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Ritsurin garden in autumn

New Places to Visit in Tokyo

May 21, 2012

Tokyo Skytree Opens 

Tokyo Sky TreeOn 22 May, the tallest freestanding tower in the world opened in Tokyo. At a height of 634 metres, Tokyo Skytree is the second tallest structure in the world, after Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
 
The tower in the Sumida ward of Tokyo’s main purposes is to relay television and radio broadcast signals since Tokyo Tower (at a height of 333 metres) no longer adequately provides broadcasting coverage. As well as being a broadcasting tower, Tokyo Sky Tree also has a restaurant, cafes, and an observation deck with a glass floor that allows visitors to look straight down onto the city.

The highlight of the Tokyo Skytree is its two observation decks which offer spectacular views out over Tokyo. The two enclosed decks are located at heights of 350 and 450 meters respectively, making them the highest observation decks in Japan and some of the highest in the world. Advance reservations are required for accessing the observation decks through 10 July 2012 (find out how to book here).

The tower is painted in a colour officially called "Sky Tree White", an original colour based on a bluish-white traditional Japanese colour called aijiro. It will also be illuminated by sky-blue and purple LEDs. A combination of futuristic and traditional Japanese elements are reflected in the design.

The height of the tower, 634 metres, was selected so that it could be easily remembered (in Japanese!). The numbers in Japanese - 6 (mu), 3 (sa) and 4 (shi) - stand for 'Musashi', an old name for the region in which modern Tokyo is located.

Tokyo Skytree expects thousands of visitors in its opening weeks, many of whom have already reserved their tickets, and it is anticipated that it will become one of Tokyo's most impressive tourist attractions. Lady Gaga has already been for a sneak preview!
For more details about Tokyo Skytree go to www.tokyo-skytree.jp

Giant Gundam Lands in Tokyo

Gundam at DiverCity TokyoIn April, DiverCity Tokyo Plaza opened in Odaiba, Tokyo’s bay front district that Tokyoites flock to for shopping, dining and museums. DiverCity Tokyo Plaza is home to both domestic and international fashion outlets, one of the largest food courts in Odaiba with about 700 seats, a maid café and sports facilities where you can enjoy tennis, 3 on 3 basketball and bowling. For non-Japanese visitors, the Plaza will have multilingual signage and a foreign exchange counter.

The most immediate eye-catching feature of the site is a giant, 18-metre statue of the anime character Gundam standing on the grounds in front of the building. On the 7th floor visitors can experience the world of Gundam in an entertainment space named Gundam Front Tokyo. (Please note: part of Gundam Front Tokyo is free of charge. You need to book prior to the visit for the ticketed entry area.)

For more information visit Gundam Front Tokyo  and DiverCity Tokyo Plaza .
Access: 3 min from Tokyo Teleport Station on the Rinkai Line on foot, or 5 min from Daiba Station on the Yurikamome Line on foot

New Landmark Shopping Centre Opens on Omotesando

Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku in Tokyo
In April, Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku opened on the intersection of Omotesando Avenue and Meiji-dori Avenue, around 5 minutes walk from JR Harajuku Station. Young fashion lovers and architecture enthusiasts should definitely check out this new edition to Tokyo’s premiere shopping street.

Locally the long name was quickly became shortened to Omohara in ode to the refreshing greenery on the rooftop rest area named "Omohara no Mori" (Omohara Wood). The castle-like structure topped with tufts of greener was designed by Hiroshi Nakamura, an award-winning architect who helped shaped the new terminals at Tokyo’s central Haneda airport.

Hikarie building in Shibuya, Tokyo

Hikarie – a New Tower in Shibuya

Kengo Kum building in Tokyo

On 26 April, a new tower (pictured left) opened near the iconic Shibuya crossing. The impressive 34-storey Hikarie tower just east of Shibuya station houses a music hall, cinema, art galleries, a Tokyu department store, cafes and restaurants.





Stunning New Tourism Centre

A striking new building (pictured top right) designed by Kengo Kuma opened in front of Sensoji templpe’s Kaminarimon gate in April. The building is the new home of the Asakusa Culture Tourism Centre where you’ll find free tourit information, computers to search for tourist information and also free WiFi. On the 7th floor there is an exhibition space where you can learn about the history, culture, events and notable places in Asakusa area. On the 1st floor there is a foreign money currency exchange counter as we hear the roof terrace and cafe on the 8th floor offers beautiful views of Asakusa and Tokyo Sky Tree.