The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, known simply as “Tocho” in Japanese, is the center of government for the 23 wards of Tokyo. As well as serving as a giant city hall, the building offers amazing views of the capital from its 45th-floor observation decks.
On a clear day you can see as far as Yokohama in one direction, Chiba in another and, way out west, Mount Fuji. It is no exaggeration to say that you haven’t really seen Tokyo if you haven’t seen it from here. The full extent of Tokyo’s urban sprawl can only be appreciated from up high. Tokyo’s other famous viewpoint, Skytree, may be considerably taller, but its expensive entrance fee is incomparable to Tocho’s: absolutely free. (See our full guide for more free views of Tokyo.)
The observation decks are in both north and south towers of the main building and offer slightly different views. Cheapo refreshments are available at cafes in both, but the north tower’s observatory becomes a bar in the evening. Last orders are at 10:00pm.
Clearer views are available in autumn and winter due to cooler atmospheric conditions, and possibly the best view of all is available on January 1st.
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building: Regular closures
The observatories close for the holidays between December 29th and January 3rd, but open on Jan 1st to welcome in the New Year. Due to the holiday period, a lack of traffic and factory pollution in Tokyo results in spectacular views of Mount Fuji.
South Observation Deck: Closed first and and third Tuesday of every month
North Observation Deck: Closed second and fourth Monday of every month
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- 72 m from Tochōmae Station Oedo Line (E28)
- 0.5 km from Nishi-shinjuku Station Marunouchi Line (M7)
- 0.6 km from Shinjuku-nishiguchi Station Oedo Line (E1)