Visiting Tokyo SkyTree

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  • There are many activities to do at Tokyo Skytree Town, you can go to the top of world’s tallest tower, try one of many delicious restaurants, or check out the cool and unique Japanese products in the shops.

    Tokyo Skytree - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    As we continue our Tokyo Travel series, we’ll revisit Tokyo Skytree, where we first visited as a family in 2014.  Our children were still young then so after waiting for 1.5 hours to go to the top of Tokyo Skytree and spending some time enjoying the views of Tokyo, we were ready to call it a day.

    This time around as our children are older, we could actually browse through the restaurant floor and unique shops they had at Tokyo Skytree Town.  Ready to tour Tokyo Skytree?  Let’s go!  I’ll cover Tokyo Skytree first and then Tokyo Skytree Town.

    Tokyo Skytree 東京スカイツリー

    Looking at Asahi beer tower and art square across Azuma Bridge - Tokyo Asakusa Travel Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Looking at Asahi beer tower and Tokyo Skytree across Azuma Bridge from Asakusa.

    Tokyo Skytree is very close to Asakusa (1 station away), if you are planning a day trip to Asakusa and surrounding areas, take a few hours from your trip to enjoy Tokyo Skytree Town.

    children in front of large wall art - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    Tokyo Skytree - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    Tokyo Skytree was built as a television and radio broadcast tower, taking over responsibility from the older Tokyo Tower which is now surrounded by skyscrapers and not as effective as delivering the signals.

    screens playing illustrated scenes from Tokyo - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    The tower was completed in 2012 and is currently the world’s second tallest building and tallest tower (as of 2018).  There are 2 observatory decks you can visit, and you will need to purchase an additional ticket to visit the higher observatory deck (Tembo Galleria) at 450 m (1,480 ft).  The elevation of the lower deck is 350 m (1,150 ft).

    We visited on a warm Saturday afternoon around 2 pm.  The tower itself is in a plaza called Skytree Town, which also include an aquarium, dome theater, offices, gift shops, and restaurants in addition to the broadcast tower.

    visitors waiting to go to the observatory at Tokyo Skytree - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    When we found the line for the observatory, the sign at the end of the line said 90 min wait.  It almost made us give up but since we were there already we decided to grind through it and wait it out, just in case the sign was wrong.  When we got in line to wait, it actually extended to the outside of the building.

    visitors waiting to go to the observatory at Tokyo Skytree - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    After 10 minutes or so, we finally entered the building.  As we looked around, we could see the beautiful display of Super Craft Tree by designer Yukio Hashimoto.

    sculptures at Tokyo Skytree Lobby - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Super Craft Tree.

    You can also see the steel structure that’s supporting the tower from the large windows surrounding room.

    support beam and windows - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    What seemed like an eternity has finally passed, we could hardly conceal our excitement to finally see the ticket counter.  After purchasing the tickets to visit both observation decks, we thought the lines has ended.  Not quite, there’s a another short line to wait for the elevators.

    Tokyo Skytree ticket booth - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Tokyo Skytree ticket booth.

    Tokyo SkyTree – Tembo Deck & Tembo Galleria

    visitors waiting for elevator at Tokyo Skytree - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    As we enter the elevator and it started to ascend, the lights inside darkened and the ceiling of the elevator had beautiful Japanese patterns that changed colors and brightness.  Everyone in the elevator was entertained by the changing lights during the quick ride.

    artistic patterns inside elevator ceiling at Tokyo Skytree - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    The first stop is the Tembo Deck at Floor 350, which also includes with ticket booth to Tembo Galleria and a cafe.  There are 2 more levels, Floor 345 and 340 within the Tembo deck which houses the gift shop, Sky Restaurant, and a cafe.  You’ll go through these lower levels as you return to the lobby.

    sign inside elevator indicating current elevator elevation - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    We went ahead and purchase the tickets to Tembo Galleria (Floor 445 and 450)to enjoy the breathtaking view.  The elevator to the Tembo Galleria is quite thrilling, as you can see through the glass panel doors and ceiling.

    elevator with glass ceiling - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Glass ceiling elevator at Tokyo Skytree.

    As we exit the elevator at Floor 445, the children squealed with delight and enjoyed the views.  The elevator leads to a ramp to Floor 450.

    Woman with children at Tokyo Skytree - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Blast from the past, Nami and the kids in 2014.
    By Tamaru (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
    By Tamaru (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

    Sceneries from Tokyo Skytree

    From the top of the tower and along the ramp, visitors get the unobstructed view of Tokyo.

    view of Tokyo from Tokyo Skytree - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    view of Tsukishima from Tokyo Skytree - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    View of Tsukishima from Tokyo Skytree.

    It’s incredible as all the tall buildings now look like as if they were made of small Lego bricks.

    view towards Tokyo Bay and Disneyland from Tokyo Skytree - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    View towards Tokyo Bay and Disneyland from Tokyo Skytree.

    You can see Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea in the direction of Chiba City.  Other recognizable structures we could easily see are Tokyo Dome, Tokyo City Gov’t Building, and Tokyo Tower.

    view towards Shinjuku from Tokyo Skytree - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    View towards Shinjuku from Tokyo Skytree.
    view towards Tokyo Station from Tokyo Skytree - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    View towards Tokyo Station and Tokyo Tower from Tokyo Skytree.

    After spending some time seeing the different sights, it’s time to head down.  One of the coolest features as you journey towards the lobby is the glass floor on Floor 340.  It’s a bit nerve-wracking but definitely very cool to be able to look down.

    glass floors at Tokyo Skytree - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    It was a memorable experience and we had a great time despite the super long wait.

