Complete Guide to Tokyo Tower!

Tokyo Panorama Places to visit in Tokyo

The famous red and white colored Tokyo Tower is one of Tokyo’s most iconic structures, serving as an active broadcasting facility as well as a tourist hotspot. The 333-meters tall tower, with a design inspired the the Eiffel Tower in Paris, was completed in 1958 when the city was in need of a large broadcasting tower. Nowadays it is a popular spot to visit mainly because of its skyline views. Even though Tokyo Tower is still an active broadcasting antenna, the new Tokyo Skytree took over as main broadcasting. Tokyo Tower attracts attracts a large number of tourists, welcoming 3 million visitors each year since its construction. In the article we will explain everything you need to know about Tokyo, including some great photo spots!

tokyo skyline

History of Tokyo Tower

The history of the iconic tower dates back to the early 1950’s, when television broadcasting started in Japan. Thanks to the rapid economic growth that Japan experienced at that time, more people could afford to buy TVs to enjoy watching it at home and a better broadcasting service was needed. To avoid transmission troubles that could be possibly caused by tall buildings in Tokyo, the new tower had to be much taller than other structures, which resulted in the tallest structure in Japan at that time at a height of 333 meters. In 2012, the tower was surpassed by one of Tokyo’s other iconic structures: Tokyo Skytree, but until today, Tokyo Tower is the second tallest tower in the country.

Every five years the red and white of Tokyo Tower is repainted, a process taking up one year. Occasionally, Tokyo Tower’s lighting is changed to specific arrangements for special events too, see more about the lighting of Tokyo Tower below.

Tokyo Tower night

Best Tokyo skyline views from the observation decks

Tokyo Tower has two observation decks which are called Main Deck (150m) and Top Deck (250m), from which you can enjoy the panoramic view of Tokyo’s impressive skyline.

Tokyo Tower Main Deck (150 m)

The Main Deck is a lower observation deck located 150 meters high above the sea level. It consists of two floors which offer a range of facilities and experiences. Get a thrilling experience at Skywalk Window which allows visitors to look down 145 meters straight through a glass floor. Pay a visit to Great Shinto Shrine of the Tower which is situated at the highest point among the all shrines in Tokyo! Relax at Café La Tour before heading to a gift shop The SKY to purchase some memorable gifts! From the Main Deck you can take a high-speed elevator from here that takes you to the Top Deck in 45 seconds! 

Height: 150 meters
Highlight: Skywalk Window (Glass Floor)
Needed time: ~30 min
Facilities: restaurant, cafe, restrooms, gift shop

View from Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Tower Top Deck (250m)

The Top Deck is a special observation deck that fascinates visitors with a stunning view of the metropolitan city. You need to join a Top Deck Tour to enter the luxurious space from which you can enjoy the great view with some extra welcoming services. The interior of the deck is fabulously decorated with mirrors, creating an amazing world perfectly matches the panoramic view. An audio guide, available in 13 languages, helps you get a better understanding of the city and the tower itself while immersing yourself in the cityscape of Tokyo, floating in the sky!

Height: 250 meters
Time: 30 min
Facilities: restrooms, photo service, welcome drinks, audio guide, photo shoot service
Note: Reservation is required

Special Lighting up Events at Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Tower is known for the light-ups that change frequently displaying different themes and designs. There are two major light-ups that welcome visitors with an impressive appearance of the tower dressed with bright illuminations!  

Basic Light-up: Landmark Light

Landmark Light is a regular light-up that show visitors different light patterns in summer and winter. The tower is set with 180 LEDs that brightly light up the whole tower on the weekdays from Monday to Thursday. You can enjoy the winter version from the early October when the lights turn warm colors such as red and orange! In the summer, the lights shine with a cooler teint of red and white.

New Light-up (2020): Infinity Diamond Veil

Infinity Diamond Veil is a new illumination that just started in 2020 to celebrate the arrival of the new era Reiwa in Japan. The tower gets illuminated with 268 LEDs that frequently change the color, creating an endless range of designs and light patterns. Visitors can enjoy different light patterns for each month based on 12 different colors, and the color also changes every hour! 

In addition to these ‘normal’ illuminations, there are specific arrangements for special events including National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Christmas and recently there has been a special illumination for the corona pandemic too.

