Day 4 / 09 February 2016 (Tuesday) : Tokyo
Today is a sort of “free day” for all four of us so everyone is free to go anywhere they want today. My Dubai friend decided to go to Tokyo Disneyland because it’s in his bucket list to go to all the Disneyland all over the world. My Kuala Lumpur friend, being an anime fan decided to go to One Piece Tower theme park. Me and my Manila friend, being clue less on what we really want in life just decided to tag with Kuala Lumpur friend since his One Piece theme park is in Tokyo Tower, we might as well check Tokyo Tower itself.
With the height of 333 meters high in the center of Tokyo, Tokyo Tower is the world’s tallest, self-supported steel tower, it was said that it was modeled after the Eiffel Tower. It was the country’s tallest structure from its completion in 1958 until 2012 when it was surpassed by the Tokyo Skytree. In addition to being a popular tourist spot, Tokyo Tower serves as a broadcast antenna.
The tower acts as a support structure for an antenna. Originally intended for television broadcasting, radio antennas were installed in 1961, but the tower is now used to broadcast signals for Japanese media outlets such as NHK, TBS and Fuji TV.
The main observatory at 150 meters accessible by elevators.
This observatory has a 360 view of the whole Kanto area surrounding Tokyo.
Because of the tower’s central location, the 150 meter observatory offers an interesting view of the city despite it relatively moderate height.
There is a staircase to access another observatory one level below the 150 meter main observatory.
On this level, they have this “Lookdown Window”, glass panel floor where you can directly see the view below your feet.
The view from the “Lookdown Window”
It is not as crowded as we have expected so we are able to enjoy roaming around the observatory.
From the 150 meter observatory, you can take another elevator that will take you to “Special Observatory”.
The “Special Observatory” is 250 meter high where you get a bird’s-eye view of Tokyo.
The Special Observatory is currently the third highest observation deck in Tokyo.
On a perfect weather, you see as far as Mt. Fuji and Mt. Tsukuba from here.
You can also view the Rainbow Bridge from here which connects Tokyo main island to Odaiba.
We had our lunch on the fourth floor of “Foot Town” building which is directly below the tower where there are lots of souvenir shops (Tokyo Banana is available here), cafes, the One Piece theme park and another indoor theme park.
Access : 5-10 minute walk from Onarimon Station (Mita Subway Line), Akabanebashi Station (Oedo Subway Line) and Kamiyacho Station (Hibiya Subway Line), which are all about a 5-10 minute walk from the tower. 15-20 minute walk from Hamamatsucho Station (JR Yamanote Line) or Daimon Station (Asakusa or Oedo subway lines).
Admission: 9:00 to 23:00 (entry until 22:30)
Fees: 900 yen (main observation deck only), 1600 yen (both observation decks)
Just a few minutes walking distance from Tokyo Tower you can find Zojoji Temple, the main temple of the Jodo sect of Japanese Buddhism in the Kanto Region. The Daiden (Hondo: Main Hall), which forms the core of the Buddhist structures of Zojoji, was rebuilt in 1974 by combining the traditional Buddhist temple architecture with a cream of modern architecture. Enshrined in this hall is a large main image (honzon) of Amida Buddha (made during the Muromachi Period), with an image of Great Teacher Shan-tao (who perfected China’s Jodo (Pure Land) Buddhism) at its right and an image of Honen Shonin (who founded Japan’s Jodo Shu) at its left. These images are deeply revered by many people who worship at Zojoji.
Sangedatsumon Gate (Main Gate), This wooden gate, measuring 21 meters in height, 28.7 meters in width and 17.6 meters in depth, was built in 1622, and today remains the only architectural reminder of the early days of the Edo Period when the original Zojoji was constructed on a prodigious scale. The gate has been designated by the State as important cultural property. Its name – Sangedatsumon – means a gate (mon) for getting delivered (gedatsu) from three (san) earthly states of mind – greed, anger and stupidity.
Daibonsho (Big Bell), This bell was completed in 1673 after repeating casting work as many as seven times. This giant bell, boasting a diameter of 1.76 meters, a height of 3.33 meters and a weight of 15 tons, is renowned as one of the Big Three Bells of the Edo Period.
Access : via Onarimon or Shibakoen Station (Mita Subway Line) and Daimon Station (Oedo Subway Line). 10- minute walk from Hamamatsucho Station (JR Yamanote and JR Keihin-Tohoku Line).
Admission: 9:00 to 17:00
A small street beside Zojoji Temple which leads to Tokyo Tower.
We then traveled back to Tokyo Station
A 10 minute walk from Tokyo Station is Imperial Palace East Gardens, the park was already closed when we arrived. Admission: 9:00 to 16:30 (until 17:00 from mid April through August; until 16:00 from November through February). Admission ends 30 minutes before closing.
So we just stroll outside, the cold weather was nice so we didn’t mind the long walks.
We walked until we reached Nijubashi Bridge of the Imperial Palace. The two bridges forms an entrance to the inner palace grounds. The stone bridge in front is called Meganebashi (Eyeglass Bridge) for its looks. The bridge in the back was formerly a wooden bridge with two levels, from which the name Nijubashi (Double Bridge) is derived.
We left Tokyo Station to go to Tokyo Skytree to meet another friend from Manila who incidentally is visiting Japan too and had dinner together.
We ended Day 4, our last night in Tokyo with a photo of Tokyo Skytree
Access : 4th floor of Tokyo Skytree Town, which spans the area between Tokyo Skytree Station (formerly known as Narihirabashi Station) (Tobu Isesaki Line), Oshiage Station (Asakusa Subway Line, Hanzomon Subway Line and Keisei Oshiage Line).
Admission: 8:00 to 22:00 (entry until 21:00)
Fees: First Observatory, 2060 yen (regular), 2820 yen (fast ticket). Second observatory: additional 1030 yen