Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tokyo Tower

At night, the Tokyo Tower glows orange like a beacon. We used it at such and started walking towards it when we saw it from near the Imperial Palace. Standing at 1,091 feet (332.5m) it looked a lot closer than it actually was! As we got closer and closer and it got bigger and bigger, it just made us all the more excited to get to the top of it.

the last full night of 2011

The Eiffel Tower inspired tower was built in 1958 and claims to be the symbol of Tokyo. It's painted white and international orange, the same orange used to paint the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. We visited it at night, which was great because we could see all the sparkling city lights stretching on and on and on! The view was incredible from every angle. The city is a massive expanse of lights and activity. The Rainbow Bridge (pictured below) was brilliant with all the little ant-sized cars scooting across it.

Rainbow Bridge
Practical Information

There are two levels to the tower, the Main Observatory (¥820) and the Special Observatory (an additional ¥600), both with 360 degree views of the city. The Main Observatory is comprised of two stories where there are interactive touch screen computers along each wall showing the view you are seeing with the names of the buildings. It was interesting to see the areas we had already visited and the area where we were staying from that angle. Shibuya was lit up like a torch and you could even see some of the advertisements that were placed high up. On the touch screens, you can toggle languages and see a 24 hour time lapse video of the view. 

In the Main Observatory there is also a coffee shop, flat screen TVs with additional information, a club named 333, windows in the floor to see how far up you really are, a gift shop, and a Shinto shrine. The elevators to the Special Observatory are also located here. Since there isn't one elevator that will take you from the ground to the top, you will first have to go up to the Main Observatory and then get on another elevator that will take you up to the Special Observatory.

Underneath the tower at ground level, there is a shopping area, two wax museums, restaurants, an aquarium, a kids play area, a "magical dungeon,"  and a gallery that can be used for multiple different purposes.

Tokyo Tower is open from 9:00am-10:00pm with the last elevator heading up to the main observatory at around 9:45pm. If you want to go to the Special Observatory, the last elevator up leaves at 9:30pm from the Main Observatory. If the Tower is particularly busy the last elevator ride up could be sooner so make sure to give yourself plenty of time. Here's a link to the Tokyo Tower official website for further info.


  1. All the lights stretching on and on and on and on are unreal!