The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku has one of the best views of Tokyo, and it is free (well Taxpayers are footing the bill). From Tokyo Tower on a clear day, you can see the fantastic size of Tokyo from Mt Fuji in the west, Tokyo Bay to the south and the Sky Tree to the East. Standing on the 45-floor observation deck, one can understand what a vast and dense the area of Tokyo. Japanese people call the building Tochō (都庁) for short.
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (Shinjuku, Tokyo) – Amazing View for Free
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building holds all 23 wards of Tokyo, cities, and towns of Western and Eastern Tokyo. Majors parts of the prefectural government of Tokyo. It was opened in 1991, cost $1 Billion USD, and until 2007 was the tallest building in Tokyo at 202 meters [663 ft], with 51 floors (48 above ground and three under). The building designed by Architect Kenzo Tange was created to look like a computer chip, as well as a gothic cathedral. The complex is composed of three buildings, the two tallest wings connected until the 30th floors. For curious souls, the old Tokyo Metroplitaina building was in Yurakucho where the International Forum now stands.
The entrance to the Observation deck is from the elevator in B1. There is usually a 5-20 min wait to go up the elevator. Note that there is a wonderful Tokyo tourism office on the 1st floor of the North towner where you can pick up maps and information on all 23 wards of Tokyo and the cities and small towns not in the wards. There is also presently an Olympic
Area with photo ops. Once you go up the elevator you can wander around enjoying the view if clear, there is also a gift shop and small cafe to grab a drink. When you are on the observation deck find the stamp for the Budding and have your kids stamp their notebooks. (Remember to buy a notebook to carry during your travels – each temple, shire, important place has a stamp, which are fun to collect.) Bathrooms are available, so take your time when you are done, just line-up and take the elevator down.
One block away is the LOVE Sculpture, which is a great photo opportunity. If the kids need to run, I recommend the Shinjuku Chuo (Central) Park directly behind the Tocho. Check out all the fun things to do in Tokyo on our Shinjuku attractions, shopping and eating..
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (Shinjuku, Tokyo)
Address: 2-8-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo (google map)
Business Hours: Open every day 9:30 – 23:00 (observation deck alternates between the two towers by day)
Access: Tocho Mae Station is connected to the Tokyo Metropolitan Building (use A4 exit), it is also a 10 min walk from Shinjuku station; if you drive I recommend you park at the Washington Hotel which has affordable parking right next door for 1-2 hours.
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