The Best Views in Tokyo

Get some distance from the neon lights of Tokyo. Head to high ground and take in the sights from these spots—from hotel bars to observation towers or simply hills—for a new and thrilling perspective on the city.

2-chōme-8-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tōkyō-to 163-8001, Japan
View of Tokyo at dusk as seen from the 54th floor observation deck of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Nishi-shinjuku. Admission to the observatory is free and well worth it for a fantastic, sweeping view of the Tokyo skyline.
6-chōme-11-1 Roppongi, Minato City, Tōkyō-to 106-0032, Japan
In recent years the construction of Roppongi Hills Mori Tower and Tokyo Midtown has made Roppongi a high end shopping destination. Tokyo Midtown and Mori Tower combine art and fashion. Tokyo Midtown tauts stores like Pleats Please Issey Miyake, Boss Orange and museums including 21_21 Design Sight and The Suntory Museum of Art. While Mori Tower has The Mori Art Museum, and designer shops including Alexander McQueen, Diane Von Furstenberg, and Kate Spade. Both complexes have a rich assortment of traditional Japanese restaurants and global cuisine. Sukiyabashi Jiro Sushi is the Roppongi Hills sushi restaurant run by the son of Takashi Jiro, Tokyo‘s famous sushi chef featured in Jiro Dreams of Sushi.
1-1 Chiyoda, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 100-8111, Japan
The residence of Japan’s imperial family is located inside a lovely park in the heart of Tokyo. The palace was originally built in 1888, after the capital moved from Kyoto to Tokyo, and then restored following damage incurred during World War II. Its grounds are not open to the public, but standing in Kokyo Gaien, the Imperial Palace plaza, you can see the 16th-century watchtower Fushimi-Yagura, which originally stood in Kyoto, and the Nijubashi bridges, which lead to the palace’s inner grounds.

14 Chidori, Urayasu, Chiba 279-0032, Japan
I am high above Tokyo at night in a helicopter somewhere near Roppongi. Excel Air Service offers a number of excellent helicopter cruising packages that allow you to experience Tokyo and Yokohama in a way no other method of transportation can—flying above the world’s largest metropolis. It is simultaneously exhilarating, beautiful, even surreal, and really cements the feeling of being on the set of Blade Runner. Flight times can be booked from 3:30 in the afternoon until 8:30 at night, depending upon the season, with flight times ranging from 15 to 30 minutes, and you can either fly with other passengers or opt to charter the copter all to yourself (which of course raises the price accordingly). The helicopter (an 8-passenger Sikorsky S-76, I believe) departs from Urayasu Heliport (located directly behind Disney Sea in Maihama on the eastern outskirts of Tokyo and about a 20-minute drive from the city center) every 15 minutes. Before boarding, you can enjoy free soft drinks and COD alcoholic beverages in the elegant lounge area at Excel’s hangar. Rates range 19,800 per person for group tours to 130,000 yen for exclusive use depending on the day and time; the company also offers luxury charter flights around Mt. Fuji and the Kamakura/Shonan area for a cool 920,000 yen per hour in a S-76 (and about half that in a Eurocpoter AS355). Better starting saving now.
Minato, Tokyo 105-0000, Japan
The Tokyo skyline from Rainbow Bridge is a must see while visiting Tokyo. The trip across the bridge can take a few hours by foot or just have your camera ready to take some beautiful shots while driving across this beautiful bridge.
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