In a previous article, I discussed the popular tourist attraction teamLab Planets in Tokyo. If you haven't yet, make sure to read that piece for essential details about the experience.
In this article, let’s focus on another must-see destination in Tokyo: Shibuya Sky. Here, you'll find out how to enjoy the stunning vistas of Tokyo from the 46th floor of one of the city’s tallest buildings.
Shibuya Sky is an open-air observatory situated at the top of Shibuya Scramble Square, one of the tallest buildings in Tokyo's bustling Shibuya district. The observatory is 229 meters high and offers a breathtaking 360-degree view of the Tokyo skyline.
But Shibuya Sky is not just a place for sightseeing. It's designed with the creative concept of "Cloud Surfing," which allows you to stroll on organized paths seemingly above the clouds, offering a fresh perspective on Tokyo’s cityscape.
The observatory is also fitted with Augmented Reality (AR) technology that can give you additional information about the landmarks you can see from this lofty vantage point.
The observatory is located on the 46th floor of Shibuya Scramble Square at 2-24-12 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo. It's conveniently linked to Shibuya Station, one of Tokyo's busiest railway hubs, accessible via the JR Yamanote Line.
To get here, take the train to Shibuya Station, exit at B6, and then line up for the elevator that will take you to the 14th-floor entrance of Shibuya Sky.
The observatory is open every day from 10:00 am to 10:30 pm, with the last admission at 9:20 pm. I strongly recommend visiting in the afternoon or evening to catch the sunset or the glittering nighttime city views.
You can buy tickets either online or in person, although I suggest opting for online purchases as tickets often sell out. I bought my tickets via the Klook app about two weeks before my trip, allowing me to select my preferred entry time (18:20) without the need to wait in line.
Please note that prices might vary based on the time of your visit, holidays, or any ongoing promotions. After a successful purchase, you'll receive an email confirmation with a QR code, making the entry process smooth and straightforward.
There are some important guidelines for visitors to follow. You will see the rest in the e-voucher you got. Here are some of them:
All bags are inspected for safety, and you must store them in available lockers for a 500 yen deposit, which is refundable. Weapons, sharp objects, or flammable materials are not allowed.
Because Shibuya Sky is an open-air observatory, weather conditions can impact your experience. In cases of extreme weather, some areas may be restricted or closed, so it's advisable to check the weather and the official website before your visit. Also, avoid wearing clothing that could be blown away by strong winds.
You're welcome to take photos, but tripods, monopods, and drones are not permitted for safety reasons.
Shibuya Sky is spread across four floors. The journey starts on the 14th floor at a spot called the "Sensing Hall," where visitors are prepared to take the Sky Pods (elevators) up to the 45th floor. Be prepared for some waiting, as there's usually a line to get on the elevator.
Once you reach the 14th floor, you’ll find another queue for the elevator that takes you to the 45th floor. But don't worry, even if it sounds like a lot of waiting, the staff make the process smooth.
They are alert, efficient, and professional, ensuring that everyone gets into the elevator without crowding, making for a comfortable trip up.
When it was our turn to ride what they call the 'transition pods' to the 45th floor, we noticed a unique feature. As the elevator doors closed, the lights dimmed and the ceiling transformed into a digital art display, created by Rhizomatiks Design. This display is designed to entertain and perhaps ease any nerves as you go up.
Once you reach the 45th floor, an escalator takes you to the 46th floor, which houses the Sky Gallery. This is where the interactive experiences begin. Here you can explore various installations like Time River, Parallel Windows, and Cloud Hammock, ending your tour at Data Scape.
For those looking to take a break and soak in the view, the 46th floor also features cafes and bars. This gives visitors the opportunity to enjoy some food and drinks while gazing out at the city below.
What makes this all even more remarkable is the panoramic view of Tokyo from a height of 230 meters. Everything from towering skyscrapers to the bustling streets full of cars and pedestrians is visible. Ever heard of the famous Shibuya Crossing? You can get an unbeatable view of it from up here.
Many visitors, including us, opt to arrive around sunset. It's a magical time as the sky over Tokyo changes from day to evening, painting the horizon in shades of orange, purple, and pink. The atmosphere turns romantic, providing an unforgettable experience.
As darkness takes over, Tokyo comes alive in a different way, transforming into a mesmerizing sea of lights. Buildings, streets, and bridges sparkle with neon and LED lights, offering a futuristic backdrop that's particularly striking after nightfall.
Don't forget to check out the well-stocked souvenir shop before you leave. From snacks to keychains and even miniatures, it's a great place to pick up something of your visit.
Additionally, a special photo service is available near iconic spots, though my husband and I decided to skip it.
In summary, Shibuya Sky is an unforgettable experience that offers panoramic views of Tokyo from a unique perspective. It's a memory you won't want to miss. Interested in visiting? Share your thoughts in the comments below!