Drake seemed like the best way to introduce this post, so here we go. The Tokyo Sky Tree is a great stop for those who are new to a big city, love aerial views or are hoping to catch a glimpse of Mt. Fuji on a clear day. I’m glad we went, but I can’t say that it would be my first place to recommend. Still, if you’re in Tokyo for a good amount of time, like us, it’s worth visiting and there is more than just the Sky Tree…there is a whole Sky Tree Town to explore! Here are the basics to know before you go the top.
My recommendation is to take the train. Generally, hotels are located a hefty taxi fare away and if you drive, they do not have parking on site. Plus, they have a train station that is connected to Sky Tree Town which drops you off right where you need to be. Google Maps is great with the train system in Tokyo and will easily find the nearest station to you. Plan for about a 45 minute trip from downtown Tokyo.
This is probably the best piece of advice for tourists: there is a designated International Visitor ticket counter. We happened to see it before going in but it is a priority entrance and saves you at least a half hour, most likely more, of wait time to get in. Be sure to have your passport with you for verification. For expats, we were able to use our residence cards as well.
There are two observation decks, each requires a separate ticket: I recommend going all the way to the top for obvious reasons. Plus, the second elevator ride is much cooler than the first and there are additional photo opps on the highest deck. One big thing to note is that there is not a priority exit route so be prepared to wait on your way back down. Along the way out you’ll still get to see the sweeping views and walk across a glass floor but it’s going to take a bit. The good news is, you now know what you’re getting into because you’ve read this post!
During Your Visit
The first observation deck has fun photo opps throughout in addition to a cafe (which sells beer) and restrooms. The views are impressive and you can get some good photos in from both decks. Luckily, our toddler slept through most of our visit which probably was for the best as there really isn’t a whole lot to offer the 18 month – 3 year old crowd. However, it is definitely kid friendly and many babies were there in carriers. Strollers are allowed in, definitely bring the smallest you have.
Sky Tree Town
For my Chicagoan’s, I’d equate this area to Navy Pier. There are tons of food options. The Moomin Bakery & Cafe is adorable (you get to drink coffee with giant stuffed Moomin characters) and you can also try Takoyaki (fried octopus balls) in the food court! Additionally, there are tons of shops, my favorite was Natural Kitchen (across from Starbucks outside the food market on the lower level). They even have an aquarium and planetarium, we plan to head back to check those out during our time here.
Overall, we had a fun day. My recommendation, specifically to those traveling with toddlers, is to check out Sky Tree Town but maybe skip the Tree.
Have you visited the Sky Tree? I’d love to hear your travel story!