Tokyo Skytree Guide: 7 Best Things To Do!

tokyo skytree guide

Have you heard about the Tokyo Skytree or 東京スカイツリ? This magnificent tower has become an iconic fixture of the Tokyo skyline since it opened in 2012. Standing at over 2,080 feet (634 meters) tall, it’s one of the tallest structures in the world! If you’re looking for a Tokyo Skytree guide that will let you navigate this spot like a real local, then you’ve landed on the right post!

You see, I spent a year in Tokyo as an exchange English language teacher under the JET Programme. During my time living in the city, I visited the Tokyo Skytree countless times – with visiting friends and family, on dates, and even just by myself when I needed some breathing room from the frenetic city streets. Over many trips up to the observation decks, meals in Skytree Town, and long walks along the Sumida River right near the tower, I really got to know the ins and outs of navigating this attraction.

Through this Tokyo Skytree guide, I want to provide fellow travelers and expats with all my accumulated tips and knowledge. Whether you just want to snap that perfect Instagram skyline pic or really immerse yourself in the culture of the Asakusa neighborhood, I’ve got you covered! I’ll also go over some survival Japanese words for total beginners in the Japanese language.

So without further ado, let’s begin!


Tokyo Sky Tree is the highest radio tower, 634m high, in Japan. Tokyo Tower is beautiful, but the sky tree is also a great place to see the full Tokyo view. #japantrip2023 #japantravelguide #japantraveltips #japanhiddengem #wisatajepang #tokyotrip2023

♬ 春よ、来い(「春よ、来い」より)harp version – Kyoto Harp Ensemble

What Is Tokyo Sky Tree?

The Tokyo Skytree is a television and radio broadcast tower and landmark in Tokyo, Japan. At 2,080 feet tall, it is the tallest tallest man-made structure in Japan. Still can’t imagine the tallness? Simply put, it’s the second tallest building in the world – after the 829.8 meter-tall Burj Khalifa in Dubai!

The Skytree was completed in February 2012 by Tobu Railway and a large Japanese broadcasting company. Its name comes from the way it tapers upwards, resembling the shape of a traditional five-storied pagoda depicted in East Asian art. The tower was designed with traditional Japanese architectural aesthetics in mind, invoking the look of older temple and shrine buildings while still being firmly futuristic.

The Skytree has two observation decks that offer incredible panoramic views of Tokyo: The Tembo Deck and the Tembo Galleria.

Tokyo Skytree: Tembo Deck

The lower observation deck stands at 1,148 feet (350 meters) high and spans three full floors connected by a gently sloped spiral ramp. Huge glass picture windows offer incredible panoramic views out across the Tokyo cityscape. On clear days, you can even see Fuji-san framed through the windows!

The middle floor houses both a souvenir shop filled with Skytree merchandise and the Musashi Sky Restaurant. This elegant dining option with white tablecloths serves French-Japanese fusion cuisine paired with sublime views across the Tokyo skyline from every table.

Additionally, the Tembo Deck features the famous glass floor on its lowest level! Stroll out onto this transparent surface directly above ground and get that trending skywalk picture. The glass floor makes you feel like you’re floating over Tokyo – an awesome yet slightly scary Instagrammable experience!

Tokyo Skytree: Tembo Galleria

Traveling even higher up inside the sweeping steel framework of the Tokyo Skytree, the upper Tembo Galleria observation deck sits 1,475 feet (450 meters) in the air. Once you exit the secondary bank of elevators, a vaulted glass ceiling lets natural light flood the interior as you spiral upwards along a gently rising ramp for a panoramic view of Tokyo!

I will say – if you have a fear of heights, the Tembo Galleria may not be for you! Standing almost 1,500 feet in the air with glass walls and ceilings can cause acrophobia to flare up. However, if heights don’t bother you and you want to get to Sorakara Point, then ascending to the Galleria is a must!

The Sorakara Point at the very top of the spiraling ramp offers the highest vantage point for views at 1,524 feet up. Peer out floor-to-ceiling glass windows or use provided digital telescopes for zoomed-in scenery. Trust me – the panoramic views up here are truly unparalleled.

tokyo skytree guide on what to do

Things To Do At Tokyo Skytree

Soaring high above the bustling city streets, the Tokyo Skytree offers far more than just breathtaking views. This towering icon is practically a complex unto itself with all that its steel framework and the surrounding Skytree Town development have to offer.

In this section, I want to go over some of the best, most fun, and only-here things there are to experience when you visit this incredible structure. Sure, you could just ride the ultra-fast elevators up and down to get a few pictures from the observation decks. But why not truly immerse yourself and make memories that you couldn’t have anywhere else?

