Tokyo Tower could easily be considered a day trip in itself; the building and surrounding area have a lot to offer. The foot of the tower – known appropriately as Foot Town – has lots of shops and attractions, including a horror house, aquarium and a One Piece theme park.
Tokyo Tower is actually taller than the Eiffel Tower, though is several hundred metres smaller than the Tokyo Skytree. Nonetheless, with its bright red colour, it makes a bold statement among all the grey of the skyscrapers surrounding it.
We had wanted to walk the steps up to the observation deck, but upon arrival found out that is only available on weekends and bank holidays (maybe it was for the best, as we’d only walked Mt. Takao the day before).
Nevertheless, the lift to the top was good fun – heights make me feel a bit wobbly, so I tried not to look down at the transparent floor beneath us as we were whizzed up to our first stop!
The main observatory had a cafe, gift shop and viewing windows in the floor. I couldn’t bring myself to even stand on them, but I did peek – it was a long way down!
I think we were a little disappointed by the observation decks in the end. We paid to access both decks, and there is no denying the views were incredible, but The Government Building observation deck in Shinjuku (which we visited later in the week) felt it had more to offer, and that was free entry too!
More than Tokyo Tower itself, we enjoyed the grounds of Zojoji Temple, which sits within walking distance of Tokyo Tower.
The temple grounds include rows and rows of Jizo statues, decorated with red bibs and hats. In Buddhism, Jizo is believed to alleviate suffering and protect children; there’s an interesting website talking more about the meaning of the Jizo statues and their different forms, found here (for those who are curious!). Personally, I found their presence very moving and quite beautiful.
I’m glad we went up Tokyo Tower, but despite looking forward to the observation decks the most, we actually enjoyed the other features of the area more. Sometimes exploring is the best bit!
Don’t miss the last post in the 10 Days in Tokyo series: Our Last Day in Tokyo: Odaiba