Panoramic views are my personal favorite and any new city or place I visit, I make it a point to collect the necessary information and finally visit all those interesting places. It somehow gives me the feeling of "I've seen it all", and Chiba Port Tower in particular. If you want to see the city of Chiba, the Tokyo Aqua Line and Umihotaru, Disney Resort, Narita Airport all in one shot, the Chiba Port Tower is the place to visit.
Conveniently located from Chiba-Minato Station on the Keiyō Line (15 minute walk), the tower is a unique structure like a towering cube with all four sides of reflecting glass. The day I visited, it was a rather clear day and the glass reflecting the blue sky and some trace clouds, was quite unique. There are many other glass structures in Tokyo, but the Chiba Port Tower with its 125 meters of height with no other tall buildings around it sets the view apart.
The Chiba Port Tower has an extensive parking lot next to the tower and I was interested in getting to the observatory to check what this parking lot would look like from the top. The parking itself is free, and even on weekends there is no big rush to get a space. However, there is a fee of 410 yen to get to the observatory floor. It's worth checking the tower's website before you go, as the observation deck is closed if the Metrological Department has strong winds and rough weather alerts.
I took the elevator and located the Café La Plage on the third floor. While having a hot cup of coffee and a few snacks, I could see Umihotaru in the distance, connecting the Kawasaki area and the Chiba side of Kisarazu. The cafe at the Chiba Port Tower can also be rented for events like weddings for example—good to know actually.
Coming back to the view of the parking lot from the top of the tower; it was fantastic indeed. The cars moving in and out of the premises was something worth to be captured in a time-lapse video (see below). The height of the observation tower is just right to enjoy the car action, unlike taller structures.
There is a Christmas illumination at the tower during December, with a Christmas tree rendered on the glass walls. The only downside is that it already ends on December 25. It wouldn't have hurt to keep it through the New Year holidays if you ask me. The tower is also famous for one of the key spots on the course of the marathon Chiba Ekiden conducted annually.