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Japan From a Different Angle: 10 of the Best Observation Towers in the Country

Japan is a nation that's home to a family of sprawling metropolises, from the seemingly never-ending Tokyo to the mountain surrounded Sapporo. While these cities are incredibly exciting to explore on foot, to get a proper perspective, you have to go high, really high. For those who like a little flutter in the belly, and knee-buckling heights, here are Japan's best observation decks.

Japan From a Different Angle: 10 of the Best Observation Towers in the Country

CONTENTS

  • Shinjuku TMG Building

  • Tokyo Skytree

  • Tokyo Tower

  • Sapporo TV Tower

  • Kyoto Tower

  • Fukuoka Tower

  • Kobe Port Tower

  • Tsutenkaku Tower

  • Abeno Harukas

  • Umeda Sky Building

  • Shinjuku TMG Building

    Boasting one of the best free views of the Tokyo skyline, the Metropolitan Government Building is one of the city’s worst-kept-secrets, but it is popular and for a good reason. Sitting in the heart of Shinjuku, the 243-meter tall structure is made up of two towers both of which have an observatory at the 202-meter mark. If the weather is good, from here, you can see Tokyo Tower, the Tokyo Skytree, Meiji Shrine, Tokyo Dome and Mount Fuji.

    Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
    Address
    Tokyo Shinjuku-ku Nishishinjuku 2-8-1
    Phone
    0353211111
  • Tokyo Skytree

    Tokyo Skytree

    Tokyo Skytree

    Like a sky-piercing needle emerging the blocky grey office buildings of inner-city Tokyo, Tokyo Skytree is arguably one of the country’s most recognized modern landmarks. It’s a television broadcasting tower and the center of Tokyo Skytree Town, a major shopping outlet and tourist attraction. With two observation decks sitting at 350 and 450 meters, Tokyo Tower boasts the highest observation decks in Japan and some of the highest in the world. Incredibly popular throughout the year it can take a while to get to the top, but the view is worth it.

    Tokyo Skytree (R)
    Address
    Tokyo Sumida-ku Oshiage 1-1-2
    Phone
    0570550634
  • Tokyo Tower

    Tokyo Tower

    Tokyo Tower

    Standing proudly at 333 meters high, Tokyo Tower was modeled on its Parisian contemporary, the Eiffel Tower but is three meters taller. Once completed in 1958 it held the title for being Japan’s tallest structure, until it was overshadowed in 2012 by the arrival of Tokyo Skytree. The tower’s 150-meter high main deck and 250-meter upper top deck still serve up some of the best sights of the city though, offering views of ritzy Roppongi, Tokyo Skytree and even Mt. Fuji.

    Tokyo Tower
    Address
    Tokyo Minato-ku Shibakouen 4-2-8
    Phone
    0334335111
  • Sapporo TV Tower

    Sapporo TV Tower

    Sapporo TV Tower

    Looking out over Sapporo’s famous Odori Park, is 147-meter high Sapporo TV Tower. If the silhouette seems familiar, that’s because it was created by Tachu Naito, the Japanese architect renowned for designing some of Japan’s most famous towers including Nagoya TV Tower, Tsutenkaku in Osaka, Beppu Tower, and the Tokyo Tower. At the 90-meter point sits the observation deck, from which you can see incredible views of Sapporo’s lush parks and the snow-capped mountains of Hokkaido.

    Sapporo TV Tower
    Address
    Hokkaido Sapporoshi Chuou-ku Odorinishi 1
    Phone
    0112411131
  • Kyoto Tower

    Kyoto Tower

    Kyoto Tower

    Standing out like a candy-colored antenna, Kyoto tower is one of the city’s few famous modern landmarks, and the tallest structure in the city. Situated at the 100-meter high mark is where you’ll find the observation deck. From here you can get a full 360-degree view of Kyoto city and if the weather is clear, see as far as Osaka.

    Kyoto Tower
    Address
    Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, Shimogyo-ku Karasuma through seven under article le Higashishiokoji-cho 721-1
    Phone
    0753613215
  • Fukuoka Tower

    For unparalleled ocean views, visit Fukuoka Tower, which at 234 meters high boasts the title of tallest seaside tower in Japan, as well as the city's highest building. The three-story observation deck sits at the 123-meter mark, offering incredible views of the city. However, given that the tower is covered in 8,000 mirrors it’s a pretty impressive view from ground level too.

    Fukuoka Tower
    Address
    Fukuoka Pref. Fukuokashisawaraku Momochihama 2-3-26
    Phone
    0928230234
  • Kobe Port Tower

    Kobe Port Tower

    Kobe Port Tower

    An iconic symbol of the port city, the Kobe Port Tower was built in 1963 and remains one of Kobe’s proudest symbols. From the outside it’s stunning, the red pipe structure was designed to look like an elongated version of a 'tsuzumi,' a traditional Japanese drum, but from the inside, the view is even better. The tower features a number of observation decks, including a cafe on the third floor which does a full 360-degree rotation every 20 minutes.

    Kobe Port Tower
    Address
    Hyogo Pref. Koubeshi Chuou-ku Hatobachou 5-5
    Phone
    0783916751
  • Tsutenkaku Tower

    Tsutenkaku Tower

    Tsutenkaku Tower

    Looking over the vibrant food-lined streets of Shinsekai is where you’ll find one of Osaka’s most recognizable landmarks, Tsutenkaku Tower. Originally this tower was constructed in 1912, inspired by the Eiffel Tower, then rebuilt in 1956 following WWII. At 91 meters high, views from the tower’s new observation deck may not be quite as knee-buckling as the city’s Abeno Harukas tower, but its location makes it a wonderful vantage point for observing the city’s more lively districts.

    Tsutenkaku
    Address
    Osaka Osakashi Naniwa-ku Ebisuhigashi 1-18-6
    Phone
    0666419555
  • Abeno Harukas

    Abeno Harukas

    Abeno Harukas

    Reaching a staggering 300-meters tall, Abeno Harukas is officially the tallest skyscraper in Osaka. Located on top of the central Kintetsu Osaka Abenobashi Station, the tower is home to ‘Harukas 300’ an observation deck that takes up the building’s top three floors. Here on floors 58 to 60 you’ll find shops, a deck, a cafe, and endless views of Osaka city and the surrounding area.

    Abeno Harukas building
    Address
    Osaka Osakashi Abeno-ku Abenosuji 1-1-43 Abenobashi Terminal Building
    Phone
    0666210300
  • Umeda Sky Building

    Umeda Sky Building

    Umeda Sky Building

    With its unique, almost robotic shape and reflective mirrored windows, Osaka’s Umeda Sky Building is hard to miss. The 173-meter tall structure is constructed from two separate towers which come together at the top to house the ‘Floating Garden Observatory’ on the 39th floor. There’s arguably no more immersive view of Osaka city than here from the garden’s open-air deck, so don't miss it.

    Umeda Sky Building
    Address
    Osaka Osakashi Kita-ku Oyodonaka 1-1-88
    Phone
    0664403899
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