Tokyo Tower, Japan


From Kamiyacho to Tokyo Tower
Up early. Got to get to the train station and see some crowded trains. Got squashed in between some beautiful Japanese girls for a couple of stations (Whoohoo!) then crushed with some Japanese men (Definitely NOT Whoohoo!) Got to take the rough with the smooth!

Changed my train ticket to a JR Pass, searched for a good place to eat and had a good meal on level 9 of the Tokyu building in Shibuya. A bowl full of many types of Sushi and rice for about 1600 yen; assembled and served by many chefs in front of me. Delicious. Loved every bite.

Then took the train to Kamiyacho where it is only a short walk to Tokyo Tower. (Many thanks, Lonely Planet, for that tip) A lot of tall buildings obscured the location of the tower so I had to walk about a bit until I could see it, then headed in the direction that other people were walking.

800 yen entry plus 600 yen to the special observatory. The main observatory is really all you need and is probably best to do it in the morning. If you're up in the afternoon especially after 3pm, the smog starts to obscure everything. In fact, as I waited in line for the lift to the special observatory, I saw the smog rolling towards the tower and I knew that 250m wouldn't be much different by the time I got there.

The facilities available at 150m are worth checking and I'd encourage you to check out the shrine as well as go down to the 1F floor of the main observatory where you'll find the glass floor panels and a cafe selling beer. A glass of Sapporo was particularly good after a long day walking.

Once you've finished with exploring the tower and take the lift you'll find that they don't let you out in the same place you got in. Instead, you'll find yourself surrounded by Tourist trap shops. I got out of the lift at the closed amusement park on the top of the building and took the stairs down to other areas. I tried to find an interesting souvenir or two but everything was the standard cheap tourist junk that you could find anywhere. For unique gifts you really have to go to the gift shop in the tower itself.

After the Tower I headed back to Iidabashi and got organised for tomorrow, then changed and went to Shibuya. I was meeting Noriko, Keiko and Alan so I was curious to know where we were going. (It was a surprise!) Not sure what it was called but it was on the 9th floor of a building that was only 5 minute walk from Hachiko in the direction of the buses. Keiko is coming to Australia next year so Alan and I answered some questions about Australia. The food was excellent and we had a great time.

Unfortunately, thanks to the hostel closing at 11:00pm, I had to leave at 10.15. I got back just in time and got ready for the big trip tomorrow. Next stop, Hiroshima.

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