Tokyo is the world’s largest city — and the best way of taking in its humongous size is to see it from up high, from an observation deck or equally lofty viewpoint.

With a city this size, though, where is the best place to behold a sultry sunset? Read on for the pros and cons of the highest-rated observation decks in Tokyo (including photos and prices), so you can decide who comes out on top.

Pro tip: The Klook Pass Greater Tokyo includes tickets to Tokyo City View, Shibuya Sky, Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Tower, and other top attractions starting from just ¥5,800 — saving you money.

Note: The heights listed here are of the observation decks, not the structures themselves.

There are observation decks in almost every corner of Tokyo, so you’re bound to find one close to you no matter where you’re staying. But if you only have time for one, it can be difficult to narrow it down. To help, we’ve given you a taste of what it’s like to visit the top Tokyo viewpoints.

1. Shibuya Sky

Height: 229m
¥2,200¥2,500 in advance; ¥2,500 on the door
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The sunset at Shibuya Sky is one of the best in Tokyo. | Photo by Alex Ziminski

You may have seen Shibuya Sky all over Instagram. Known for its outdoor escalators, sky-high bar, and open-air observation deck, Shibuya Sky definitely leaves an impression. With areas to lie down and stretch your legs (try the hammocks), it doesn’t feel overly busy. However, its merits are also its demerits.

The roofless deck provides a phenomenal, undisrupted 360-degree view of the Tokyo skyline. (You can spot competitors Tokyo Skytree and Tokyo Tower, as well as nature’s observation deck Mount Fuji.) But this also means that if you go in bad weather, the top deck will be closed and you’ll have to make do with the indoor one. This can be bothersome if you’ve booked way in advance — something that’s recommended, as on-the-day tickets are often sold out.

2. Tokyo Skytree

Height: Tenbō Deck (350m); Tenbō Galleria (450m)
Tenbō Deck: ¥1,800¥2,000 in advance; ¥2,100¥2,300 on the door
Tenbō Deck + Tenbō Galleria: ¥2,700¥3,000 in advance; ¥3,100¥3,400 on the door
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Our view from the top deck (Tenbō Galleria) was spetacular, but was it worth it? | Photo by Alex Ziminski

As the tallest structure in Japan and one of the tallest in the world, Tokyo Skytree is an iconic, bucket-list pick. Its spotless windows — those cleaners must have nerves of steel — and impressive height mean you are guaranteed a view, but be warned, if you’re coming at sunset, you may be battling for a place and photo spot.

There are two decks to choose from, the Tenbō Deck (bottom) and Tenbō Galleria (top) — you’ll have to pay extra to reach the tippy top and if we’re honest, it’s just as busy and the difference in view isn’t noticeable.

The Tokyo Skytree observation deck is enclosed, unlike Shibuya Sky, so it’s open 365 days a year. Remember that prices do go up by around ¥200 on weekends and holidays, so you can save some money by going on a weekday. Check out our full guide to visiting Tokyo Skytree for more details.

3. Tokyo Tower

Height: Main deck (150m); top deck (250m)
Main deck: ¥1,200; Top deck: ¥2,800
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If you look closely, you can see the top of Tokyo Skytree from the main deck. | Photo by Greg Lane

Tokyo Tower is fantastic to look at, but is it just as spectacular to look out from? Inspired by Paris’ Eiffel Tower, it was once the tallest structure in Tokyo (before Tokyo Skytree stole the crown). The most unique feature is the open-air staircase. For those who like to feel extra secure, there’s also an elevator.

While not the best view in Tokyo, Tokyo Tower often holds many events on their main deck, including evening illuminations and projection mapping, so keep an eye out on our events page for the latest. However, the top deck does offer a loftier peek of Mount Fuji and Tokyo Skytree.

Afterwards visit the e-sports theme park, beautiful restaurants, summer beer garden, and Shiba Park.

4. Sunshine 60 Observatory (Tenbō Park)

Height: 251m
Get tickets

Photo by Getty Images

Formerly known as Sky Circus, this “park” in the sky is around the same height as Tokyo Tower but almost half the price. However, there is a reason for that; it’s missing a couple of important landmarks on the horizon — namely Tokyo Tower (you can just catch the tip) and Tokyo Skytree. If it’s a clear day, you may be able to spot Mt. Fuji in the distance, though.

The Sunshine 60 Observatory is located in the Sunshine City complex and while not one to go out of your way for, if you are in Ikebukuro grabbing some anime goods, then it’s worth a saunter up.

