Reviews, Tokyo

Tokyo Skytree: Is it worth a visit?

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Tokyo Skytree is currently the primary television and radio broadcast of the Kanto region. When Tokyo Skytree was built in 2010, it became the tallest structure in Japan. At its full height of 634m, it also became the tallest tower in the world.

Tokyo Tower from Tokyo Skytree
Tokyo Tower from Tokyo Skytree

With such a tall tower, of course, it makes sense to build an observatory where tourists can come and enjoy a nice view from above. There are two observation decks in Skytree Tower: the upper deck called Tembo Galleria at 450m and the lower deck called Tembo Deck at 350m.

Admissions to Tokyo Skytree

Here are a few ways to buy a ticket to Tokyo Skytree:

Early Bird tickets: The early bird weekday admission is 1,800 yen for Tembo Deck and 2,700 yen for both Tembo Galleria and Tembo Deck. You just need to buy the ticket at least the day before your planned visit. On Saturday and Sunday, the tickets cost 300 yen extra.

Early Bird Ticket is cheaper! 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.

Same-day ticket: Sometimes, you want to make sure the weather is good and the sky is clear before you commit to visiting an observatory. You can do that, but same-day tickets cost a little more than early bird. The Tembo deck costs 2,100 yen and the combo is 3,100 yen. On Saturday and Sunday, the tickets cost 300 yen extra.

Tokyo Pass: Tokyo Skytree tickets can be purchased as part of Tokyo Pass. However, only the Tembo deck is available (not Galleria), but you can purchase Tembo Galleria separately on-site.

Night View Ticket: For a limited time, there is an option to book a Night View ticket which comes with an alcoholic drink and entrance to the observatory after 6 PM. It costs 2,400 yen on weekdays and 2,600 yen on weekends and holidays. You can purchase the night view ticket here by selecting the “night view” option.

I got my tickets through Klook, and all I had to do was exchange them for a voucher using a dedicated online sales vending machine. There was no queue at all for this machine!

What is Klook? Klook is the leading travel and experiences booking website in Asia. And yes, they are legit! I personally always book my activities through them whenever I am traveling. See my review of Klook here.

When is the Best Timeslot to Tokyo Skytree?

Entry to Skytree is time-based and there is no time limit for your visit so you can stay up there for as long as you want.

The best time to visit Skytree, as with any other observatory, is about an hour before sunset. As Japan is located in the northern hemisphere, the sunset time varies all year round so you’ll need to look up when the sunset will be on the day of your visit.

When I visited in winter (sunset at around 5 PM), entries after 3 PM needed to be booked about 2-3 days in advance, otherwise it sold out.

Tembo Galleria at Tokyo Skytree
Tembo Galleria at Tokyo Skytree

How to get to Tokyo Skytree

Tokyo Skytree is located in Sumida ward, one of the 23 wards in Tokyo. It was built right on top of two train stations: the Oshiage station on the Den-en-toshi / Hanzomon line and the Tokyo Skytree station on the Tobu Skytree line.

When you get out of these train stations, you’ll find yourself inside Tokyo Solamachi, a massive shopping center at the foot of the Skytree Tower. The entrance to the observatory is located on the 4th floor of Tokyo Solamachi.

Tembo Deck (350m)

From the ticket kiosk area, you’ll be able to take the elevator straight up to Tembo Deck. There are four elevators, which are themed after the four seasons, each with different decorations.

We got the winter elevator, but you can’t choose which elevator since the staff will assign you where to go.

Tokyo Tower from Tokyo Skytree
The “winter” elevator

Within a few seconds, you’ll be dropped at Tembo Deck. It is referred to as Floor 350 while you’re here.

Tokyo Skytree Observatory
The Tembo deck of Skytree
Tokyo Tower from Tokyo Skytree
Tokyo Tower from Tokyo Skytree
View from Tembo Deck
View from Tembo Deck
Tokyo Skytree Observatory
View from Tembo Deck

There are a few cafe around the observatory, called Skytree Cafe, where you can grab a few quick bites. I got the ice cream (550 yen) and the tortilla chips (400 yen). The ice cream was great, but the tortilla chips… I think you can skip that.

