Every country has its own landmarks. For Japan, one of the most popular one is Tokyo Tower, the highest tower in Japan back then. In 2012, another tower was built and instantly attract tourists’ attention. Tokyo Skytree it is. How do we see these two Japan’s prides?
For those who love watching Japanese doramas, movies or variety shows, you may see this tower countless time. Built in 1958, Tokyo Tower became the highest tower in Japan with 333 meters high. At a glance, its shape looks similar to Eiffel Tower in Paris. No wonder, because the architect of Tokyo Tower, Taichu Naitokanan, was inspired by that Paris’ Iron Lady.
Tokyo Tower is located in Minato, Tokyo. The closest train station is Akabanebashi of Toei Oedo Line. Prepare yourself to climb a small hill to get there. Below this tower, there is a 5-stair building with many souvenir shops. You can buy almost everything Japan-related things here. You can even find merchandise of your favorite idols! Well, of course those are unofficial ones 😀
This tower has two observatories, the main and special one. But if you fear of height, it is really ok just to see the tower, take pictures, and look around the souvenir shops. But we think, for the first-time Tokyo visitor, it is a must to go to this tourist attraction. Kindly look up its operational hours and ticket price on tokyotower.co.jp.
Another icon of Japan capital city is Tokyo Skytree. This tower is now as the highest tower in Japan with 634 meters high.
Compared to Tokyo Tower, Skytree is more sophisticated in terms of design and facilities. Tambo Deck, the main observatory, has many touch screen maps that equipped with detailed information about the surrounding objects or areas. As it is located on the 350 floor, there are four elevators that will bring you up. Interestingly, those elevators was designed to show the four seasons of Japan. Smart strategy to distract visitors from awkwardly standing inside the elevators for more than 3 minutes :p
The price we need to pay for enjoying those facilities are no kidding. For
cheapskate limited-budget travelers like us, we found the ticket is very expensive. Foreign visitors must pay hundreds yen more than local tourists. This includes fast track, though. You may check its official website for detailed information.
The easiest way to go to Tokyo Skytree is by taking Tobu Skytree Line, a special subway line provided. Alternatively, you can walk from Asakusa while enjoying the view of Sumida River (think it will be great during spring).
Actually, Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree are both attractive especially for Japan’s first-time visitor. If you have time, please also have a look on them during night time!
What: Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree
Where: Tokyo, Japan [map]
How to go: Tokyo Tower Akabanebashi (A21) of Oedo Line; Tokyo Skytree Station of Tobu Skytree Line, or Oshiage Station (A20) of Toei Asakusa Line
How much: Tokyo Tower ¥900-1600, Tokyo Skytree ¥2060 (reduced price for children)