5. Tokyo City View (Roppongi Hills)

Height: Indoor deck (250m); Sky Deck (270m)
¥2,000¥2,200; Sky Deck: ¥500 extra
Get tickets (save ¥200)

Photo by Getty Images

Located on the 52nd floor and rooftop of Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, this observatory has the most iconic, postcard-perfect view of Tokyo. It has two main floors, the indoor deck, which often holds exhibitions at the Sky Gallery; and the outdoor Sky Deck, which offers even more impressive views and is often used for stargazing meetups.

Note: The Sky Deck can often be closed, so make sure to check the official website before you go.

Best free views in Tokyo

Who says you have to fork out any yen to get a killer view of the capital?

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

Height: 202m

Not a bad place to get a free view of Mt. Fuji. | Photo by Alex Ziminski

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building has spectacular views of Tokyo, especially at sunset, and costs absolutely nothing. You will miss Tokyo Tower and the windows could do with a clean, but it’s the price you have to pay to get one of the best Mt. Fuji views in Tokyo. It’s open late, until around 10 p.m., so it’s the perfect way to cap off a day (or date). Just be prepared for queues.

Tip: The building also has a daily free projection mapping show that can be seen from the Citizen’s Square. It is the largest of its type in the world.

Azabudai Hills Sky Lobby

Get up close and personal with a view of Tokyo Tower. | Photo by Aimee Gardner

The newest kid on the block for free views is the Azabudai Hills Complex. While the Azabudai Hills Mori JPTower has 64 floors and reaches 325.2 meters (making it the tallest building in Japan as of writing), the observation deck sits around halfway up on the 33rd floor. But you’ll still get fantastic views overlooking Tokyo Tower and the city. The best thing is that it closes around 9 p.m., so you can also catch the exquisite night view.

Other free viewpoints in Tokyo

Caretta Shiodome

Height: 200m

Photo by Getty Images

The top of the world’s largest advertising agency equals fancy restaurants and fancy views. But don’t worry, you don’t need to buy anything, you can just stand and look out the window for ¥0. Take the elevator to Caretta Shiodome Sky View on the 46th and 47th floors and you’ll be able to see the Rainbow Bridge, Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Tower, Imperial Palace, and more. Chairs and benches are provided so you can relax and take in the view.

Combine it with the winter illuminations, and you’ve got yourself a free evening out.

Bunkyo Civic Center

Height: 105m

If your camera has a good zoom, you can spot this iconic shot from the Bunkyo Civic Center. | Photo by Getty Images

The best time to catch the free view at Bunkyo Civic Center is at dusk. While there’s no view to the south, you can still spot the main highlight: Mount Fuji nestled “next to” the skyscrapers of Shinjuku. Also on the menu is nearby Tokyo Dome and Koishikawa Botanical Garden, as well as Tokyo Skytree.

I-Link Town Observation Deck

Height: 150m

Photo by Getty Images

While a bit far from the hustle and bustle of central Tokyo (it’s technically in Chiba), I-Link Town can be directly accessed from Ichikawa Station. The view ticks off most of the main landmarks — even Mt. Fuji on a clear day — and also includes the winding Edogawa River. There’s a glass elevator on the way up, and it’s even open during the Edogawa Fireworks Festival.

Sky Carrot Observatory

Height: 124m

Photo by Getty Images

Disappointingly, this observatory has no relation to the vegetable in appearance, but it does let you see a better view of Shibuya after dark. It is located on the 26th floor of the Carrot Tower beside a restaurant and cafe. In ideal conditions, you get an unblemished view of Mt. Fuji. This observation lobby is open late (till 11 p.m.) so you’ll want to take advantage by checking out the spectacular night view.

Tokyo observation deck FAQs

We answer your burning questions.

Tokyo Skytree vs. Shibuya Sky: Which is better?

If the weather is good (not rainy and not windy), then Shibuya Sky is the preferred observation deck. The main reason is that there is space to breathe (and even lie down) on the top of Shibuya Sky, a luxury that will be hard to get during sunset at Tokyo Skytree.

Tokyo Skytree top deck (Tenbō Galleria): Is it worth it?

The difference in views between the bottom and top deck at Tokyo Skytree is hardly noticeable (but the extra almost ¥1,000 is). The space is also narrower — making it feel more squashed than the lower deck. Although you do get to use the glass escalator — something you won’t get to use if just using the regular deck.

What is the highest observatory in Tokyo?

The highest observatory in Tokyo is Tokyo Skytree. The lower Tenbō Deck is 350 meters high and above that is the Tenbō Galleria at 450 meters high.

What is the best value observation deck?

Our heart belongs to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building for being the tallest free observation deck on this list (at 202 meters) — and one with the best Tokyo cityscape.

While we do our best to ensure it’s correct, information is subject to change.

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