Appreciate astonishing views of the dramatic Tokyo skyline from the observation decks located in the building that houses Tokyo’s local government offices.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is one of the most striking buildings in Tokyo’s Shinjuku ward, towering high above the buildings immediately surrounding it. Look up at the two towers of this imposing skyscraper and decide which one to ascend. Each tower has an observation deck offering sweeping views of the city.
Construction of the building began in 1988, during an economic boom in Japan, and it was completed in 1991. Standing 797 feet (243 meters) high and including 48 stories, this was the tallest building in Tokyo for many years. In 2007 it lost this title to the higher Midtown Tower, which was itself surpassed in height by the Toranomon Hills in 2014. Visit the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building’s vast towers today, however, and you will see it is still every bit as impressive as it was in its early days.
The building is the hub of government for the Tokyo metropolitan area. In addition, it is a major tourist attraction due to the observation decks housed in its two main towers. The north and south observation decks are both located on the 45th level. Look out from the observation decks on a clear day and you may be able to see Mount Fuji, the Tokyo Tower, the Tokyo Dome and many other iconic landmarks.
Stop for a break at one of the building’s cafés after enjoying the city views. A café offering drinks is available in each of the two observatories.
Note that the north observatory stays open late into the night, and the café here is converted to a bar after dark, creating a very atmospheric place for an evening cocktail. The south observatory keeps normal business hours, making it a daytime-only option.
Access the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building by taking the subway to the Tocho-mae Station, which is conveniently located in the building’s basement. You can also walk to the building from the JR Shinjuku station, which is located about 10 to 15 minutes away on foot. The observation decks are both free to visit.