Travel period Feb 2014
Only 20-minute walk from Asakusa, the Tokyo Skytree (opened in 2012) is a television broadcasting tower and landmark of Tokyo located near Narihira Bridge and Oshiage area alongside the Sumida River.
With a height of 634 meters (634 can be read as “Musashi”, a historic name of the Tokyo Region), it is the tallest structure in Japan and the second tallest structure on earth after the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. The tower has two observation decks, one at 350 m (Tembo Deck) and one at 450 m (Tembo Galleria). Apparently on a clear day Mt Fuji can be seen from the lower deck.
The structure evokes a traditional beauty of Japan’s historic buildings with a great combination between an incredible technological advance and technology from the past. Of course, a vibration-controlling system will make the tower safe and reduce swaying from earthquake and strong wind.
Furthermore, Tembo shuttle, Japan’s fastest elevator (maximum speed 600 meters per minute) is able to transport all passengers to TOKYO SKYTREE Tembo Deck 350 meters in 50 seconds.
Tickets to the Tokyo Skytree work on a kind of time slot system. This way you don’t have to stand and wait in line for too long. First, you buy the tickets, and then you return at the time stamped on your ticket. The time between purchase and entry will depend on how many people are ahead of you.
On the day we visited, there were huge crowds of people came out to see the Tokyo Skytree. We could see the end of the line was outside of the building. As someone who does not like crowds, we found ourselves were standing in line to get the tickets.
At first, we thought the queue system in Japan always very efficient and fast, but this time that was not the case, as we got closer to the entrance of the building, we were informed it was one hour awaiting to get the tickets, plus waits another two and a half hours to be able to go up.
At that point we decided to skip the Tokyo Skytree, also we were not sure if we are able to enjoy our visit with that many crowds in front of us. We were disappointed, but pretty sure we will be back next time to take some better pictures and explore Japan’s tallest structure.
Instead, we used the time to get something to eat and explore the Tokyo Solamachi Mall located at the base of the tower.
At the base of Tokyo Skytree is Tokyo Solamachi, a huge shopping mall with lots of restaurants and shops. Well worth a visit, especially if you have some time to wait until your ticket is up. Solamachi also has a huge aquarium.
Getting to Tokyo Skytree
It was about 20-minute walk from Asakusa, or you can take Tobu (subway) Skytree line (3 minutes, 150 yen)
Opening hours: 8:00 – 22:00
Ticket price: 2,060 yen for the 350m high Tembo Deck, 1,030 yen for the 450m Tembo Galleria. The ticket counter is on the 4th floor.
Note: The information provided in this post was correct at time of publishing but may change. For final clarification please check with the relevant service.