The Five Yen of Happiness! The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
- I give in – I need a break (Introduction)
- To Heathrow and The BA Galleries North Lounge
- BA902 London Heathrow to Frankfurt Airport in Club Europe
- Bumbling around Frankfurt Airport with random #AVGeek spotting
- Meeting the A350 and the Air Canada Lounge
- Qatar Airways QR068 Frankfurt to Doha
- The joy of Hamad International Airport, and The Oryx Rotana Hotel
- Qatar Airways Flight QR812 Doha to Tokyo Haneda
- The Hotel JAL City Haneda Tokyo
- Shikansen Adventures to Hiroshima!
- Time in Hiroshima (featuring the ANA Crowne Plaza Hiroshima)
- Hirosihima – 70 years on
- A day trip to Itsukushima
- More Shinkansen fun to Kyoto (Featuring Kyoto Tower Hotel)
- A trip up to Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine
- Dinner with The real_jetsetr!
- The JR Central SC Maglev and Rail Museum
- Shinkansen to Tokyo
- The Strings by InterContinental
- Cheap evening – From the Tokyo Metropolitan Building
- The JR East Railway Museum, Saitama
- Shibuya nights
- Akihabara Days
- Gotta Catch them All! A few Pokemon Centres.
- Off to Narita
- Nartia Airport, The JAL Lounge
- Qatar Airways Flight QR807 Tokyo Narita to Doha
- Four and Half Hours in Doha Airport
- Qatar Airways Flight QR067 Doha to Frankfurt
- More time in Frankfurt
- BA8735 Frankfurt to London City Airport (Club Europe)
- And about that Five Yen Coin – The Sensoji Temple, Asakusa
Tokyo can be expensive or as cheap as you make it. One of the good “free” actives I enjoy in Tokyo (apart from walking around aimlessly) is to head up to the Tokyo Metropolitan Building.
Getting there: Head to Shinjuku station, and walk over. If you’re feeling lazy (or don’t want to deal with the maze that is Shinjuku station and its 200 plus exits), take the Toei Subway (Oedo line) to Tochome station. If the heat is stifling you, then take the Subway.
Of course, when I went there I chose to brave the Yamanote Line at peak time.
That was a mistake – I forgot how packed the Yamanote line gets. Whilst Yamanote line trains are 11 carriages long, operating every 2 to 3 minutes at peak – they’re still packed most of the time.
Now, there are alternatives to the Yamanote line, but considering where I was travelling from – it’s not ideal….
Once you’re at the Government building, follow the queues and you’ll find the way to the elevator to go up. There’s always a queue to get in – namely because it’s free to get in.
There’s two observatories – the North Observatory which is open from 09:30 to 23:00, and the South Observatory: 9:30 to 17:30.
Since I arrived after 17:30, there’s no guesses which on I entered.
On the plus side, arriving in the evening allows you watch a lovely sunset.
The views from this building aren’t bad at all.
Fuji-san in the long distance. Haze prevented better views. Maybe next time Fuji-san.
I’ve always loved watching the sunset – be it in the air, on the ground or 46 floors up. It’s still a wonderful sight watching the sun set.
As the sun sets, the lights begin to come on in the city, with market lights indicating tops of building coming on too.
The Tokyo SkyTree in the distance. Whilst it is the newest observation point in Tokyo, it’s pretty pricey at ¥2060 to go 350 meters in the air… with an additional ¥1,030 to go 450 meters in the sky.
I just love the ways the lights come on…
The Tokyo SkyTree in the distance.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building has two shopping areas for those who desire to do some souvenir/tat shopping, as well as a pricey Italian restaurant for those who wish to dine on the 46th floor.
The other “traditional” viewpoint in Tokyo – the Tokyo Tower. It’s not a bad observation point, but its very “commercially focused”. It’s less to get in the Tokyo Tower compared to the SkyTree at ¥900 a pop.
Overall: For those on a budget – and those not on a budget, this is a good way to see some of the vast expanse that is Tokyo. It’s easy enough to get to, and easy enough to while away the hours, watching the city and light change. A moment of calm before returning to the madness.
Alternatives: There actually other viewing placing in Tokyo that don’t charge anything (amazingly!) – Rocketnews has a list of them. If you like your heights and looking down at the world, some of these could be worth exploring.
Next: I might have mentioned that I’m a Train Otaku. Well, there’s another train museum north of Tokyo near Saitama, north of Tokyo. Is it worth a visit? Find out when I go to the JR East Railway Museum.
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