Tokyo

Best Views of Tokyo Skyline: Observation Decks and Viewing Points

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One of the fun things to do in Tokyo is to see the city from above. Spanning across 23 wards, the Tokyo cityscape is seemingly endless. On a clear day, you might even be able to see Mount Fuji! It is an essential part to be included in your Tokyo itinerary.

Here are a few of my favorite places to see Tokyo from above. Psst… Some of them are even free of charge 😉

1. Shibuya Sky Observatory in Shibuya

  • Admission: 2,500 per adult (Buy tickets here)
  • Opening Hours: 10:00 AM to 10:30 PM Everyday
  • Best for: View of many landmarks of Tokyo, convenient location

💡 Due to its high popularity, buying tickets in advance is strongly recommended. They do sell out. For more detailed information and tips, please check my dedicated blog post about Shibuya Sky here.

One of the newest skyscrapers in the Tokyo skyline, Shibuya Sky sits 230 meters above ground at the top of the Shibuya Scramble Square.

Personally, I think it is the best observatory in Tokyo at the moment. Not only the location is very convenient and easy to fit into your itinerary while in Tokyo, but the place was built with an observatory in mind (as opposed to just another level on a tall building that gets turned into an observatory). The experience and views are top-notch. You can see everything from Shibuya Sky.

Escalator at Shibuya Sky
Escalator at Shibuya Sky

Aside from the rooftop, there is also an indoor observatory in case the weather turns sour. You can find a small lounge with snacks and drinks and a souvenir shop.

There was no queue for this photo
Shibuya Sky from the rooftop

2. Tokyo City View And Sky Deck in Roppongi Hills

Tokyo Pass: Tokyo City View can be purchased as an add-on to Tokyo Pass! You might be able to save some money if you get the ticket through Tokyo Pass.

  • Admission: 1,800 yen for the indoor observation deck (Buy tickets here)
  • Opening Hours: 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM Everyday. Closed on certain days.
  • Best for: Great view of Tokyo Tower

Conveniently located in Roppongi Hills, Tokyo City View is one of the best views in Tokyo. It has the advantage of being on the top of Roppongi Hills, which gives it an added height at 250m above sea level.

Built in the same building as Mori Art Museum, it also doubles as an art space, so you’ll want to check if they have anything on during your visit! I have seen a cool Pixar animation exhibit here before.

Tokyo Tower just before sunset
Tokyo Tower just before sunset from the Skydeck
At the rooftop of Tokyo Skydeck in Roponggi
On the rooftop of Tokyo Skydeck in Roponggi

Previously, it was also possible to top up your ticket to visit the Sky Deck, which is an outdoor rooftop area. However, the Sky Deck is closed from September 2023 until further notice.

3. Tokyo SkyTree Observatory in Sumida

Tokyo Pass: Tokyo Skytree can be purchased as an add-on to Tokyo Pass! You might be able to save some money if you get the ticket through Tokyo Pass.

  • Admission: 1,800 yen for Tembo Deck. 2,500 for both Tembo Galleria and Tembo Deck. There is a discount for buying early tickets online (Buy tickets here)
  • Opening Hours: 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM Everyday.
  • Best for: Tallest observation deck in Tokyo

Tokyo Skytree is Japan’s tallest tower, standing at 630m. They have two observation decks in the tower: Tembo Galleria at 450m and Tembo Deck at 350m. While the Galleria gives you a nice bird’s eye view of the city, I personally think the Tembo Deck would be enough.

You can read more about my visit in my Tokyo Skytree post here

Tokyo Skytree Observatory
Tokyo Skytree Observatory
Tokyo Skytree Observatory
Tembo Deck at Tokyo Skytree Observatory

Early Bird Ticket: There is a 300-400 yen discount if you buy the ticket online ahead of time. Buying tickets on the same day is more expensive!

The area is also a great choice to spend a few hours in – aside from the observation decks, there are also the Sumida Aquarium, Tenku Planetarium, and shopping malls with great food options at the bottom of SkyTree Tower.

4. Tokyo Tower Observation Deck

Tokyo Pass: Tokyo Tower Observation Deck can be purchased as an add-on to Tokyo Pass! You might be able to save some money if you get the ticket through Tokyo Pass.

  • Admission: 1,200 yen for the Main Deck. 2,800 for both the Main Deck and Top Deck. (Buy tickets here)
  • Opening Hours: 9:00 AM to 10:30 PM Everyday

Another good place to see Tokyo from above is from one of the famous landmarks itself: the Tokyo Tower! Tokyo Tower has two decks: the Main Deck at 150m above sea level and the Top Deck at 250m above sea level.

Reservations for the Top Deck are required, and it’s very possible they will sell out. So I highly encourage you to buy your Top Deck ticket in advance.

