TOKYO SKYTREE℠: An Unconventional Match for the City
If you explore enough around Tokyo, you will find that Sumida, and the adjacent districts, have a prevailing old-world air—traditional landmarks, quaint neighborhoods, small businesses. And the sight of a soaring solid steel tower looming over these cities seem to be in contrast with the setting. However, there is no better place for TOKYO SKYTREE than right here.
TOKYO SKYTREE rules the skies of Eastern Tokyo Metropolis, commanding a stunning view of Mt. Fuji. /IMAGE ©TOKYO-SKYTREETOWN
The tower and the city: an unconventional match
TOKYO SKYTREE is a breathtaking architectural marvel that has been ruling the skies of Eastern Tokyo Metropolis since it was publicly opened in May 2012. Standing 634 meters, it is the world’s tallest independent broadcasting tower and the tallest structure in Japan to date.
A surreal view up-close. /IMAGE ©TOKYO-SKYTREETOWN
From the outside, TOKYO SKYTREE presents onlookers with the beauty of its intricate steel design and perplexing shape—the tower has a triangular base which then warps into a cylinder as it goes up the height. While TOKYO SKYTREE is a surreal ultramodern structure, beneath the surface the tower espouses tradition. The construction of the tower took inspiration from traditional objects and structures like the samurai sword and the pagoda. Inside the tower, there are facilities that showcase the fascinating culture of Tokyo, particularly the districts that have embraced the tower.
A soaring magnificence. /IMAGE ©TOKYO-SKYTREE
The past, the present, and into the future
TOKYO SKYTREE has three major floor groups, each symbolizing the past, the present, and the future of Japan. The Lower Levels serve as a preamble for the hundreds of floors up ahead with a close-up introduction to TOKYO SKYTREE’s structure and Tokyo’s culture of “shitamachi,” which translates to downtown Tokyo.
The Tembo Shuttle—this high-speed elevator can take you from 4F to the Tembo Deck in about 50 seconds. /IMAGE ©TOKYO-SKYTREE
Up at 340-350 meters is the three-level Tembo Deck which symbolizes the present, a celebration of the development that the world has reached. The deck offers a 360-degree view of the city and features different facilities, such as the SKYTREE CAFE, THE SKYTREE SHOP, and photo service areas to enjoy before heading to the tower’s uppermost deck.
The SKYTREE CAFÉ serves light meals, desserts, coffee, tea, and other drinks. /IMAGE ©TOKYO-SKYTREE
THE SKYTREE SHOP has a huge variety of Japanese and Western products, including exclusive TOKYO SKYTREE souvenirs. /IMAGE ©TOKYO-SKYTREE
For an elevated dining experience, you can spend some time at the Sky Restaurant 634 (musashi) on floor 345 to experience the so-called “new Japanese cuisine,” inspired by the shitamachi tradition and combined with French culinary techniques, as you marvel in breathtaking views which include Mt. Fuji. Reservation is required at Sky Restaurant 634 (musashi).
The Sky Restaurant 634 (musashi) has a romantic ambiance, especially in the evening.
At 445-450 meters is the Tembo Galleria, a spiral walkway symbolizing the future, where you will go on a walking tour from floor 445 up to the Sorakara Point at 451.2m. The views around the Tembo Galleria can be so overwhelming and, walking this high up from the ground, might indeed give you a sense of the hopeful future.
The west side of TOKYO SKYTREE offers views of the Sumida River, flowing between Sumida and Taito, and Mt. Fuji on the horizon. /IMAGE ©TOKYO-SKYTREE
The night beckons as the moon looks upon the Tembo Galleria. /IMAGE ©TOKYO-SKYTREE
TOKYO SKYTREE is located inside the TOKYO SKYTREE TOWN, which also comprises TOKYO Solamachi, a commercial complex housing the Sumida Aquarium and the Konica Minolta Planetarium.
• For international tourists, Fast Skytree Tickets, which let you skip the line at the main ticket counter, are offered at a separate counter at the west entrance on the fourth floor. The Fast Skytree Ticket Counter opens at 10 am. Just present your passport or other valid IDs.
• Ticket reservations are not required, but if you want to save time from waiting in line, it is recommended to book tickets in advance through their online reservation website:
The Fast Skytree Ticket Counter offers convenience for international visitors. /IMAGE ©TOKYO-SKYTREE
• During the day, you can get a clear picture of the bustling metropolitan Tokyo. But if you want a more romantic view, set your visit to the viewing decks in the evening. The illuminated decks boost the vibe as you view the sparkling city lights.
How to get there
• The most convenient way to go to TOKYO SKYTREE is via train.
• The TOBU SKYTREE Line connects TOKYO SKYTREE Station with Asakusa Station, Kita-senju Station, and 27 other stations that run through Sumida and Adachi in Tokyo and Koshigaya, Kasukabe and Miyashiro in Saitama.
• From Tokyo Station/Shibuya Station
Take the JR Sobu Rapid Line from Tokyo Station or the Hanzomon Line from Shibuya Station to Kinshicho Station, and then transfer to the Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line going to Oshiage Station, the drop-off for TOKYO SKYTREE.
• There is also a Skytree Shuttle which picks up at Tokyo Station, Ueno-Asakusa Area, Haneda Airport, Tokyo Disney Resort, Odaiba, Wakoshi Station, Asakadai Station, and Shiki Station (Tobu Tojo Line). The fare costs ¥220 for adults and ¥110 for children.
TOKYO SKYTREE Tembo Deck Same-Day Purchase:
¥1,540 (12-17 y/o)
¥930 (6-11 y/o)
¥620 (4-5 y/o)
Free for 3 y/o below
TOKYO SKYTREE Tembo Galleria Same-Day Purchase:
¥820 (12-17 y/o)
¥510 (6-11 y/o)
¥310 (4-5 y/o)
Free for 3 y/o below
* For online booking, rates vary depending on the schedule. Tembo Deck tickets and Set Tickets (Tembo Deck + Tembo Galleria) can be purchased online. To check the prices, visit TOKYO SKYTREE’s ticket reservation page here.
Address: Oshiage 1-1-2, Sumida Ward, Tokyo City
Operating hours: 8 am to 10 pm (Last admission: 9 pm)
Contact number: +813-5302-3470
Facebook: 東京スカイツリー / Tokyo Skytree
Written by Rei Leaño
All photos courtesy of TOKYO SKYTREE and TOKYO SKYTREE TOWN.
This first appeared in Philippine Primer English magazine’s Vol. 31 – October issue.