The roofs of Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan

9 places
Eugenia Dorozhkina

Japan is very mountainous, so, no wonder its cities are so upward. What but skyscrapers can one build, if one sees Fuji every day? Tokyo, like NYC is vertical with the arteries of highways, so to see its perspective you need to go up. Appu, as locals say.
By the way, skyscrapers and towers are the living proof of Japanese technical skills and hope that the buildings will survive all quakes. The best way to admire the top of the top of Tokyo is autumn, winter and early spring when the air is especially transparent.

Sky Deck Mori Tower

Contrasted to other towers, this one offers an open-air view of the city. First go to the 52nd glass-covered floor, follow the Sky Deck sign, leave your stuff in a locker (take a camera and a phone) and take another elevator (this was not so evident, as there is an observation deck on the floor too) to reach a roof with a helicopter deck all covered in wooden boards (that's where the name comes from). You will see all the city's wards – Shinjuku, Shinagawa and Odaiba but the best panorama is of the eastern part with Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Bay. In the north, you will spot a newly built Sky Tree. The magic experience costs Y500.

Mori Art Museum

Located at the 52nd floor, the Mori Art Museumshowcases not only contemporary Japanese art but Asian art in general. The museum has no permanent exposition and spreads art all over the floor. You can stumble upon an installation when walking around the observation deck, while museum cafe changes interiors to match a current exhibition. Admission is Y1,000-1,500.

Azabu Kappau Wamon

Azabu Kappau Wamon is a small fish place with traditional low tables – don't be afraid, you can freely stretch your leg under them. The place is divided into three rooms and a bar and serves great fish and Washoku traditional Japanese cuisine. Here you will see that it's much more than sushi. Lunch is time for big corporations staff like Google and Goldman Sachs.

Tokyo Tower

The 333-meter Tower has two decks – at 150 and 250 meters. If you want to go higher, come early not to wait for hours at the lower deck. The 1958-built Tower can hardly be called old but it looks so cozy, as if a vintage sepia photo.
This place is a must-visit, though it is no longer the tallest building in Tokyo. Since its construction, it saw 150 mln people, maybe it was so popular because it is so like Eiffel Tower. Go up and just think about its history and all romantic dates it saw. At night, you can go to a concert at the lower deck, have a pizza or a burger in McDonalds and buy some souvenirs.

Shiba Koen

This park can be seen from the Tokyo Tower and you can see the Tower from it, that's why it often appears in news and TV shows. Choose any of its perfect lawns to chill out, getting from heaven to earth and make a couple of nice pictures with the Tower. You can also walk to Zojo-ji shrine whose famous cemetery has Jizo statues symbolizing unborn children. They are covered in flowers and clad in red hats and bibs. If you are not scared, have a look.

Asakusa Station

The station is a key one for several routes. There are, actually, two stations with this name – Tokyo Metro and Tobu Line. Check in advance, which exit you need, as there are plenty. To get there, walk to Daimno Station and ride Ginza Line to Asukasa. Here admire a beautiful corner building of Tobu Line Station, its art-nouveau style will never make you think it is a railway terminal. To buy transport cards, go to the information desk on the first floor. From here you can go to Nikko or explore inner Tokyo. You can also take a water bus or exit to the Sumida River.

Kuritsu Sumida Park

The park takes both banks of Sumida and is especially stunning in March and April when sakura is in bloom. The first to blossom is Sky Tree tower, as every season it glows in different colors – from pale-pink to wild-cherry.
At night, the park offers the best view of the Tower, which is absolutely fantastic.

Тokyo Skytree

One of the world's tallest structures (634m), it was opened back in 2012 and is an absolute must-do. Come early or book online (if you a lucky owner of a Japanese bank-issued card) and check the weather – they shut the thing if it's bad.


Kamiya is located by Asakusa and, thus, is easy to find. Opened in 1880, it is a real patriarch of Tokyo bars and still keeps up its appearances. It is crowded, filled with smoke and absolutely interior-less (don't like to say canteen-like) – easy to imagine pre-economic miracle Japan and workers having a drink here. The old chap closes 10 pm like a pensioner going to bed with sunset. By the way, they also serve food - a nice curry.


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