Scramble Square Tower’s outdoor observation deck
Shibuya Sky is an outdoor observation deck on the top of Scramble Square Tower, at the exit of Shibuya Station in Tokyo. Standing 229 meter above sea-level, it offers an exciting new panorama on the surroundings and especially on the famous Shibuya Crossing. The ultra-modern amenities were carefully thought to provide the best experience of admiring the capital from above.
Shibuya Scramble Square was inaugurated on November 1, 2019, after five years of construction. The forty-seven-story building, towering above Shibuya JR Station, is the highest in the neighborhood. The architectural design of this new glass building is a skillful combination of straight lines and curves, with a vegetal wall and a giant screen inserted in its facade, in a characteristic exuberance contrasting with the neighboring Hikarie and Stream.
The extravagant tower
Scramble Square Tower’s first floors shelter a vast 32,000m² temple to consumerism, with a large choice of restaurants, fashionable boutiques and spaces for entertainment. The large range of shops and retailers is sure to cater to any visitors’ needs. Everything has been designed to make people forget about the passage of time.
Most of the floors, from the 17th to the 45th, however are reserved for offices. For companies wishing to recruit the best profiles, the address is attractive as it means working in brand new offices in the heart of the capital.
An observatory divided into three spaces
You will have to reach the top floor to discover the highlight of the visit: about 230 meters high, Shibuya Sky Observatory seems to float above the city. The path to the outdoor observation deck was cleverly split into three different zones, with various amenities taking the view on Tokyo to a next level. A delicate task, as expectations were high given the expensive entrance fee.
#1: The entrance through the Sky Gate
At Sky Scramble’s ground floor, take a lift to the Sky Gate, the first transition level located at the 14th floor, where you will find the booths to buy your tickets. The wide glass panels already provide a great view on trains 🚅 in the underneath station.
#2: The Sky Gallery’s indoor corridor
You will then line up to go to Sky Gallery, a second area dedicated to the observatory and located on the 46th floor of the tower. While going up, visitors are prepared to reach the sky, in an intersidereal-like voyage rendered by light beams and ceiling built-in screens.
This second zone is totally indoor, air-conditioned, with large glass panels to enjoy the view under any weather condition. The dark walls emphasize the place’s modern and hushed aspects. Visitors can also enjoy services like a small restaurant and a cozy lounge inviting to a peaceful contemplation.
As for the panorama, the view on Shibuya Crossing and its continual traffic and pedestrian ballet is particularly emphasized. In addition, it is possible to circle around the building and have a 360° view on Tokyo.
#3: The open-air panorama at Sky Stage
The last space, named Sky Stage, is certainly the most exhilarating of the three, located just above Sky Gallery, on Scramble Square’s roof. Spectators are transported by escalators to a 2,500m² outdoor panoramic observatory, one of the largest of its kind in Japan. Before that however, it is necessary to leave one’s belongings to a ¥100 (~US$0.91) locker room, except for a camera 📷 and a wind-proof jacket.
The magic happens as soon as outdoor is reached and a spectacular endless view opens. Well-designed transparent security barriers enhance the feeling of lightness that arises when moving around the platform. One can almost forget the void and the altitude.
A last short escalator brings visitors to the "top" of the tower. Observatory amateurs will be pleased by the numerous equipment set to create an unforgettable visit. Among them are:
- The "soothing" green of a synthetic lawn, in the middle of the area, also used as a helicopter airstrip. Slightly raising above the rest of the facility, it offers the most unobstructed view;
- On the eastern side, a cozy corridor, furnished with tables and comfortable sofas, is the ideal place to enjoy the view on Roppongi, Tokyo Tower and the New National Stadium built for Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Powerful vertical spotlights illuminate the nightly sky with light beams. And,
- The hammocks on the western facade are the best place to observe the stars whilst comfortably lying down.
The northern and southern sides offer a more conventional view on Shinjuku’s wide skyline. On the north-east is a specific arrangement named Sky Edge, where varying colors floor spotlights highlight visitors posing for a picture. People are queuing up to experience a short magical moment in this aerial space.
A symbol of Shibuya’s renewal, as the district has been in a constant evolution for several years, Scramble Square Tower defines a new standard in terms of observatories in Tokyo. Its Shibuya Sky offers a freshening way of contemplating the capital.