     

    Tokyo Skytree Town

    Tokyo Skytree Floor Guide

    The purpose of our visit this past summer (2018) to Tokyo Skytree Town is so we can eat at Toriton sushi.  It’s a Kaiten sushi (sushi boat) restaurant that’s from Hokkaido.  We had such an amazing meal in Sapporo years ago we couldn’t wait to go back when we found out it opened in Tokyo.  Sushi at Toriton is not “fine dining” sushi but it’s very affordable and tasty.

    sign for Tokyo Skytree Town - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    Kaiten Sushi Toriton トリトン

    Toriton is a sushi chain and they have 13 restaurants in Hokkaido and 2 in Tokyo.  The quality of their seafood is much better than most sushi boat restaurants and the ratio of fish to rice is very generous.

    store sign for Toriton Sushi - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    We arrived at Toriton at 11:30 am and the restaurant was already completely full and there were about 10 people ahead of us in line.  Luckily we were able to get seated in about 15 min.

     

    people waiting for Toriton Sushi - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    Toriton's daily recommendation - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    If you’re not familiar with sushi boat restaurants, they are all over Japan and prices are affordable compared to traditional sushi restaurants.  Each plate range from $1.50 – $6 dollars depending on the type of fish or food.

    You can select the premade sushi you want off the conveyer belt or order what you like on a small slip of paper from the staff directly.  The newer sushi boat restaurants have a digital menu on ipads and you can even select language of your choice, whether you want wasabi or not, and whether it’s for children.  If you select the children option they’ll cut each sushi in half.

    sushi on conveyer belt at Toriton Sushi - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    salmon ikura and shrimp sushi - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Salmon, shrimp, and ikura sushi.

    shrimp sushi - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    seared tuna at Toriton Sushi - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Seared toro sushi.

    toro sushi at Toriton Sushi - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    The sushi quality was outstanding and we were stuffed.  The cost came out to $15 a person for our family which is much cheaper than eating sushi around San Francisco.

    Solamachi Dining at Tokyo Skytree

    Not a fan of raw fish?  No problem there are a ton of dining options to choose from.

    floor guide for Solamachi Dining - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    Besides Toriton, there are many other popular restaurants in the same area, including sukiyaki, shabu shabu, gyoza, and unagi restaurants.

    Hitsumabushi unagi restaurant - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Hitsumabushi Unagi Restaurant.
    eels bring grilled over charcoal at Hitsumabushi Restaurant - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Unagi being grilled over charcoal.

     

    Sugimoto shabu shabu and sukiyaki restaurant - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Sugimoto shabu shabu and sukiyaki restaurant

     

    There’s also a branch of Ginza Tenryu Chinese restaurant which we tried in Ginza.

    Tenryu Chinese restaurant - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Ginza Tenryu Chinese restaurant
    Udon Honjin Yamada house Tokyo - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Udon Honjin Yamada house Tokyo.

    Japanese Souvenirs at Tokyo Skytree

    Besides the many yummy restaurant selections, on the 4th floor, there’s a selection of shops that carry unique Japanese souvenirs.

    chopstick store at Tokyo Skytree Town - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Chopstick store at Tokyo Skytree Town.
    knife store at Tokyo Skytree Town - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Knife shop.

    One of the shops even sells replica food, similar to what you would find in Kappabashi Dogugai.

    sign about replica food and Iwasaki - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    fake food sampuru store at Tokyo Skytree Town - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Replica food “sampuru”.

     

    plastic food store at Tokyo Skytree Town - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    Nippon Candy Project at Tokyo Skytree Town - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Nippon Candy Project at Tokyo Skytree Town.

    How about bringing home a cardboard statue of Godzilla and other ceratures?

    cardboard flats animal sculpture at Tokyo Skytree Town - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    paper sculpture of bridge and tree at Tokyo Skytree Town - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    Besides restaurants, you can also shop for food, clothing, fashionable goods, etc in Tokyo Skytree Town.

    specialty food store at Tokyo Skytree Town - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    specialty food store at Tokyo Skytree Town - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    Sumida Aquarium

    Lastly, if you have little ones who are bored from all the sightseeing, they might be interested in Sumida Aquarium.  It is not large compared to other aquariums in Japan but should keep younger children entertained for hours.  Our son espeically love aquariums and we try to visit them whenever we go to a new city.

    Sumida Aquarium - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Sumida Aquarium at Tokyo Skytree.

    child in front of Sumida Aquarium - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    children in front of Tokyo Skytree - Tokyo Skytree Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Our children after running through the misting machine 10 times to cool down.

    Thank you for reading our Tokyo Skytree Guide and hope you find it helpful and entertaining.  Many of my friends are not able to fit in their itinerary when they go to Japan but I hope you can stop by to check out this really cool area.  If you are interested in the rest of our 2018 Tokyo Series, here are the links below.

    1. Shinjuku 新宿
    2. Meiji Jingu 明治神宮
    3. Harajuku and Omotesando 原宿・表参道
    4. Shibuya 渋谷
    5. Roppongi 六本木ヒルズ
    6. Tokyo Tower (update) 東京タワー
    7. Ginza 銀座
    8. Imperial East Garden 皇居東御苑
    9. Akihabara 秋葉原
    10. Ueno 上野
    11. Kappabshi かっぱ橋道具街
    12. Tokyo Dome City 東京ドームシティー
    13. Asakusa (update) 浅草
    14. Tokyo Sky Tree (update) 東京スカイツリー
    15. Odaiba お台場

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