The Japan Diaries: a visit to Tokyo SkytreesteemCreated with Sketch.

in travel •  2 years ago

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Tokyo Skytree is the Japanese capital's newest futuristic landmark. With a height of 634 meters, this television & radio broadcasting tower is the tallest building in Japan, and 2nd tallest structure in the world. Visiting it has been high on my bucket list for a while, and last weekend I finally had my chance.

We (my daughter, wife, and I) got up before dawn on Saturday to make the long train ride into central Tokyo. Skytree is an enormously popular tourist attraction with hours long lines, so we wanted to get there right when it opened to beat the crowds. Happily our strategy paid off. Not many people were milling about when we arrived around 7:30.

After a brief stop at a coffee shop for a much needed shot of caffeine and some breakfast rolls, we made our meandering way through the shopping mall that surrounds Skytree, looking for the ground floor ticket counter. I couldn't resist snapping a pic of this fine eatery along the way:

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Sing it with me now... you know you want to... I have a pen!

Skytree features 2 observation decks to enjoy amazing views over the city, one at 350 meters and another at 450 meters. And of course you have to pay separate expensive ticket fees for each deck (nothing in Japan is free, especially in Tokyo). But it's worth the price of admission, provided the weather is clear. Here are some of the sights from the lower deck:

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Early in the morning it wasn't too hard to get a good viewing spot right beside the massive floor to ceiling windows.

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Yes, that is Mt. Fuji poking above the mountains in the far distance.

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Skytree is so tall that its shadow covers a good portion of the surrounding buildings.

The 450 meter observation deck is even more impressive. It actually consists of two separate floors connected by a space-age tube circling around the outside of the structure. Definitely not for the faint of heart!

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My wife posing in the middle of the "sky tube" winding around the upper observation deck.

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At 450 meters high, this is the only spot in Japan where you can see the urban sprawl like this without being in an airplane.

Before heading back down, we ate lunch at the fabulously expensive Sky Restaurant 634. Initially we were turned away due to our lack of a reservation, but my wife turned on the charm and was able to persuade the maître d' to let us in. The menu only had 2 choices, both multi-course sets. We went with the cheaper one at 6500 yen (about $60) per person.

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My daughter and I enjoying an exquisite lunch high in the sky.

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A little wine goes great with this view from our dining table!

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Half the time I didn't know what I was eating, but it sure tasted good.

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The main course: portion sizes are small so you have to savor every bite.

On the way back to the elevators, we passed an area with a glass floor, allowing you to look all the way down to the ground far below. There were a lot of people milling about here, so we could only enjoy the spectacle for a few seconds before the staff hurried us on. But that few seconds was enough; heights have never bothered me but even I felt a bit dizzy thinking of all that open air only inches beneath our feet:

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Looking down for too long makes you dizzy!

I've always been fascinated by tall buildings. Someday I hope to visit the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, currently the world's tallest building, but for now I'm content with seeing the 2nd tallest right here in Tokyo. If you're ever in town and only have a couple days for sightseeing, Tokyo Skytree is worth checking out! But be prepared to spend some serious cash; we went through about 50,000 yen ($450) on this excursion, if you count entrance tickets, the fancy lunch, and souvenirs at the gift shop.


Links for more info

Previous entries in my Japan Diary series:
     SteemImg Hanging out with the ghosts of GeGeGe no Kitaro

     SteemImg Strolling around Showa Kinen Park

     SteemImg A Kawasaki Halloween

     SteemImg Shopping in Kawagoe

     SteemImgWishing you a Merry Christmas

Wikipedia article on Tokyo Skytree: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokyo_Skytree

Skytree official web site: http://www.tokyo-skytree.jp/en/index.html

For more posts about cryptocurrency, finance, travels in Japan, and my journey to escape corporate slavery, please follow me: @cryptomancer

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Image credits: all images in this post are photos taken on my iPhone, with the exception of the last one, which is a souvenir shot taken for us by Skytree staff.

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Achievement badges courtesy of @elyaque . Want your own? Check out his blog.

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I've always been fascinated by Japan and hope to spend some time visiting with my family, too. Thanks for the tour.

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You're welcome, glad you enjoyed the visual tour and hope you get a chance to enjoy the country too.

You family picture with daughter looks the best :)

it was very interesting to read about Japan, thank you for sharing such a useful information, Japan is a great country)

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Yes, Japan is a wonderful place to live, always lots to do and see. Glad you enjoyed the post!

That's cool. We were in Tokyo a couple of years ago. We went in a couple of pretty tall buildings, but not that high. It's a great way to see the city.

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It is indeed! Do you remember which ones you went to? There are a few other good vantage points around the city. The Shinjuku Metropolitan Government building, Sunshine 60 building, and Mori Tower are the ones that come immediately to mind.

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We went up the Metropolital government building. Was a bit too hazy to see distant objects like Mount Fuji. We were staying in the Hilton in Shinjuku up on the 36th floor. That's higher than we normally get to go anywhere.

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Nice! That must have been a fun place to stay. The haze gets pretty bad in summertime but it's usually clear during winter, so right now is a good time to be traveling around.

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We found it pretty hot in the summer. Would love to go back

Amazing! Sugoi!! I never been in japan but i want too, i love your photos make me want to travel there right now!!

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Thanks, glad you liked them! There are many wonderful places to visit in Japan, hope you get the chance to see the country someday.

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I hope too!! Is one of my dreams visit it =)

Wow that little viral video resulted in a cafe theming itself after it?

After movies being made based on emojis and Angry Birds I don't know if I'm in the same universe I was born into. :P

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Yeah, it's crazy, that guy is a phenomenon. Just a couple days ago I saw a segment about him on the news; he's been doing concerts singing that song and drawing massive crowds. Afterward the weatherman even did the PPAP dance as a joke. If I was Japanese, I'd be quite embarrassed to see this guy being basically elevated to the status of a cultural ambassador for my country.

I dream of visiting Tokyo. Hope the dream will come true one day:)

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Everyone deserves a chance to live their dreams! I'm living one of mine everyday by being here. Hope my pictures brightened your day!

I'm going to Tokyo in a couple of weeks so this was a really useful post, thanks! :D