Tokyo Skytree Town

At the base of the Tokyo Skytree lies a vibrant shopping and dining complex known as Tokyo Skytree Town. This mega mall forms the lower levels of the Skytree structure and also spreads out into surrounding plaza areas and connected buildings.

Skytree Town essentially serves as a destination unto itself, featuring hundreds of stores, over 30 restaurants, an aquarium, and more, all packed together. Visitors could spend hours browsing through anime goods shops, global fashion boutiques, Kawaii character stores, traditional Japanese handicraft stalls, and duty-free import brands under one roof.

For hungry shoppers, Skytree Town boasts East meets West dining choices, from casual food court eateries to nicer table service venues. Since I worked in the Sumida area, this complex became my go-to spot to grab dinner after work. You can find lots of different food items at various budget levels here. Grab a hearty bowl of tsukemen at the noodle bar Rokurinsha or splurge on an epic donut feast at Misdo (or Mister Donut).

A trip to the Tokyo Skytree definitely warrants pulling out your camera or phone to capture plenty of photos and memories. This iconic landmark practically begs to have its picture taken with the sleek steel lines and panoramic views it offers.

There are numerous stunning photo moments and ops both within and outside the tower itself:

Exterior Pictures

  • Base perspectives – get low for dramatic angles looking up the sweeping curve
  • Asakusa shots – framed by old temples and shrines
  • River scenes – horizontal symmetry across the Sumida River
  • Fun poses – foreground interest with giant “supports”

Observation Deck Vistas

  • Cityscape pics through Tembo Deck windows
  • Overhead architectural images under Tembo Galleria glass ceiling
  • Zoomed scenes using deck telescopes
  • Tall group shots with views behind

Other Photo Spots

  • Skytree light shows at night
  • Solamachi shopping plazas
  • Food stall market eats

With so many possibilities across all times of day, you’ll want to bring an extra camera battery and memory cards! Use the tips above to guarantee gorgeous travel photos.

Tokyo Skytree Post

Want memories from your Tokyo Skytree visit to share with friends and family worldwide? Look for the bright red post box emblazoned with Skytree logos on the Tembo Deck’s 345th floor.

This dedicated mailing spot lets you send postcards and letters stamped with official Tokyo Skytree postmarks right from the tower itself! Once posted from the heights of this global icon, your mail then wends its way down to the Solamachi Mall post office on the first floor before being delivered.

The postbox sits alongside a small postal counter selling Skytree-themed stationery, postcards, stickers, stamp booklets, and more. Choose from pre-made cards showcasing cool Skytree photos, reusable envelope sets, and blank postcards to decorate yourself.

Stamps come in regular ¥70 and ¥90 denominations for overseas posts. Affix some stamps onto your purchased postcards, write out your notes, and then proudly drop them in the tower-shaped mailbox! Attendants will later hand-cancel everything with the commemorative Tokyo Skytree postmark.

Tokyo Skytree Window Cleaning

Looking straight down from over 1,000 feet up on the Tokyo Skytree’s observation decks, you’ll doubtless notice smudges marring the otherwise epic views. But don’t worry! Regular window cleaning maintenance helps keep the panoramas optimally crystal clear.

Waiting to spot crews rappelling down the Skytree exterior in harnesses to squeegee the structure’s huge glass facades makes for prime entertainment. This daring cleaning process tends to occur on weekday mornings before the tower opens to visitors.

As the trained workers descend down the steel sides, they’ll pause to vigorously scrub stubborn spots. All while dangling hundreds of meters in midair! Camera phones instantly turn their way to document the nerve-racking sights.

No one envies the slippery task these mountaineering housekeepers undertake. Yet as visitors signal approval seeing clean windows emerge in real-time, the cleaners wave back cheerily. They know keeping the Skytree shiny maximizes sightseeing enjoyment for all.

Tokyo Skytree Illumination

As wondrous as views from the Tokyo Skytree are by day, the tower puts on an even more dazzling show after dark. As night falls, prepare to be stunned by the structure’s dynamic full-color LED illumination system.

Installed at the start of 2022, over 16,000 bulbous lights now festoon the exterior steel latticework of the Skytree. Sweeping light displays shift in palette and pattern each evening, transitioning through diverse designs after dusk.

As the seasons changed, so would the Skytree’s colorful illumination. Delicate pinks and purples for springtime cherry blossoms, vibrant rainbow pulses during Pride week – they have displays for all kinds of Japanese festivities and global events. It’s amazing how they program over 16,000 LED bulbs!

I’ll admit, I loved witnessing the Tokyo Skytree transforms into an epic shining beacon every dusk because well, I’m directionally challenged, alright? After inevitably getting lost wandering Asakusa’s winding backstreets looking for restaurants or izakayas, I’d always scan the horizon for that familiar tower. Its lights never failed to guide me home no matter where I found myself, my own personal 634-meter tall nightlight.

