At 450 metres, Tokyo Sky Tree literally towers over Tokyo. On a clear day you can see beyond the city’s perimeter in all directions and as far as Mt Fuji. And thanks to a couple of glass windows on the floor, you can watch the miniature traffic moving along the roads far beneath.
That’s if you’re game enough to look down. One of the reasons Margaret started Views On Top was to find a way face her fear of heights and enjoy the view. I think my fear of heights is probably greater – either that or she’s done a bloody good job facing hers! As I approached the glass window on the floor I tentatively put my foot over the edge – and even that was enough to scare me.
It doesn’t seem to scare anyone else though – I was soon surrounded my sightseers posing over the window. There’s even a few kids testing its strength by jumping on it (shudder).
This is just one feature of the tower that will test your fear of heights. The other is the elevator that takes you from 350 metres to 450 metres. It ascends (and descends) the 100 metres very quickly and a few seconds in the walls are replaced with glass – which made me gasp.
The view from 450 metres is incredible though. It’s a sunny day, not a cloud in the sky but a bit of haze in the distance is unfortunately hiding Mt Fuji from me. I can see the whole city though. It stretches out in all directions forming various geometric patterns of streets, rivers and rows of colourful buildings.
An interactive map on the lower level shows you what you’re looking at in all directions, and with the flick of a switch, what it looks like at night. I can even pick out Tokyo Disney Resort away in the distance, marked by a ferris wheel on the water’s edge.
Sitting in the cafe at 350 metres I can, for the first time in a week of being in Tokyo, get a lay of the land. I can now work out which parts of the city I’ve explored and how everything connects.
Finally, after a week of exploring the city by subway, my sense of direction is back. Just one good reason to get up high and get an overview of the places you come to explore on your travels.