In Korea’s capital, Seoul, the city is designated as a “Special City.” However, in Japan, it’s not Tokyo City but Tokyo Metropolis that holds the registration. This distinction allows visitors to find the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, responsible for administrative affairs in Tokyo, rather than Tokyo City Hall in Shinjuku.
Located in the central area of Shinjuku, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is a substantial structure. Given the vastness of Tokyo Metropolis, such a large building seems necessary. The construction of this building involved a considerable budget investment by the Tokyo Metropolis. The building consists of two towers, towering 48 floors high and reaching a height of 243 meters.
“Free Observation Decks at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building”
Due to the significant height of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, it offers observation decks at the top. This is akin to Seoul City Hall’s Seosomun Cheongsa’s 13th-floor observation deck, providing a view of Deoksugung Palace. However, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, being larger than Seosomun Cheongsa, offers an even higher vantage point to enjoy the scenery of Shinjuku.
The observation decks are free to enter, with two decks in operation. These twin decks on the 45th floor operate alternately, ensuring that there’s always an accessible observation deck for visitors. This flexibility allows visitors to enjoy the observation decks at their convenience.
“Visiting Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Observation Decks”
Walking west from Shinjuku Station, you’ll reach the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in about 10 minutes. You can take the elevator directly from the 1st floor to the observation decks. Before boarding the dedicated elevator to the observation decks, there’s a bag inspection to ensure that you don’t carry tripods. This restriction aims to prevent occupying space for an extended period, which might happen if many visitors use tripods for long-exposure photography.
I had the chance to enjoy the night view of Shinjuku from the observation deck of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. Not only the Shinjuku area but the entire Tokyo landscape unfolds before your eyes. If you visit during the day, you can appreciate the daytime view.
The floors with observation decks also host cafes and restaurants, providing an excellent place to spend time while enjoying the panoramic views. During my visit, I observed many people sipping tea and relaxing in the cafe, taking in the scenery.
You can check the operating hours below, and since admission is free, visiting the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building observation decks is a great way to appreciate the Tokyo skyline without any cost.
“Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku, Japan”
- Address: 2-8-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 163-8001, Japan
- Observation Deck Information Line: 03-5320-7890
- Operating Hours: 9:30 – 23:00 (Southern Observation Deck closes at 17:30 if the Northern Observation Deck is closed, otherwise open until 23:00)
- Closed on: Southern Observation Deck (1st and 3rd Tuesday), Northern Observation Deck (2nd and 4th Monday)