Spectacular views of Tokyo from one of the city’s most imposing complexes
Most people wouldn’t think to make a government building a travel destination, but the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is well worth a visit. Also known as Tocho, it’s Tokyo’s fifth-tallest structure and has observation decks on each of its spires that offer all-encompassing views of the city below.
The lofty perspective of the metropolis from over 200 meters up
A tourist center with info about destinations all over japan
Nearby Shinjuku Central Park, a popular city oasis
When visiting Tokyo, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the city. With its towering skyscrapers, bustling streets, and vibrant nightlife, Tokyo is a city that never sleeps. However, amidst the chaos, there are hidden gems that offer a different perspective of the city. One such gem is the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, also known as Tocho.
Located in west Shinjuku, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building stands tall as one of the city’s most imposing complexes. Rising over 200 meters above the ground, it offers breathtaking views of Tokyo and its surrounding areas. With observation decks on each of its spires, visitors can enjoy panoramic views that stretch as far as the eye can see.
Tocho is not just a government building; it is also a tourist center that provides information about destinations all over Japan. Whether you’re planning to explore the historic temples of Kyoto, experience the vibrant nightlife of Osaka, or relax on the beautiful beaches of Okinawa, the tourist center at Tocho has you covered. With helpful staff and informative brochures, you can plan your entire trip right here.
But the attractions of Tocho don’t end there. Just a stone’s throw away from the building, you’ll find Shinjuku Central Park, a popular city oasis. With its lush greenery, tranquil ponds, and scenic walking paths, it offers a welcome respite from the bustling streets of Tokyo. Take a leisurely stroll through the park, have a picnic on the grass, or simply sit and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. It’s the perfect place to relax and unwind after a day of exploring the city.
How to Get There
Tocho is conveniently located in west Shinjuku, close to Shinjuku Station. From JR Shinjuku Station, it’s just a 10-minute walk to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. There’s an underground passageway leading to Keio Plaza Hotel. If you keep walking past Keio Plaza Hotel, you’ll find yourself in the basement of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. Alternatively, you can take the Oedo Line subway and get off at Tocho-mae, which has an exit that takes you directly into the building’s basement.
Once you arrive at Tocho, you’ll be greeted by an impressive government building that houses important offices and a large assembly hall. The first floor of the building is dedicated to providing tourist information about all areas of Japan. Here, you can learn about the best attractions, the most scenic spots, and the hidden gems that make Japan such a unique and fascinating destination.
From the moment you step inside the building, you’ll be struck by its size and grandeur. The main building, which is 243 meters high, has 48 stories above ground and three underground. The second building, which stands at 163 meters, has 34 stories above ground and three below. And finally, there’s the third building, where the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Assembly convenes. This building is seven stories high and is built with a basement floor. It features a circular arcade that envelops a central plaza, creating a stunning architectural masterpiece.
Together, these three buildings cover a total area of over 380,000 square meters. To put that into perspective, New York’s Empire State Building, one of the world’s most iconic structures, has just over half the total floor space of Tocho. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is not only an architectural marvel; it’s also a symbol of Tokyo’s modernity and progress.
In fact, the building is so iconic that it often appears in Japanese science fiction and anime. In the 1991 film “Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah,” the monsters battle around Tocho, with Godzilla crashing through its midsection. Its unique design and towering presence make it a perfect backdrop for epic battles and futuristic cityscapes.
But the real highlight of Tocho is its observation decks. Located on the 45th floor of each tower, these decks offer unparalleled views of Tokyo and its famous landmarks. From here, you can see Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Tower, Meiji-jingu Shrine, Yoyogi Park, and Tokyo Dome, among others. On clear days, you can even catch a glimpse of Mount Fuji in the distance. The observation decks are free to enter, making them a must-visit for anyone looking to experience Tokyo from a different perspective.
The best time to visit Tocho is during sunset. As the sun dips below the horizon, the city comes alive with a warm golden glow. The skyscrapers light up, the streets fill with people, and the city takes on a magical atmosphere. From the observation decks, you can watch as the city transitions from day to night, with the lights of Tokyo illuminating the night sky. It’s a truly mesmerizing sight that you won’t want to miss.
After enjoying the breathtaking views from Tocho, you can explore the surrounding area and discover even more hidden gems. Right across the street from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is Shinjuku Central Park, a spacious green oasis in the middle of one of Tokyo’s busiest districts. Here, you can take a leisurely walk, have a picnic, or simply sit and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. There are also plenty of restaurants and bars nearby, where you can indulge in delicious Japanese cuisine and experience the vibrant nightlife of Shinjuku.
In conclusion, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is a must-visit attraction for anyone traveling to Tokyo. With its spectacular views, informative tourist center, and proximity to Shinjuku Central Park, it offers a unique and unforgettable experience. Whether you’re a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or simply someone who appreciates breathtaking views, Tocho has something for everyone. So make sure to add it to your itinerary and see Tokyo like you’ve never seen it before.
Address And Maps Location:
2-8-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo-to