Tokyo Skytree Shop

It’s easy to get overwhelmed shopping the madness of stores and people swarming Skytree Town under the tower. But when the sensory overload hits and you just want to grab the perfect Skytree keepsake, head straight for their official Tokyo Skytree Gift Shop up on the 1st and 345th floors.

This is THE spot focusing solely on stuff featuring the tower’s actual logo and images. We’re talking an endless array of mugs, t-shirts, anime figurines, jewelry, towels, totes – you name it. If it’s got a picture of Japan’s tallest structure printed on the front, back, or side, you’ll find it at the Skytree Gift Shop.

I’ll admit, I built up quite a Skytree swag collection after getting gifts there for visiting friends and family over my year living in Tokyo. But hey, it’s hard to resist all the creative souvenirs they offer. My favorite shirt has a colorful cityscape with a tiny Godzilla clutching up one side of the tower! Combine pop culture and iconic architecture for a winning combo. And everything comes beautifully packaged for transport too – so easy.

Tokyo Skytree Cafe

Trying to find a place to recharge after hours exploring the Skytree complex can seem impossible with the swarms of people everywhere. When the hanger hits, make a beeline for one of the tower’s own Skytree Cafes up on the 340th to 350th floors. Talk about incredible views to go with your coffee!

Posting up at a table beside the floor-to-ceiling windows, I’d gaze out over Tokyo while munching cream puffs or sipping at matcha lattes. The menu runs the gamut from noodle bowls to sweets – perfect to refuel mid-adventure. Gotta respect how they get all the ingredients hauled up to run a full-service spot over 1,000 feet in the clouds!

Between the sleek modern interiors and acoustic guitar softly playing overhead, the Skytree Cafes let you decompress from sightseeing crowds. Pro tip, though – they are kinda overpriced, even for Japan. But in my opinion, the unparalleled views totally justify paying that sky-high premium once in awhile!

Japanese Phrases For The Tokyo Skytree

Tokyo Skytree Guide

Want to really get an insider’s perspective on Japan’s tallest tower? Here are the answers to the most common questions related to the Tokyo Skytree.

Where To Buy Tokyo Skytree Tickets?

With over 6 million annual visitors, securing your Tokyo Skytree tickets early is key to avoiding long lines. Especially on weekends, holiday periods, and peak spring and fall travel times, advanced booking is highly recommended.

Fortunately, purchasing passes for the Skytree Tembo Deck and upper Tembo Galleria observation decks is simple from multiple convenient channels:

Online Purchase

The easiest route, head to the official Tokyo Skytree website to book e-tickets in advance. Select your desired date and time slot for entry. Have your confirmation barcode ready on your phone to scan onsite.

Lawson Ticket Machines

At any of the ubiquitous Japanese Lawson’s convenience store locations, use the Loppi ticketing kiosks. Here you can retrieve prepaid Skytree passes as well.

Skytree Ticket Counters

On the day of your visit, you can buy tickets in person from either of the tower’s two ticketing centers on the 4th floor and basement concourse. As a note, though, please expect longer waits to buy onsite.

How Much Do Tokyo Skytree Tickets Cost?

The Tokyo Skytree offers three primary categories of timed entry tickets at different price points:

Advance Tickets

Purchase online up to 30 days prior to the visit:

  • Combo Ticket with Tembo Galleria + Tembo Deck – ¥2,700
  • Tembo Deck only – ¥1,800

Same-Day Tickets

Purchase in person at ticket offices on site:

  • Combo Ticket with Tembo Galleria + Tembo Deck – ¥3,100
  • Tembo Deck only – ¥2,100

Skytree Enjoy Pack

Special combo deals include Skytree tickets plus entry to another Tokyo attraction like Asakusa sightseeing or a Sumida River cruise. Prices vary based on the season and specific experiences available.

How To Go To Tokyo Skytree?

The Tokyo Skytree stands impressively along the Sumida River in the bustling Asakusa district of Tokyo. With its central location and Tokyo Metro subway access, getting to the base of Japan’s tallest tower proves straightforward from most points around the city.

By Train

The Tobu Skytree Line connects to the Asakusa, Ginza, and Hibiya metro subway lines at Asakusa Station. From here, ride just one quick stop to Tokyo Skytree Station in under 5 minutes. Step outside straight into Skytree Town!

Alternatively, use the Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line to reach Oshiage Station, another portal right into the Skytree complex underground. Transfers work from the Ginza, Chiyoda, Yurakucho, Shinjuku, and Fukutoshin lines here.

