3 Reasons To Visit The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings In Shinjuku | CoolJapan

When we think of fun and exciting things to add to our travel itineraries, visiting government offices doesn’t often come to mind. Let the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings change that. With its Building No. 1 and Assembly Building open to visitors, this symbol of modernity and governance found at the heart of Shinjuku is a recommended stop for any Tokyo traveller, be it your first trip to the city or not.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings. (Photo from: ©JNTO)

Curious why? Here are three reasons to carve some time from your itinerary to visit the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings.

1. It’s an architectural marvel

Starting with the impressive exteriors, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings are designed by world-renowned architect Kenzo Tange. This makes them undeniably some of the most picturesque structures in Japan’s capital. Specifically, Building No.1’s most iconic feature is its North and South towers which provide a great view of Shinjuku’s lively streets and beyond.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings wide view

Whether up close or afar, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings will surely leave you in awe. (Photo from: ©JNTO)

2. It offers a budget-friendly yet fantastic panoramic view of the Tokyo cityscape

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building No. 1 stands at an impressive 243 metres. On its 45th floor, the North and South towers offer a 360-degree view of the Tokyo skyline for free (as of writing, the North tower is temporarily closed). It is most recommended to visit during early mornings of autumn and winter for clearer views of the cityscape. For those who prefer a glimpse of Tokyo’s beautiful night skyline, visitors can stay at the observatory until 10PM, with 9:30PM as the last entry.

Each direction of the viewing deck features an information panel that pinpoints Tokyo’s iconic landmarks like Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree, which can be seen within your line of sight. If you’re lucky, Mount Fuji might also appear from this viewpoint on a clear day.

A cafe for one’s dining pleasure can be found on the same floor as the South Tower observatory.

3. It has a comprehensive tourist information centre about almost all destinations in Japan

While the observation deck is one of its main highlights, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building No. 1 also boasts the Japanese Prefectural Tourism Promotion Corner on its first floor. You can find free travel booklets in different languages, information leaflets, and interesting exhibits about destinations all over Japan here. Some exhibits are also interactive and free for tourists to try and experience.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings observation deck and exhibits
Left - information panels found at the observation deck; Right - exhibit of traditional Japanese toys that visitors can try their hand at.

The promotion corner also has an event space where local governments from all over Japan are given the opportunity to display their area’s respective tourism highlights such as products, sites to see, and more through promotional exhibits, videos, etc. on a weekly rotational basis. It’s a great way to learn more about other historical and cultural spots in Japan you can add to your future itineraries.

On the same floor, a dedicated Tokyo Tourist Information Center can also be found for those looking for more information on the best the city has to offer.

Access to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings are easily accessible through a 10-minute walk from JR Shinjuku Station’s west exit.