Tokyo Tower illumination

How to get to Tokyo Tower

There are several stations that are located near Tokyo Tower. Here are simple directions from each station to get there:

  1. Akabanebashi Station – exit Akabanebashi Gate
    ~5 min walk
  2. Kamiyacho Station – exit 1
    ~7 min walk
  3. Onarimon Station – exit exit A1
    ~6 min walk

How to get tickets to Tokyo Tower

There are two ways to purchase the tickets to Tokyo Tower, you can purchase your tickets online or at the counter in person.

Tokyo Tower online tickets

On the Tokyo Tower website you can choose which tickets to buy, with a discount up to ¥200. However, you are required to select the date and time at the time of purchasing.

  1. Combo tickets for both observation decks.
  2. Single tickets only for the lower observation deck.

Buy tickets at ticket counter in person

Visit the ticket counter to buy tickets for the observation decks. No reservation is required. Tickets prices are as follows:

Main Deck (150m)Top Deck Tour (150m/ 250m)
Adult¥1,200¥2,800 (online), ¥3,000 (ticket counter)
High School Student¥1,000¥2,600 (online), ¥2,800 (ticket counter)
Elementary/ Junior high school student¥700¥1,800 (online), ¥2,000 (ticket counter)
Aged 4+¥500¥1,200 (online), ¥1,400 (ticket counter)

Interesting places near Tokyo Tower

Besides the stunning view from the observation decks, Tokyo Tower boasts a number of tourist attractions that satisfy your interests and appetite at the same time. Visit Tokyo Tower Foot town that is conveniently located on the lower floors of the tower and houses a range of shops and restaurants! 

Another highlight that you shouldn’t miss is Zojoji Temple, a historical spot located next to the tower! It is a Buddhist temple which was originally established in 1393. As a family temple, it had a strong connection with the Tokugawa family, which led over 260 years during the Edo era in the 17th to 19th century. It also plays a significant role as the head temple of the Jodo Sect in Kanto region. Many tourists combine a visit to the temple with Tokyo Tower, which gives them a great opportunity to experience both modern and traditional sides of Japan at one time!

Where to take the best pictures of Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Tower is undoubtedly a perfect landmark for the memorable pictures that you can bring back home. There are a number of recommended spots located in the vicinity of the tower as well as further away that allow you to take great pictures of the iconic tower including Tokyo Skytree and Odaiba. Here are our suggestions of the best locations to get the best shots of the landmark, within a short distance from the tower.

Zojoji Temple

As we mentioned above, Zojoji Temple is a popular tourist attraction conveniently situated next to Tokyo Tower. Many tourists flock there not only to explore the historical structures but also to take beautiful pictures showing the contrast between the new landmark and the traditional buildings.

Shiba Park

Shiba Park is one of the oldest parks in Japan that was once a part of grounds for Zojoji Temple back in the Edo period. It was later opened to the public, and is enjoyed by a number of people as a refreshing spot rich in nature. From the peaceful street located in the east part of the park, you can see the iconic tower in front with a row of street lights lighting up the street brightly at night.

Keyakizaka Street

Known as one of the most beautiful Christmas lights spots in Tokyo, Keyakizaka Street offers a stunning view of Tokyo Tower with a sparkling street completely covered with bright lights! The 400 meters street is situated near JR Roppongi station, about 20 min by train from Tokyo Tower. The best season is definitely the Christmas season, but it is worth a visit every day.

Steps of Tokyo Tower Parking Center

From the Tokyo Tower Parking centre, there is a shortcut to the tower. From these stairs you can take some really cool pictures. It is one of the most popular hidden spots to snap a picture of Tokyo Tower. It is not easy to find from the outside, but once you’ve found it it allows you take take some amazing pictures. When you from from Tokyo Tower towards Hoshuin Temple, you will see the stairs on your right hand, across the street from the restaurant Tokyo Shiba Toufuya Ukai.
The exact address is 東京都港区芝公園 4-5-17.

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2. Tokyo 1–Day Highlights Private Walking Tour

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Tokyo Tower

Since its completion in 1958 Tokyo Tower has always been a prominent landmark of Tokyo and even of Japan Some might think Tokyo Tower is now old and less attractive than other new tourist attractions around Tokyo, but it is totally not true! The symbolic tower still continues to develop as a must-visit spot that entertains visitors with exciting events and experiences that you can find only there in Tokyo. It also gives you a great opportunity to learn about the history of the construction, as well as how the metropolitan city was formed through the rapid developments for the past decades!  

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