By Asakusa Tour Bus

For easier connections from farther-flung neighborhoods, various daily tourist bus routes drop off right at Tokyo Skytree. Buses depart from hotels in Asakusa as well as Tokyo Station, Shinjuku, and Tokyo Disney Resort.

On Foot

If staying nearby, walking from Asakusa area hotels or hostels only takes about 15-20 minutes through atmospheric local streets before glimpsing Skytree. From scratched Edo-era storefronts to glittering modern malls, enjoy contrasting scenes.

What Time Does The Tokyo Skytree Open?

As a popular tourist attraction, the Tokyo Skytree’s observation decks maintain a reliable regular schedule to best serve visitors:

Standard Hours

  • Tembo Deck: 8am-9pm daily (until 10pm certain peak periods)
  • Tembo Galleria: 9am-9pm daily

Last Admissions

Make sure to enter the Tembo Deck and Tembo Galleria decks no later than 30 minutes and 15 minutes before stated closing times, respectively. Last elevator admissions are strictly upheld.

Seasonal Hours

During the busy Golden Week holiday period in early May annually, as well as longer summer and fall travel seasons, operating hours are extended. Both observation decks open an hour earlier, at 7 am, and run as late as 10 pm, anticipating heavier crowds.

Nighttime Hours

For special night viewing, spring and summer sometimes see weekend Tembo Deck hours extend from 10 pm to 11 pm when sunlight allows for dusk colors. Illumination light shows run year-round after dark.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Tokyo Skytree?

With over 6 million annual visitors, the tourist crowds at Tokyo Skytree can become immense, especially on weekends and holidays. Lines of over 2 hours just to buy tickets are not uncommon! By planning your visit strategically during optimal times, you’ll beat the rush.

Take advantage of these tips for ideal times to visit for shorter queues, cheaper tickets, and better views:

Weekday Mornings

Aim to arrive soon after opening on Monday through Friday mornings. You’ll encounter mostly just fellow travelers rather than hordes of weekend crowds.

Summer Evenings

July and August see the longest lines in peak afternoon hours when heat bakes the Tembo Deck lines. But summer nights after 6 pm bring discounted ticket rates, cooler conditions, and gorgeous dusk colors over Tokyo. Stick around for the illuminated tower light show!

Off-Peak Fall & Winter

Avoid Japanese domestic travel rush periods like the O-Bon summer holiday and New Year’s. October through February (minus Christmas) offer lighter attendance and crisper visibility for famous Mount Fuji backdrops behind Tokyo. Brisk conditions warrant warming snacks and hot drinks from Skytree Town’s shops though!

Japanese Phrases For The Tokyo Skytree

Visiting the Tokyo Skytree offers plenty of situations to try out your conversational Japanese skills with staff and locals. Prepare these key travel phrases to navigate your towering trek smoothly:

English PhraseJapanese (Kanji/Hiragana)Japanese Pronunciation (Romaji)
Two tickets, please.二枚くださいNi-mai kudasai
Please give me the Tembo Deck and Galleria set.天望デックと天望ギャラリーアセットをくださいTembo dekku to tembo gyareriā setto o kudasai
Excuse me, which way is the Tembo Deck?すみません、天望デックはどちらですか?Sumimasen, tembo dekku wa dochira desu ka?
Please tell me how to get there.選び方を教えてくださいErabikata o oshiete kudasai
I would like rice balls, please.おにぎりくださいO-nigiri kudasai
One water please.水を一つくださいMizu o hitotsu kudasai
I would like to wrap this as a gift.これを包みたいのですがKore o tsutsumitai no desu ga
How much is this t-shirt?このシャツはどのぐらいですか?Kono shatsu wa dono gurai desu ka?
Please call an ambulance.救急車を呼んでくださいKyu-kyu-sha o yonde kudasai
Thank you very much.ありがとうございましたArigatou gozaimashita
You’ve worked hard.お疲れ様でしたOtsukaresama deshita

Ready To Strike A Pose At The Tokyo Skytree?

So there you have it – a fully comprehensive guide to the must-see Tokyo Skytree. From navigating the tower complex and public transit access to insider tips on tickets, illuminations, shopping, and dining, you’re now prepped like a pro!

Over 2,000+ feet of modern architecture and engineering await your explorations. Plan to spend a full day immersed in all the attractions, exhibits, and hidden elements that make visiting this global icon such a unique Tokyo experience. Trust me, you’ll make memories to last a lifetime up in the clouds.

And take it from me, having conversational Japanese skills will further enrich your travels around Tokyo and interactions with locals! Ling is a handy app for quickly picking up key phrases and vocab prior to a visit. Go give it a try and kampei to new adventures at the incredible Tokyo Skytree!

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