My Tokyo Guide
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Updated: October 6, 2023
Visible from all over the city, Tokyo Skytree has overtaken Tokyo Tower as the new symbol of the capital. A trip to the top gives you sweeping views of the metropolis and beyond; in good weather you can spot Mount Fuji looming on the horizon. At its feet is the large shopping complex Tokyo Solamachi as well as a number of interactive museums. A short walk away, you can find the retro "Shitamachi Ninjo Kirakira Tachibana Shotengai" shopping street. The Tokyo Skytree area is much more than just the tower.
For direct access to Tokyo Skytree, take the Tobu Skytree Line to Tokyo Skytree Station. You can also get to the area via Oshiage (Skytree) Station by taking one of the lines that stop there, like the Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line.
From Haneda Airport: Around one hour by shuttle bus (Skytree Shuttle) or one hour five minutes by train.
From Narita Airport: Around 90 minutes by train.
From Shinjuku Station: Around 45 minutes to Tokyo Skytree Station.
From Tokyo Station: Around 35 minutes to Tokyo Skytree Station.
Scraping the sky at 634 meters, Tokyo Skytree is visible from all over the city. When evening comes, the tower lights up in one of three colors, traditional Edo purple, gold or baby blue. Although impressive from below, the truly spectacular scenes come from above. Take the elevator to one of the two observation platforms for a bird's-eye view of the city. The Tembo Deck is at 350 meters, while the Tembo Galleria is at 450 meters. Both offer stunning views out to the horizon. Their glass floor sections give you views straight down—not for the faint-hearted.
At the Skytree Round Theater you can enjoy images and visuals projected onto the night view on a 2 m high panoramic screen. If you are unlucky with the weather, put on one of the virtual reality headsets. Tickets for the Tembo Deck (350 m high) or both the Tembo Deck and Tembo Galleria (450 m high) are available. Depending on the time and season, walk-up tickets may be available at the ticket office, but it's a good idea to purchase advance tickets online to ensure a smooth visit.
If you also plan to visit the Sumida Aquarium or Konica Minolta Planetarium Tenku then you can purchase a combination ticket called “Sky Tree Enjoy Pack.”
After you come down from the lofty heights of the Tokyo Skytree observation decks, you'll find plenty to enjoy at Tokyo Skytree Town, a shopping and entertainment complex which includes the Tokyo Solamachi shopping plaza, a world-class aquarium, and a planetarium.
Tokyo Solamachi is home to over 300 shops and restaurants featuring modern fashion, accessories, established Japanese brands, and a wide range of original souvenirs. If you're a fan of Japanese characters, you'll find all your favorites here. Drop into the Studio Ghibli, Pokemon, Hello Kitty and Ultraman stores for limited-edition items. For snacks on the go, pick up some traditional Japanese sweets, or sit down to some seriously sumptuous Japanese cuisine. You can also choose from eel, tempura and monja-yaki—a Tokyo savory pancake with meat and vegetables.
Sumida Aquarium occupies the 5th and 6th floors of the West Yard of Tokyo Skytree Town. You can observe penguins and fur seals in one of Japan’s largest indoor pool tanks, which holds about 350 tons of water, walk through the magical jellyfish tunnel, and enjoy one of Japan’s largest goldfish exhibits. The aquarium also brings visitors closer to the ocean world of the Ogasawara Islands, Tokyo’s only World Natural Heritage site, with the Water’s Blessing Tokyo Tank, home to a wide range of fish from different species, including grey nurse sharks and stingrays.
Finish off your day of adventure with a relaxing look at the starry sky at the Konica Minolta Planetarium Tenku in Tokyo Skytree Town.
Tokyo Mizumachi (“Water Town”) is a commercial complex under elevated railroad tracks, divided into two zones (West and East), with a variety of shops and dining options. If you’re in the Asakusa area, you can cross the river using the Sumida River Walk to get to Tokyo Mizumachi and Tokyo Skytree Town. Next to the Tokyo Mizumachi West Zone you will also find Sumida Park, a perfect photo spot for scenic views of Tokyo Skytree, and cherry blossoms in the spring.
While Tokyo Skytree and Tokyo Solamachi might be gleaming examples of modern Japan, their location in the old shitamachi downtown area of Tokyo means the surrounding landscape is one of retro charm and prewar nostalgia.
Wander down the shopping street of Shitamachi Ninjo Kirakira Tachibana Shotengai and browse some of the 90 shops, many selling food-related products. Expect an extra level of bustle if you are here on the fourth Sunday of the month, since the popular morning market draws large crowds. Continue your trip back in time with a visit to the Tobu Museum of Transport and Culture. Experience what it’s like to be a driver in the train or bus simulator. For a different museum experience all together, drop by the Tobacco and Salt Museum. The audio guide will give you a detailed insight into the history of these two products which have been at the heart of human culture for centuries.