There’s something fantastical about Tokyo at night time: like you exist for a moment inside a futuristic, cyberpunk world. Think neon lights, crowds of people, the low throb of music from nearby clubs…and patches of complete darkness where Tokyo’s numerous parks are placed. If you want to get the perfect photo for Instagram, check out the following observation decks; Located all across Tokyo, you’ll be sure to find the view (and the price) you want.
1. Roppongi Hills Observation Deck (Roppongi)
This is one of the best places to get an amazing view of the metropolis at night, although not the cheapest on our list with a ¥1,800 entrance fee. Roppongi is also famous for their winter lights, so the city looks sparkling as it’s laid out before you. It also means there’s lots of amazing night scenery to take photos of even on ground level. The ticket price includes entrance to Mori Museum, so be sure to go when there’s an exhibition you want to see!
Closest station: Roppongi (Location)
Hours: 10:00am-11:00pm (last admission 10:30pm)
Fri, Sat, days before national holidays 10:00am-1:00pm (last admission 12:00 midnight)
2. Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (Shinjuku)
Shinjuku is a crowded, bustling business center, with a skyline full of towering buildings. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government building was actually the tallest building in Tokyo until 2007. It is a government building, so expect your bags to be checked on the way up, but the second floor holds an information centre which is also worth a visit anyway. Best of all, it’s free!
Closest station: Shinjuku (Location)
Hours: 9:30am-11:00pm (last admission 10:30pm)
3. Tokyo Skytree (Asakusa)
The tallest freestanding broadcasting tower in the world (you have to be very specific to get the title of ‘tallest’), get a new perspective from inside one of the most common landmarks in Tokyo. There are two decks, at 350m and 450m above ground, so this one isn’t for the faint of heart. There are restaurants located inside the Skytree, for more leisurely viewing, and if you’re travelling make sure to bring your passport to get a fast entry ticket!
Closest station: Oshiage (Location)
Hours: 8:00am-10:00pm (last admission for Tembo Deck 9:00pm / Tembo Galleria 9:20pm)
4. World Trade Center Building Observatory (Hamamatsucho)
The Seaside Top has a 360° view, including Tokyo Bay and Odaiba area. The Rainbow Bridge, located in Tokyo Bay, is one of the most famous locations in Tokyo and is often used in movies and TV shows to show the audience that it is set here. Odaiba itself is a wonderful location for a day out (or a special date) with restaurants overlooking the bay, so finishing up here would be a great ending to the evening. It’s also a pretty affordable option, at only ¥620!
Closest Station: Hamamatsucho (Location)
Hours: 10:00am-8:30pm (last admission 8:00pm)
No English website
5. Shibuya Scramble Square (Shibuya)
This newly completed building is home to Shibuya Sky, an observation area 229m above Shibuya. Day-of tickets cost ¥1,800 for adults, but are about ¥200 cheaper if bought online in advance, so this is one time when it pays to be prepared. Also, all tickets are for a specified day and time, so don’t be late! Shibuya of course is a major city centre, with a little of everything, so expect to have things to do all day and night here.
Closest Station: Shibuya (Location)
Hours:9:00am-11:00pm (last admission 10:00pm)
6. Sunshine 60 (Ikebukuro)
Rebranded as Sky Circus, this is not just an observatory – it also has VR attractions, in case the skyline just isn’t enough. Also inside the same building, Sunshine City, is a popular aquarium with otters and penguins which appear to fly above you, and an indoor theme park called NamjaTown (think food stalls and kids games rather than jet coasters).
Closest station: Ikebukuro (Location)
Hours: 10:00am-10:00pm (last admission 9:00pm)
7. Tokyo Tower
While it has been overtaken by the Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Tower is still a much-loved symbol of Tokyo. The Skytree may be visible from all over Tokyo, but there’s something magical about suddenly seeing Tokyo Tower in the distance, between all the high-rise buildings. Tokyo Tower has souvenirs, a trick art museum, and even a shrine, so there’s plenty to see! It’s also located next to Shiba Koen, a park with a traditional kofun or historical burial mound in it (there’s not much to see, but it’s interesting once you know it’s there). Tickets cost ¥1,200 for the Main Deck, but go up a bit more for the Main Deck + Top Deck Tour at ¥3,000 (or ¥200 cheaper online). But what’s price when it comes to climbing a historical landmark!
Closest station: Onarimon, Akabanebashi, or Kamiyacho (Location)
Hours: Main Deck 9:00am-11:00pm (last admission 10:30pm)
Top Deck Tour 9:00am-10:45pm (last tour 10:00-10:15)