Tokyo SkyTree 東京スカイツリー
Tokyo Skytree is a broadcasting tower in Sumida ward, eastern Tokyo, that offers visitors panoramic views of the metropolis as well as a huge array of Solamachi shopping, dining and entertainment opportunities.
Tokyo Skytree is 634 meters high making it the tallest completely self-supporting tower in the world. "634" can be phoneticized in Japanese as "mu-sa-shi" and was a number intentionally picked to represent the name of the old province, Musashi, that Tokyo used to be part of, centuries ago.
Completed in 2012, Tokyo Skytree has quickly become a new symbol of Tokyo. Its striking white profile is visible throughout much of the city, adding a new, bold futuristic touch to the urban skyline. Tokyo Skytree is beautifully lit up till late in the evening in patterns of light that change from day to day, making for a photogenic presence at nighttime as well.
Tokyo Skytree Town
Tokyo Skytree is not just the tower, but includes the huge, multi-story, split-level shopping, dining and entertainment complex called Tokyo Skytree Town that the tower presides over. Most of Tokyo Skytree Town is taken up by the Solamachi shopping and dining mall, and which also includes museums, an aquarium and souvenir shops.
Tokyo Skytree tower is, of course, the main attraction. It is eye-catching in its web-like design, and with a triangular base that morphs upwards to cylindrical. It has two observation decks: the Tembo Deck at about 350 meters, and the Tembo Galleria at 450 meters.
The first observation deck, the Tembo Deck, has three floors. The lower floor has the Skytree Café and a glass paneled section of the floor which gives you a view of the sweep of the tower from the ground up. The middle floor has The SkyTree Shop for souvenirs and the haute cuisine Sky Restaurant 634 Musashi The upper floor has floor to ceiling windows for a breathtaking panorama of the whole of Tokyo to the west, Saitama prefecture to the north, and Chiba prefecture to the east.
The Tembo Galleria is 100 meters further up the SkyTree from the Tembo Deck, and tickets for the elevator ride to it are purchased on the Tembo Deck. The two floors of the Tembo Galleria are joined by a walkway which spirals up around the outer edge of the deck for a real "sky walk" experience. The upper floor is at a height of 451.2 meters, the highest accessible point in the whole of Tokyo.
Skytree View in the East Yard of Solamachi also offers great views of Tokyo, which include the adjacent Skytree tower itself.
Fast Skytree Ticket Counter
The waiting time for an elevator to the Tembo Deck once you have purchased a ticket is long--usually over an hour. However, there is a Fast Skytree Ticket Counter, on the 4th floor, especially for holders of non-Japanese passports, that ensures you a considerably shorter wait. Proof of non-Japanese nationality, such as a passport, must be produced. A Fast Skytree Ticket to the Tembo Deck costs 2,820 yen for adults, which is a little more expensive than a regular ticket, which costs 2,570 yen. A ticket to the Tembo Galleria can be purchased only on the Tembo Deck, and costs 1,030 yen for adults.
The ground floor (1F) of Tokyo Skytree, facing the street, has a luggage drop-off and dispatch depot run by Sagawa Express where baggage can be left during your visit, or where goods can be sent to your home country.
Tokyo Skytree Hours
Tokyo Skytree is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. 365 days a year. Tickets for the observation decks are on sale until 9 p.m.
Access - Getting to Tokyo Skytree
The Tokyo Sky Tree is accessible from two stations:
-Tokyo Sky Tree Station Station on the Tobu Skytree Line.
-Oshiage Station on the Hanzomon Subway Line, Asakusa Subway Line and the Keisei Oshiage Line. (The Keisei Oshiage Line connects Oshiage Station in Sumida ward with Aoto Station in Katsushika in the far east of Tokyo.)
From Tokyo Station take the Marunouchi Subway Line to Otemachi and change to the Hanzomon Subway Line for Oshiage Station. Takes about 16 minutes.
Near Tokyo Skytree
The bustling east-end Asakusa district is just across the Sumida River west of the Tokyo Skytree, one stop on the Tobu Skytree Line, or a 15-minute walk along Asakusa-dori Avenue (taking the diagonal right fork at the five-road intersection). The big shopping and entertainment district of Kinshicho is a little south, accessible most picturesquely by a 20-minute stroll through Oyokogawa-shinsui Park, from Asakusa-dori Avenue. The Tobacco and Salt Museum Tokyo is also nearby the Tokyo SkyTree.