I posted a couple days ago about my trip to Tokyo last week, and as I was looking at my pictures, I realized I had so many of Tokyo Tower that I think it warranted its own post. Like everything I saw in Japan, there were so many interesting aspects of the Tokyo Tower tour that there was something for everyone. As soon as I got there, I realized that Tokyo Tower has its own mascot, which is some sort of tower looking person, and is of course– pink.
Lots of families were hoarding around this guy and taking pictures with him, but I just thought he was cute. Not cute enough though, to warrant my buying any miniature versions at the myriad of souvenir shops peppered throughout the tower.
This is the shop on the main level as you wait in line to go up the elevators to the observatory. I was glad I found this place, though, because that’s where I bought my Tokyo Banana treats my friend recommended to me. They are, in fact, delicious.
As far as touring Tokyo Tower, there are a few different options. The base ticket entry will get you to the first observatory, and from there you can buy a ticket to go even higher. It’s all pretty straight forward, but be prepared to stand in quite a few lines. I felt the whole thing was really organized, and all the lines moved relatively fast. Also, there’s a guide at every step of the way to take your tickets and guide people in and out of elevators.
Once I got up to the observatory, I could wander around and get a good 360 degree view of the city. The brochure that you get with the ticket has the pictures marked with the different landmarks so that you know what you can see from each part.
Tokyo Tower is no longer the tallest building, so maybe that’s why the crowds weren’t as bad. I did get a glimpse of the new Sky Tree Tower, which is still so new that the lines to get to visit that are around three hours long.
After wandering around the observatory, you can go back down to a few different floors. I went down one and found a live band. I thought they were pretty impressive for some live music in a tourist destination. You can make your own opinion of their music after you watch the video:
There are of course floors with more souvenir shops as well as cafes, so you can sit and eat while looking out over the city. I took the elevator down, and found an entire floor that was an out door amusement park for kids. They had carousels and a giant Pikachu statue:
It was actually really nice to sit on the amusement park floor and get some fresh air, since the observatory levels were all closed. From here I could look up and really see parts of the tower’s structure, and appreciate the gorgeous blue skies of Tokyo that day.
Overall it was really interesting to go there, and although it is quite a tourist trap, I feel it’s something worth going to at least once when you’re in Tokyo. If you don’t want to pay to see the Tokyo skyline (Tokyo Tower entry is around 800 yen or 8 USD), you can also go to an observatory in the Mori tower in Rappongi to get a good view. Either way, the city is really impressive, from whatever height you look at it.