The Andaz Hotel’s Rooftop Bar is the highest bar in Tokyo at 52 stories up. Its space features low, casual seating and warm lanterns with an Eastern design influence. The Rooftop Bar prides itself on its cocktails, including their signature Tokyo Mule. The bar is technically an outdoor roof terrace, and while it’s heavily protected, the cold winds can still sneak in and make it difficult to get comfortable in the cooler months. But with enormous panoramic windows and a view that makes Tokyo Bay and the nearby skyscrapers look positively petite, Rooftop Bar offers photographers a truly unique chance to capture the city and is definitely worth the trip. Reservations can be made on their website.
Rooftop Bar, 1-23-4 Toranomon, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan, +81 3-6830-7739
Sky Circus – Sunshine60 Observatory
The Sky Circus has found a way to compete with all the other observatories in Tokyo, both new and old. It’s been designed a bit like a sky-themed theme park, complete with virtual reality experiences and the use of modern art installation techniques to offer new ways to experience being up high. However, it’s still an observatory at heart, and the views here are nothing short of spectacular. The Sky Circus sits in the Sunshine City mall/business park and is open from 10:00 AM to 8:50 PM.
Fee: Adults ¥1,200 / Students ¥900 / Children ¥600
Sky Circus, 3-3-1 Higashi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo, Japan, +81 3-3989-3457
The Tokyo Skytree is one of the city’s newest observatories. It’s still the tallest free-standing structure in Japan and the second-tallest structure in the world. A quick trip up the highest observation deck, 450 meters (1,476 feet) off the ground, costs about 1,000 yen. Alternatively, you can choose to take your time, hang out at the shops, café, and restaurant 100 meters (328 feet) below for 2,000 yen. The view is definitely worth it, and with so much space, you won’t have to be waiting your turn or elbowing through the crowd to get the perfect shot. Purchase tickets on the fourth floor of the Tokyo Skytree Town. It sits northeast of central Tokyo in Sumida ward.
Fee: ¥1,000 for observatory / ¥2,000 for dining floor
Tokyo Skytree, 1-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida-ku, Tokyo, Japan, +81 570-550-634
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings Observatories in Shinjuku are a favorite among thrifty travelers. Scaling the towers to the 45th floor is completely free of charge. There are two observation decks, the north and the south, each outfitted with a small café and bar, lounge areas and small souvenir stands. The North Observation Deck stays open until 10:30 pm, so it’s a great choice for grabbing those nighttime shots of the city.
Tokyo City View and Sky Deck
Tokyo City View is the observation deck in Roppongi Hills, adjacent to the Mori Art Museum. It offers impressive 360-degree views of Tokyo. With its proximity to one of the city’s most prominent art museums, it’s no wonder Tokyo City View focuses on the educational aspects of observatories. It hosts the Roppongi Astronomy Club, which includes seminars and workshops on astronomy and other themed gatherings. Tokyo City View is open from 10 AM to 11 PM (1 AM on weekends). The outdoor Sky Deck closes at 8 PM and could close unexpectedly depending on the weather.
Fee: ¥ 1,800 for observatory access, additional ¥500 for Sky Deck access
Sky Lounge Stellar Garden
The Sky Lounge Stellar Garden at the Prince Park Tower Hotel in downtown Tokyo offers panoramic views of Minato ward. At just 33 floors up, the sky bar can’t compete with the nearby skyscrapers in terms of height, but this gives it a unique vantage point and a different perspective on the city. And nothing can compete with the Sky Lounge when it comes to impressive views of Tokyo Tower. The Prince Park Tower Hotel lies in Shiba Park, steps from Zojo-ji and other important city landmarks.
Bellovisto is the classy hotel bar of the luxury five-star Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel in Shibuya. Thanks to its central city location and vantage point on the hotel’s 40th floor, Bellovisto offers one of the best views of the city you can get. On a clear day, you may even be able to see Mount Fuji in the distance. Great for both daytime and nighttime vistas.