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Tokyo Skyscrapers

by Ron Bernthal

Feb 15, 2022



It may be hard to believe, but when Tokyo’s first “skyscraper,” the 482-foot Kasumigaseki Building was built in 1968, it was Japan’s tallest structure and aroused nationwide interest. Before Kasumigaseki was built, Japan’s Building Standard Law set an absolute height limit of 100 feet.


Tokyo Building


Today, Tokyo has 160 skyscrapers, and it is quite easy for visitors to get a bird’s-eye view of not only downtown Tokyo, but also distant suburbs and, on clear days, to the top of Mt. Fuji, 60 miles away. Tokyo Skytree (2,080 feet) and Tokyo Tower (1,092 feet) offer some of the most famous panoramic views of Japan’s capital. Other structures, not as high, have wonderful rooftop decks visitors enjoy, like the centrally located Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center in the Asakusa neighborhood, with its unique façade designed by noted Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, and an eighth-floor cafe and observation deck with a clear view to the east beyond the Sumida River.


The cathedral-like Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku district consists of a complex of three structures. Building No. 1 is two towers, each 48 stories tall, with two observation decks 663 feet above the ground. The decks are free of charge, with gift shops and cafés inside. It is also the tallest city hall in the world. Great views of Tokyo can also be seen at the 360-degree, open-air observation deck at the rooftop of Shibuya Scramble Square’s Shibuya Sky building (755 feet). Admission for adults is ¥2,000 (about $17).


Tokyo Tower


There are many skyscraper construction projects underway in the city, including Torch Tower near the north side of Tokyo Station. Once completed in 2027, this skyscraper will stand at 1,280 feet, making it the tallest building in Japan.


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