Tokyo tower has one of the best views of Tokyo. It could be argued Skytree does, or the Metropolitan Building offers a similar view cheaper, but there is just something so iconic about the red tower, so visible on the skyline.
And for some reason…I decided to climb it.
A little know attraction, you forgo the lines for the elevators, and climb the tower to the the main observatory. 600 steps up 150m.
The website claims even children could climb the tower in 15 minutes. Apparently they have forgotten that children are unbridled bundles of energy, so this did not give me much condolence for the task.
My next step in pondering about this daunting was just that…the steps. 600 is a lot of stairs. The only stairs we have is two small flights at work up one level. So it is not like I have experience at the subject.
To prepare I attempted the stair climber at the gym…to utter failure. I felt like a dolt the entire time, and still do not know if I was using it correctly.
Finally the day came. As we approached the tower I began to get nervous. I know I had been working out 3 times a week, and had lost 30 pounds since my last trip to Tokyo, but would that be enough to conquer the tower.
Climbing Tokyo Tower
It is important to note, we were “only” climbing to the main observation deck (the large rectangular one). There are no stairs leading to the special observatory.
Once you buy your tickets, you are directed inside, and up an elevator to the roof of the building nestled between the legs of the tower. This building serves as a shopping center, as well as other touristy things like food and entertainment.
Once on the roof things looked very daunting…it was our last chance to turn back!!
We approached the ticket counter, and the gentleman taking our tickets reminded us “this is for the stairs.” We advised we knew, and handed over our tickets…no turning back now.
And so we climbed, and the view was beautiful!
As you climb up the tower, there are little observation platforms you can stop and rest at. We had to stop a little more than that to catch our breath, and take photos of the view.
It was a nice, sunny day in Tokyo, but as you climbed, it did get colder, and windy. I couldn’t imagine trying to climb this in winter!! They do have climbing on New Years, burrrr!
You actually ascend the last approximately 100 steps indoors, which seems a little anti-climatic, as they are not numbered after 531, but exciting non the less!
Once we made it to the top, we rewarded ourselves with mango ice cream, and grabbed a seat to watch the comedy event that was going on, the place was packed, but that Ice Cream, never tasted sweeter.
So we climbed Tokyo Tower, but what do we have to prove for it? Well they have us covered for that as well. I present my Noppon certified climbing stair certificate:
Overall, the trip was not that bad, it took us chubby (OK…we are not chubby, we are obese, but we are working on it) Americans about 30 minutes to climb it. Which was actually only a little over the wait time that day to take the elevator (Score!) We had been working out for months though, so we were not climbing it from a sedentary lifestyle. If we were not exercising regularly, there is no way we could have made it up this thing.
Would I do it again? You bet! It was not a causal stroll, but the beautiful views from the tower were breath taking and more surreal without a panel of glass between you and the horizon.
If you are in the health to do it, I completely recommend it. I mean, look at this view…
Tokyo Tower’s staircase is open on Saturday, Sunday, and Public Holidays.
(Closed During Bad Weather)
Details about how to climb can be found here: http://www.tokyotower.co.jp/eng/hot_topics/index.cgi?tno=2307tno=1037