Tokyo is an immense and disorienting city, seemingly spreading without end in every direction. A new city in a new country can always feel somewhat disorienting at first, and that feeling can be especially strong in the biggest city in the world. In situations like this there’s one thing I always feel helps: climb higher.
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is my favorite of the various observation decks in the city, and for many reasons. First of all, the panoramic views are amazing. On a clear day you can see Mt. Fuji. The observation decks are rarely crowded. On my two visits there I was mostly joined by locals. The convenient location in Shinjuku is also a huge plus. Oh, and it’s free!
How to Get There
The Tocho-mae station on the Oedo Subway Line is located directly below the building. It’s also only a short walk away from the very popular and centrally located JR Shinjuku station. Once there, just follow the signs and take an elevator from the ground floor of building 1 to one of the two twin towers, 202 meters high. Both observatories have nearly identical views of the incredibly widespread cityscape.
I recommend going just before sunset to get the most memorable views!