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Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

Shinjuku's Twin Towers Observatory

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Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office is a double building of 51 floors (including 3 underground) located in the Shinjuku ward, in the Japanese capital city. The heardquarter of the metropolitan government is home to a beautiful free observatory deck, up to 243 meters of altitude and with 360° view on Tokyo and Mount Fuji when the sky is clear.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office has a panoramic observatory at the last floor of both its northern an southern towers. Inside, there is a small souvenirs store as well as a café, accessible by an elevator directly from the ground floor. It takes 55 seconds to reach the top. The observatory is located 202 meters high, at the 45 floor and offers a view on the whole Tokyo. If the weather is clear, you may also have a view on the Mount Fuji 🗻. It is one of the highest free urban observatories in Japan.

During the night, it is the occasion to shoot very nice pictures but it is hard to really realize the complete skyline of the city. During the day, it allows a better understanding of how far the city spreads and its incredible density.

The Metropolitan Building has been designed by famous architect Kenzo Tange, elevated from 1988 to 1991. It is built to better resist earthquakes such as the one from 1923, and therefore did not undergo any damages the 11th of March 2011. The two towers are 243 meters high.

First sunrise of the year

Few know about it, but the Shinjuku city hall is a privileged spot to admire the first rising sun of the year (初日の出 / hatsu hinode). Since 1995, each January 1st, from 5:30 to 7:30 am, the South observatory of the famous building opens its doors to only 600 privileged visitors.

To enroll, there is a strict procedure to follow, which reminds Kyoto Saihoji’s: one has to send a postal card with a return envelope (往復葉書 / ôfuko hagaki) including the following information:

展望室 [meaning "observatory"]
[name in roman alphabet + katakana if possible]
[phone number]
[number of people in the group - 1 to 4]

... as well as your address on the return envelope; all to be sent to the City Hall address (from Japan it costs ¥104):

日本 JAPAN [if needed]

Your mailing must be made for a receiving day in Shinjuku on December 8th at the latest, being the date of the lottery choosing the happy elected people. A response is then sent to them via their return envelope during the second half of December.

If you do not have this chance, the South and North observatories open to the public from 7:30 am the first day of the year.

⬇️ Further down this page, discover our visit guide in Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building and around.
By Kanpai Updated on May 29, 2024 Mairie de Tokyo