabori

Sunset from Tower Hall Funabori

Flick - Manish Prabhune (2014)

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Kami-Ikebukuro, Tokyo

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Ikebukuro, Tokyo

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Ikebukuro, Tokyo

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  • Duration : 13 days
  • Locations : Tokyo, Hakone Mt Fuji, Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, Miyajima
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