5. Tokyo Metropolitan Observatory in Shinjuku

  • Admission: Free
  • Visiting Information: Click here
  • Opening Hours: 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM. Closed on certain dates.
  • Best for: Free view of Tokyo from above

Sitting at 202 meters above ground at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building (or Tocho for short), the observatory is free for the public. While there are two observatories, called the North and South observatory, only the South observatory is available for visit. There is a cafe at the observatory where you can get drinks and soft serve, as well as a souvenir shop.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Observatory
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Observatory

While the view is indeed amazing (especially for something free of charge), I wasn’t able to spot Tokyo Tower from this observatory. However, I was able to see a glimpse of Mount Fuji.

Aside from the observatory, you’ll also be able to take a complimentary tour around Tocho from the Tourist Center on the first floor.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Observatory
Cafe and souvenir shop at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Observatory

6. Skylobby in Azabudai Hills

  • Admission: Free
  • Opening Hours: 10:45 AM to 9:00 PM
  • Best for: Up close view of Tokyo Tower

This free view is located on the 33rd floor of the brand-new Mori JP Tower at Azabudai Hills, which was very recently opened in late 2023.

Although I have seen this place being hyped as a new observatory in Azabudai Hills on social media, I hesitate to call it one because it really is NOT an observatory. It’s not even advertised as an observatory by the building management.

As such, you can’t linger in front of the window to take photos. From what I have observed, you can’t use a selfie stick or tripod here as well.

Skylobby at Azabudai Hill
Skylobby at Azabudai Hill

However, the main selling point of Skylobby is that very easy to get a good view of the Tokyo Tower from here. The building is just a few blocks away, making it ideal for the best view of Tokyo Tower. Aside from Tokyo Tower though, you cannot see many other Tokyo landmarks from here.

Tokyo Tower from Skylobby at Azabudai Hill
Tokyo Tower from Skylobby at Azabudai Hill

To get to the viewing deck, follow the signs for Skylobby and take the elevator to the 33rd floor.

There is a restaurant called Hills House Dining 33 in the same location, and there is a wooden platform where you can sit around, although it does not have the Tokyo Tower view.

Skylobby at Azabudai Hill
Skylobby at Azabudai Hill – you can tell where Tokyo Tower is based on the crowds

7. Sky Lounge in Ebisu

  • Admission: Free
  • Opening Hours: 11:00 AM – 11:30 PM
  • Best for: Free view of Tokyo from above

Located on the 38th floor of Yebisu Garden Place Tower, Sky Lounge is a small east-facing area with glass windows where you can get a good view of the Tokyo Tower.

Tokyo Tower from Yebisu Sky Lounge
Tokyo Tower from Yebisu Sky Lounge

The area is quite small. I would not call it an observatory per se, as it’s just a few glass windows with a nice view of Tokyo. But, hey, it’s free and there are not many people here.

Yebisu Sky Lounge
Skylounge is quite a small area

There is a ledge on the windows, so you can take cool shots like this one (and I’m sure you can do better than me):

Yebisu Sky Lounge

To get here, take the elevator marked “Top of Yebisu” at Yebisu Garden Place and take it to the 38th floor. This elevator will take you directly to the top. Then, simply follow the sign to Sky Lounge.

8. Hikarie Sky Lobby on the 11th floor in Shibuya

  • Admission: Free
  • Opening Hours: 7 AM – 12 AM
  • Best for: View of Shibuya Scramble from above

The Hikarie Sky Lobby is located on the 11th floor of the Hikarie building in Shibuya. It is very conveniently located right by Shibuya station and easy to fit into your Tokyo itinerary.

The only good view of a landmark you can get here is really of the Shibuya Scramble and the iconic 109 building. But, for a free view at a convenient location, it is not a bad option by any means.

Shibuya Scramble from Hikarie Building
Shibuya Scramble from Hikarie Building

9. Bunkyo Civic Center Observation Lounge

  • Admission: Free
  • Visiting Information: Click here
  • Opening Hours: 9:00 AM to 8:30 PM. Closed on certain dates.

The observation deck is located 105 meters above ground on the 25th floor of the Bunkyo Civic Center Building. The slanted windows here make it different from the other free observation decks in Tokyo that I’ve listed so far. However, you can’t use tripods here.

And that’s all I know about getting the best views in Tokyo! Did I miss any spots? Please feel free to let me know in the comments below, and I will check it out on my next visit.

If you’re visiting Tokyo and like what I posted, please feel free to check out my other posts about Tokyo as well.

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Filed under: Tokyo

Written by Melissa

Hi there! 👋🏻 I'm the "Girl" in Girl Eat World. I love eating, traveling and sharing my travel experiences in this blog. During the day, I work as a designer in tech. More about me →

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