Food at Tokyo Skytree
Snack options at Tokyo Skytree Cafe

One floor below Tembo deck is Floor 340, where you’ll find the glass bottom floors and you can see all the way to the street level below.

Glass bottom at Tokyo Skytree
Glass bottom at Tokyo Skytree

Floor 340 is also where you need to go to catch the elevator back down to the 4th floor.

Tembo Galleria Deck (450m)

From Tembo Deck, you can take another elevator up to Tembo Galleria if you’ve bought a combo ticket for it.

Tembo Galleria at Tokyo Skytree
Tembo Galleria at Tokyo Skytree

Tembo Galleria has a much smaller walkway and smaller window than Tembo Deck, and it spirals up. The elevator that will take you back down to Floor 350 is located at the top of the spiral. So if you want to repeat another view, you’ll need to walk the spiral down

Tembo Galleria at Tokyo Skytree
Tembo Galleria at Tokyo Skytree
Tembo Galleria at Tokyo Skytree
Tembo Galleria at Tokyo Skytree

Personally, while the Tembo Galleria is 100m higher than Tembo Deck, I could barely tell the difference between both views. I think it’s not a must-visit if you’ve already got access to Tembo Deck.

Photo Spots in Tokyo Skytree

There are a few photo spots that will give you a free postcard photo, which is just a printout of Skytree photo with a very small thumbnail of your own photo in the bottom right corner. Or you can buy the full photo and a digital download for 1,500 yen.

There is one photo spot on each floor:

  • Floor 340 for the glass bottom photo
  • Floor 350 for the SkyTree photo
  • Floor 450 for the “floating photo”, which is achieved through green screen illusion. This one is accessible only if you bought access to Tembo Galleria.

The one on Floor 340 will let you take a photo with your own camera, although admittedly it is not better than the photo they took with their camera 😅

Skytree Photospot
Skytree Photospot at Floor 350 (Tembo Deck)
Floating Photospot at Tokyo Skytree
Floating Photospot at Floor 450 (Tembo Galleria)
Glass bottom at Tokyo Skytree
Glass bottom photo spot at Floor 340

Conclusion: Is Tokyo Skytree Worth Visiting?

It’s super cool to visit the highest tower in the world! I find the observatory a great place to visit, and the view is undoubtedly amazing.

However, I’m not sure if it’s just because I have visited many other observatories in Tokyo, and especially having been to Shibuya Sky on the same trip, the Skytree felt quite average despite being the highest observatory in Tokyo.

The location of Tokyo Skytree is not very convenient to other places you probably want to visit while in Tokyo. It is located in the east of Tokyo, so while you’ll get a really good view of this side of the town, you won’t see much else in terms of landmarks. The closest attraction is Asakusa so it makes more sense to visit if you’re going to be in that area.

This is a small nitpick, but the observatory is completely indoors with tinted windows. Because of this, I find that all the photos I take there are slightly blueish, and I had to do some post-editing to make it look somewhat normal.

That said, if you have a family, Skytree Town is a great place to entertain kids. There are children’s play areas and stores like the Pokemon store and the Sumida Aquarium (which I will elaborate more on below) to keep the entire family occupied for an entire day. There are also great options for food at the Tokyo Solamachi Mall.

Sumida Aquarium at Skytree Town

Tickets: 2,500 yen for adults, 800 yen for 4-11 years old (Buy tickets online for direct entry or you can purchase them together with early bird Skytree ticket via Klook for further discount.

If you have time after or before your visit to Skytree, I suggest checking out Sumida Aquarium as well. It is located right at the bottom of the Skytree. You just need to turn left when you exit the West exit of the Skytree lobby.

Jellyfish at Sumida Aquarium
Jellyfish at Sumida Aquarium

I came with low expectations for this aquarium, but I was blown away. It is not a big aquarium, but it is one of the most beautiful aquariums I have been to. Their Jellyfish exhibition is gorgeous. There is also an open Penguin pool where you can observe the penguins from close proximity.

You’ll probably need about 1 to 1.5 hours here.

Sumida Aquarium
Sumida Aquarium

And that was my visit to Tokyo Skytree. If you’re considering which observatory you want to go to, make sure to read my round-up on the best views of Tokyo.

Have fun on your visit to Tokyo! 👋

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Filed under: Reviews, 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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