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Jan 5, 2013

東京スカイツリー Visiting the Tokyo Sky Tree

We finally made it to Tokyo Sky Tree.


Opened on May 22 last year, this 634-meter-tall structure is the world's tallest free-standing broadcasting tower.
Ever since its opening, it has attracted so many, soooo many visitors.  Within 100 days, 1,620,000 people went up to Tembo Deck, an observatory 350 meters high.   Number rises to 16,660,000 if you include those who just visited the premises, within 100 days, that is! 


 Why is the tower 634 meters tall?  It was an intentional pun.  The number can be pronounced "mu sa shi" in Japanese and "Musashi" is the old name for the Tokyo area.  So, it is very suitable for this Tokyo's new landmark.


It has two observatories, 350-meter-high Tembo Deck, and 450-meter-high Tembo Galleria.  You first get a ticket for Tembo Deck and then, at Tembo Deck, you can get a ticket for Tembo Galleria.


We knew people have to wait in a long line to get tickets, so we got web tickets in advance.  But it means we are leaving it to chance whether we have a gorgeous night view or we just find ourselves in thick clouds.

当日の天気予報は雨。結構ガックリしていましたが、なんと、晴れました!     \(^o^)/

But we were lucky.  Although the forecast said it would rain that night, it was a clear night. \(^o^)/


The entrance is on the fourth floor.

When you come so close to the tower, it IS soaring!


We waited for the elevator, but maybe it was only for 10 minutes. 


The elevator brought us to Tembo Deck in 50 seconds.  It was surprisingly smooth and quiet.  I didn't feel we were going up at all.


But when the elevator door opened,  I was looking at......


I wish I could have taken better pictures.  It was much more beautiful than these.  I saw the Sumida river, the Arakawa river, bright bridges, boats, cars, lights, lights, lights, and dark Tokyo bay beyond.  

They display this folding screen of 1809, "Edo hitome zu byobu" by Kuwagata Keisai. The drawing is surprisingly similar to the view from the Tembo Deck, as if he was standing here on the deck and looking at the city of Edo.   

富士山と江戸城、霞が関 Mt. Fuji, Edo castle and Kasumigaseki

隅田川にかかる橋(現在の吾妻橋)とその向こうに浅草寺 Sumida-river, the bridge and Sensoji temple

I'm surprised how accurate he was on this drawing.  Was he a bird?


We went up to the 450-meter-high Tembo Galleria.


I'm glad I could go up there.  
Next time, I want to be there in the daytime, hopefully on a sunny day when I can see Mt. Fuji.


At the Skytree Shop, I found this nice and convenient bag.


It has a map around Tokyo Sky tree.  Isn't this useful?


Their mascots were all in the New Year's mood;
 Sorakara chan with star-shaped hair
Teppen-pen, a penguin girl of today's Tokyo
Sukoburu-buru, a bulldog in old Shitamachi 
Don't we Japanese love mascots?

にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 国際交流へ


Rurousha said...

Wheee! Sky Tree!!!

Did you see me waving at you from this apartment?! :D

I still haven't been up there, but I've been taking photographs of this tower from every possible direction in the last few days. Phew, I've been walking!

One day ...

PS: Kuwagata's print is amazing!

Merry Witch said...


Yes, I saw you at your apartment window. Did YOU see me waving at YOU? (^_-)-☆

Can we see your photographs of the tower from a lot of different directions? That will be interesting. You are really lucky you can see the tower every day!

Minoru Saito said...


Dru said...

Sky Tree looks lovely at night. I still haven't been there at night yet. Just observing it from the park near my place.

If you look at the 16 million, I must have counted for at least 3 of those people. It's such a short ride to get there. Love the fact that I can get free bike parking too. ^^

Ru: I wonder if we'll even visit the tower. We live so close that it sometimes becomes "I can go anytime, so maybe next time" sorta thing. That and the crowds just won't die down enough.

Merry Witch said...



Merry Witch said...

You ride your bike to the tower? Free bike parking? You, like Rurousha, are very, very lucky!

You were there three times in the first 100 days! It's no surprise, though. The premises are so huge, and just one visit this time wasn't certainly enough to make me feel I know the place.

The crowd at Solamachi was too much. Not so bad at the observatories though, in case you feel "I have to be up there, TODAY!!" (^_-)

Rurousha said...

Merry Witch, I've published so many photos of Sky Tree that I'm a bit hesitant to do another post! Maybe I should start another blog devoted exclusively to Sky Tree? ^^

Dru, the crowds scare me, but you're right, it's also a case of "tomorrow is another day".

Heh. It's like unrequited love: I'm yearning from afar ... :D

Merry Witch said...

We always enjoy your photos of Sky Tree. Sky Tree in Christmas color, Sky Tree with your champagne glass, Sky Tree with temples... (^^) So, don't hesitate to do more post on Sky Tree.

I think the Japanese government should appoint you as a Sky Tree Goodwill Ambassador. \(^o^)/