If you want to see Tokyo from above, there are plenty of ways to get a sky-high view. This is our list of the best places to eat, drink and stay, or just stand and gaze out over Tokyo's vast cityscape.
View from 350 meters at Tokyo Skytree. - image © Florentyna Leow
The List: Tokyo’s Best Views
Tokyo's skyscraping skyline offers a number of excellent ways to see the city from above. We've gathered a list of the best viewing platforms, bars and restaurants, and hotels so you can take in the view at different times of the day and night. Click through for full details of how to visit.
New York Bar - image © Florentyna Leow
Tokyo Skytree might not be the tallest building in the world anymore - that honour belongs to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai - but at 634 meters tall, it is a landmark to rival landmarks across the world. And like any tall tower worth its salt, there are several observation decks boasting panoramic views open to the public. It's one of the most popular tourist attractions in Tokyo for a reason: the views are second to none, and being up there is a very special (and occasionally nerve-wracking) experience.
The Skytree from below. - image © Florentyna Leow
The iconic red and white Tokyo Tower in Minato Ward is Japan's answer to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Great cityscape views can be had from the observatory - if you don't mind that they don't include the tower itself.
Tokyo Tower - image © Florentyna Leow
Named after the world’s most iconic pedestrian crossing, the 230 meter-tall Shibuya Scramble Square building towers over the trendy youth district. Head here for shopping and entertainment options galore, plus a fabulous panoramic view from the Shibuya Sky observation deck.
Shibuya Scramble Square - image © Florentyna Leow
For panoramic views of the city, visit the 45th Floor of the Metropolitan Government Offices in Shinjuku. The best part is that admission is free.
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Offices Observation Deck - image © Florentyna Leow
Newly reopened in November 2019 after three years of renovation, Shibuya Parco is back and ready to dazzle. From drag queen-run cocktail bars to high fashion shopping to Tokyo’s first Nintendo merchandise store, visitors will find much to love and delight in here.
View from Shibuya Parco rooftop - image © Florentyna Leow
Do you consider the London Eye a must-ride? Then you’ll want to take a ride on its Tokyo counterpart, the Giant Sky Wheel in Palette Town.
Giant Sky Wheel in Palette Town - image © Florentyna Leow
Visit Shibuya Hikarie to eat and shop until you drop - but also to admire the stunning night views from the sky lobby.
Shibuya Hikarie - image © Florentyna Leow
The Mori Art Museum in Roppongi Hills is hardly a secret spot - but it is one of the best contemporary art museums in Tokyo, and has one of the best views of the city to boot.
Mori Art Museum - image © Florentyna Leow
Bars And Restaurants
Sip a cocktail and experience your own Lost in Translation moment at the ultra-cosmopolitan, sky-high New York Bar in Shinjuku.
New York Bar - image © Florentyna Leow
No time for the New York Bar? When in Shibuya, visit the Bellovisto for stunning night vistas, and cocktails to go with them.
Bellovisto - image © Florentyna Leow
Bar Six is a rooftop bar overlooking Asakusa, with views of the temple grounds below as well as the Sky Tree to the east. The cover charge is a little steep, but well worth it.
Bar Six - image © Florentyna Leow
Billboard Live Tokyo in Roppongi is a fantastic live music venue hosting musicians from Japan and around the world. A gig here comes with bonus views of the Tokyo nightscape through the massive glass walls behind the stage.
Billboard Live Tokyo - image © Florentyna Leow
The Ritz-Carlton Lobby Lounge & Bar on the 45th floor of the Midtown Tower in Roppongi is a classy place with a stunning view of the megalopolis. Put on some nice clothes and enjoy the view.
The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo The Lobby Lounge & Bar - image © Florentyna Leow
Whether you’re here for their afternoon tea or the night view of Tokyo Bay, stylish hotel bar TwentyEight in Shiodome is sure to dazzle and impress. Beware the seating charge after 8pm.
TwentyEight - image © Florentyna Leow
When you need a special-occasion izakaya for a night out in Shinjuku, look no further than Hibiki. It’s worth dining there for the stunning night views alone.
Hibiki Shinjuku-ten - image © Florentyna Leow
Fancy some sky-high fine dining around Tokyo Station? Head to the 35th and 36th floors of the Marunouchi Building for a meal there - or just check out the free lounge.
Marunouchi Building Restaurants Zone - image © Florentyna Leow
Marunouchi House in the Marunouchi Building has a 7th floor outdoor terrace where you can enjoy glorious, unfettered views of Tokyo Station while enjoying a delicious meal from one of the restaurants. It’s well worth checking out if you’re in the vicinity.
Marunouchi House - image © Florentyna Leow
Like many of the restaurants in the area, Hibiki has terrace seats with stunning views of the city, Tokyo Bay, and Rainbow Bridge. It’s not a bad place at all for a date, especially for dinner.
