Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

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  • Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building - Tokyo City Hall

    Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

  • Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

    Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

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Facts & Figures

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (Tokyo City Hall) is an impressive high-rise building complex, also known as Tocho (a short form of its Japanese name Tokyo-to Chosha), with approximately 400000 square meters of floor space and is located within the Shinjuku business district. There are three main buildings. Building number 1 has two towers with a height of 243,39 meters. This structure has in total 48 stories above and 3 underground. Building number 2 with a height of 163 meters has 34 stories above and 3 underground. And last but not least the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly Building is 41 meters high with 7 stories above and 1 story below ground. Special technology was used to make the building resistant to earthquakes to be prepared for catastrophes like to Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923. Nearly 13000 people work here forming together the headquarters of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. Best Ryokans in Tokyo Experience the Ultimate Japanese Hospitality at a Tokyo Ryokan.
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They are not only responsible for the 23 wards but also the cities, towns, and villages within the whole Tokyo Prefecture. Btw the Ogasawara Islands (Bonin Islands) are also governed by them. The Tokyo City Hall is especially popular for tourists looking for a free observation deck with great views over Tokyo, Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Tower, Mt. Fuji, Yoyogi, Meiji-jingu, and many more. The panoramic observatories, which are located 202 meters above the ground, can be found on each of the tower's 45th floors on top of the main building. After a quick security check for your bag, you will enter the high-speed elevator, which brings you in 55 seconds to the 45th floor. Both observatories cover an area of 1000 square meters with floor-to-ceiling windows with a height of 18m. Many locals come here on the 1st of January to enjoy the first sunrise of the year called hatsuhinode. The south observatory is accessible on that day at 5:30 am only for people who applied beforehand (deadline 8th of Dec.) via a postcard to the city hall. Every year local product fairs are held by the government on the observation decks to promote the culinary highlights of the different regions/prefectures of Japan. My insider tip: At the beginning of April and September you can see there an amazing sunset right above Mt. Fuji. It is called Diamond Fuji because it resembles a sparkling diamond.

  • Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (Tokyo City Hall):
  • Opening Hours (Observatory North Tower) - 9:30 am to 11:00 pm (last entry 10:30 pm)
  • Opening Hours (Observatory South Tower) - 9:30 am to 5:30 pm (last entry 5:00 pm)
  • Closed (Observatory North Tower + Observatory South Tower) - 2nd and 4th Monday of each month
  • Closed (both Observatories) - 29th of December till 3rd of January
  • Admission Fee - free

My tips for local activities

Local guide in Tokyo

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History

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (Tocho) was designed by famous architect Kenzo Tange (1913 - 2005) and opened to the public after a 2-year construction phase in 1991 (costs of appr. 1 billion US Dollars). The new building replaced the old Tokyo City Hall, which was built in 1957 by the same architect Kenzo Tange:) He intended to model building number 1 to resemble a computer chip. The high-rise building was the tallest in Tokyo until it was overtaken by the Midtown Tower in 2007. The iconic building is often seen in anime and sci-fi movies. In 1991 a movie came out called Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah. During the final battle, Godzilla destroyed the Tokyo City Hall. In February 2024, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building got an entry in the Guinness World Record for having the world's largest permanent projection mapping display with nearly 14,000 square meters.

Location

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Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (Tokyo City Hall) is located within Shinjuku (ward) in Tokyo.
Address: 2-8-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 163-8001 Japan

How to get to Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building?

  • 12min from JR Shinjuku Station (West exit) or
  • Tocho-mae Station served by Oedo Subway Line

Sightseeing spots in and around the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

Top:

Observation decks - Enjoy spectacular views over Tokyo from the 45th floor at a height of 202 meters. The Admission is free and you will find there a cafe (kissaten) and souvenir shop.

Tourist information center - It is a great place to get relevant information about Japan's important tourist destinations and of course this includes Tokyo:) You will find this large office on the second floor of the building.

Shinjuku Central Park - You will find this spacious park opposite the Tokyo City Hall. The park features a fountain called Shinjuku Niagara Falls. Do not expect the same height like the Niagara Falls in Canada ;) It is also a very popular place for local workers during lunchtime.

Festival & Events (dates can change without notice)

every month

Illumination(first Saturday and Sunday)
Enjoy this unique illumination of the Tokyo City Hall building.

July

Shinjuku Eisa (Okinawan dance) Festival (27th)
Traditional dances from Okinawa are performed by 23 Eisa dance groups.

September

Kumano Shrine Autumn Festival (16th)
Mikoshi (portable shrines) are carried through the streets of Shinjuku.

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