Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

Related Articles: Diamond Fuji: A Natural Gem Worth Beholding
Related Events: Tokyo Marathon
Related Itinerary: Cheapo 1-Day Tour : Tsukiji - Asakusa - Akihabara
Japanese script: 東京都庁舎 / 都庁
Area: Shinjuku
Address: 2-8-1 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 163-8001 [map]
Access: 53 m from Akado-shōgakkōmae Station
53 m from Anamori-inari Station Keikyū Airport Line (KK14)
53 m from Arakawa-itchūmae Station Toden Arakawa Line
Hours: 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 p.m. | South Observation Deck closes at 5:30 p.m., but closes at 11:00 p.m. on days the North Observatory is closed.

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.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
Tocho at night | Photo by aotaro used under CC

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.

shinjuku view metropolitan government building
Photo by Adriana Paradiso

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.

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