Hibiki - image © Florentyna Leow
For classy Korean barbecue with a view, Jojoen Ebisu Garden Place is where to go. A price tag accompanies the sky-high view, but it’s worth splashing out for.
Jojoen Ebisu Garden Place - image © Florentyna Leow
Located high atop a towering building in west Shinjuku, the Park Hyatt is a beautiful luxury hotel with great facilities and eye-popping views.
Park Hyatt Tokyo
High atop a soaring tower in Roppongi, one of Tokyo’s most exciting districts, the ultra-luxe Ritz-Carlton is a good choice for a comfortable stay in Tokyo.
The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo
Atop a soaring tower just steps from Tokyo Station, the Aman Tokyo, which opened in 2016, is a tranquil and opulent island of luxury in the sky.
Located in Shiodome, with a commanding view over Tokyo Bay, the Conrad Tokyo is a fine luxury hotel with an attentive staff and ripping views from the rooms.
The Asakusa View Hotel is a decent mid-range hotel in a tall building overlooking Asakusa. It’s not a luxury hotel, but the rooms are large.
Asakusa View Hotel
Located high atop a tower in Nihombashi, within walking distance of Tokyo Station, the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo is arguably the best hotel in Tokyo with eye-popping views from all its rooms, bars and restaurants.
Mandarin Oriental Tokyo – Tokyo Station and Marunouchi District
The Gate Hotel Asakusa is a stylish and comfortable hotel that commands the best location in Asakusa. The hotel is stylish and slick, with rooms that are a touch larger than other hotels in this class. The views from the lobby are great, taking in all of Asakusa and the Sky Tree.
The Gate Hotel Asakusa Kaminarimon by Hulic
Atop a tall building in Shiodome, the Royal Park Hotel the Shiodome is a very solid upper-mid-range hotel in a relatively convenient location in Shiodome. The main selling point is the views, which can include Tokyo Tower or Hama Rikyu Gardens. It’s rare to get views like this from a mid-range hotel.
Royal Park Hotel the Shiodome
Located in Shiodome, the Park Hotel Tokyo is a solid mid-range hotel with art-themed rooms and great views of Tokyo Tower, which is beautifully illuminated at night, from some of the rooms.
Park Hotel Tokyo
With a superb location alongside the green expanse of the Imperial Palace, the aptly named Palace Hotel Tokyo is a classic, elegant and incredibly comfortable place to stay. Try to get a room overlooking the Imperial Palace – one of the best views in Tokyo.
Palace Hotel Tokyo
Directly next to Tokyo Station, on the upper floors of a towering building, the Shangri La Hotel Tokyo is one of the best hotels in Tokyo. This is one hotel that gets everything right. The hotel literally towers over Tokyo Station and all rooms, restaurants and bars command wonderful views of Tokyo.
Shangri La Hotel Tokyo
The Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel is a large and reasonably priced luxury hotel in Shibuya, one of Tokyo’s best places to be based. The rooms are spacious for Tokyo and many have great views over the city.
Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel
With one of the best locations in Tokyo, eye-popping views of the city, comfortable rooms and reasonable rates, the Hotel Century Southern Tower is one of the best midrange hotels in the city.
Hotel Century Southern Tower
With a convenient location in Hamamatsucho, this excellent apartment-style business hotel offers small but efficient rooms at prices that almost put it in the budget category. If you’re willing to pay a bit extra, you can get a room on an upper floor that offers eye-popping views of nearby Tokyo Tower.
Hotel Mystays Hamamatsucho
Located in ulta-hip Meguro, the Claska is one of Tokyo’ only truly boutique hotels. The service is excellent and the design is super cool. There’s a great café/restaurant in the lobby and you can climb to the roof for great views over Tokyo.
Book and Bed Tokyo Shinjuku is a hostel with a twist - you sleep in boxes between hundreds of books lining the shelves! A night’s stay here is a charming bookish experience for bibliophiles. Its location on the 8th floor makes it a little tricky to find, but you’re rewarded with great views of the surrounding area through large glass windows.
Book and Bed Tokyo Shinjuku - image © Booking.com
Tokyo Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Tokyo guide
- Check Tokyo accommodation availability and pricing on Booking.com – usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Tokyo
- You can buy a Japan SIM card online with Klook for collection on arrival at Tokyo Narita or Haneda airports. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Compare airline flight prices and timings for the best Japan flight deals.
- If you're visiting more than one city, save a ton of money with a Japan Rail Pass – here's why it's worth it
- A prepaid Suica card makes travelling around Tokyo much easier - here's how
- Get esssential travel insurance for Tokyo – World Nomads is well-regarded (and here's why)