Planning a trip to the Tokyo Skytree observation deck? You may want to hold that thought, for there may be a better alternative for free. Located on the 45th floor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings are two observations decks that are opened to the public for free of charge. The view from the Skytree deck is surely breathtaking, but it may not be worth the trouble of purchasing an advance ticket or waiting endlessly at the ticket booth when you can just go to the observation deck of an equally impressive building with much less hassle. Better yet, you get the bonus of having Tokyo's brand new landmark, Tokyo Skytree, right in your view from the top of the Metropolitan Government Building.
There are two observation decks at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, or Tocho for short: the South and the North Deck. The former is recommended during the day for a view of the Odaiba district and even Mount Fuji if you are lucky enough. The latter, which is opened until 10:30pm as opposed to the South Deck that closes at 5:00pm, will give you a gorgeous panoramic view of Tokyo’s nightscape. While photography is permitted, be aware that the use of tripods is not strictly prohibited.
In both decks, there are souvenir stores while the South Deck has a cafe - perfect if you plan to enjoy an afternoon tea with a 360-degree view of Tokyo. For those looking for a romantic night with a special someone, the bar in the North Deck will be a perfect touch to your evening.
The Tocho is also conveniently located not far from the exciting Shinjuku Nishiguchi Station, as well as Shinjuku Gyoen, so a trip to the observation deck could be a memorable addition to your experience in Shinjuku.