Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

#7 in Best Things To Do in Tokyo
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building picture
taka4332/Getty Images

Key Info

Price & Hours

Free
South Observatory: 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily |...

Details

Sightseeing, Free Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
4.3

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 4.5Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

There are plenty of skyscrapers that provide bird's-eye lookouts in Tokyo. So what makes the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Tower special? It's free! At 202 meters high (662 feet), its two observatories (North and South observatory) are the highest vantage points you can reach in the city without having to shred some yen (at least that we know of). 

Travelers loved their experience at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building because it was so fuss-free. Free admission, few lines, speedy elevator, helpful customer service and no time restrictions at the top was ideal for travelers who were looking to take their time with the incredible views in front of them. The observatories offer 360-degree views of the city and visitors say on a clear day, Mount Fuji is visible in the distance. If you can, travelers suggest visiting at sunset. The transition from day to night, when some say truly Tokyo comes to life, is magical.

Admission is free, but you might want to save some cash for the multiple dining options located at the top. Both of the observatories are open daily but have different closing hours. The South Observatory is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. while the North Observatory closes at 11 p.m. The closest metro station is Nishi-Shinjuku. For more information, check out the Tokyo Tourism Board's website.

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More Best Things To Do in Tokyo

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Type
Time to Spend
#1 Tokyo National Museum

If you're looking to learn a little (or a lot) about Japan's history, the Tokyo National Museum is the place to go. This museum is one of the country's most expansive, housing about 116,000 pieces of art and artifacts that cover the longest recorded history of Japan. Strolling through the halls of its numerous buildings, you'll spot relics such as samurai armor and swords (a traveler favorite), delicate pottery, kimonos, calligraphy, paintings, and much more, some of which are designated as national treasures and Important Cultural Properties by the Japanese government. In addition to artifacts from Japan's history, you'll also find pieces from all across the Asian continent, including Buddhist scrolls that date all the way back to 607. 

Travelers were impressed with all that the Tokyo National Museum has to offer. Even some who admitted they aren't museum people enjoyed the variety of unique artifacts on display. Travelers appreciated that the museum featured English translations, something that some visitors noticed other Tokyo top attractions lacked (think the Ghibli Museum). Museum goers also say that there so much to see in the Tokyo National Museum that you probably need an entire day if you want to get through everything. If you don't have enough time to do this (or just don't want to) the best thing to do is get a map of the museum beforehand and pick what you want to do before you venture in. 

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