Tokyo Skytree

Posted on Posted in 2013, Japan, Skytree, Tokyo, Travel

Winter 2013.

A clear winter day is the best time to head up to Tokyo Skytree. In winter the sky is crystal clear. Tokyo Skytree marks the latest landmark on the map of Tokyo, located in the heart of Sumida city ward 20 minutes walk from Asakusa station. Built as the new television broadcasting tower the Skytree stand at the height of 634 meters, 634 can be read as “Musashi” the historic name of the Tokyo region.

 

 Upon exiting Asakusa station, my attention to the Asakusa surrounding was quickly snatched by the sight of this girl’s style of dressing.

 

 I love the way she dressed. I can’t help but wonder where she came from. She looked Japanese but at the same time can pass as a Korean.

 

 Now that odd shaped building with the weird gold thing on top is the Asahi Beer’s HQ in Japan. Asakusa has a lot of interesting things to see and explore.

 

 This looks like the old American classic Greyhound bus.

 

 

 

 A “2D” cat monument welcoming you at the bridge.

 

 Through the cat’s eye.

 

The heart of the cat.  It’s made of glass and you can actually look through it.

 

 A Japanese model doing photo shoot at the bridge. I’m assuming it’s a magazine’s shoot in progress.

 

 Unlike the westerners, Japanese do their shoots with just a reflector as compared to the westerners with a whole van load of flashy equipments. For me, I believed in the “power of simplicity”.

 An American on business trip who asked me for help to take her pix.

 

 A bunch of Taiwanese tourist.

 

 

 

 Tokyo Skytree (left) and the Asahi Beer HQ (right).

 

 

 

 The Asahi Beer’s HQ reminds me of a block of jelly with cream on top.

 

 I took my time strolling from Asakusa to Tokyo Skytree. There’s actually a monorail station at the base of Tokyo Skytree but I decided to take the longer way to explore the area.

 

 

 I wonder what this fat cat is doing under the truck.

 

 So old school. I remember my uncle used to ride one of this bikes when I was small.

 

 

 

 

Japanese chicks doing selfie.

 

A Japanese mom bringing two kids on the bicycle.

 

 At the base of Tokyo Skytree. The base is a mall which also housed an aquarium.

 

 If you look closely at the “trunk” of Tokyo Skytree, it is a very futuristic and complex. A work of art and engineering marvel especially for such a tall structure to be built on an earth quake zone such as Tokyo.

 

Tokyo Skytree has it’s own unique and original color called the Skytree white. Originated from the traditional Japanese indigo blue, it is a fusion of Japanese tradition and neo-futuristic design. The Skytree white is unique. Skytree white is actually the lightest shade of Japanese traditional indigo blue known as “aijiro”. It replicate the technique of indigo dyer, adding a hint of blue to the white thus the delicate pale blue glow. The color represents the legacy of Japanese tradition conserved in the downtown area where the tower is. At night Tokyo Skytree lit up like a gigantic Christmas tree. It has 2 lighting styles; “iki” and “miyabi” style both operate alternately.

 


“They express the concept that ‘today’ is connected to ‘tomorrow’, and, beyond tomorrow expands the ‘future’. The incorporation of designs inheriting Edo scenery reflects the history and culture of Shitamachi, the downtown area.” – Tokyo Skytree website


 

“Iki” the essence of “kokoroiki”. Photo by Tokyo Skytree.

 

“Miyabi” the Aesthestics. Photo by Tokyo Skytree.

 

 

 The traffic around the base is busy even in the middle of the week. This place is busy all the time as it’s packed with Japanese tourists. Wait, Japanese tourists? Yes!! Japanese tourists from other parts of Japan.

 

Their staff have very interesting uniform as well.

 

 

 Dark indigo blue and round hat.

 

 The line to buy your ticket is insanely long. It zig-zagged like over 20 times over a stretch of approximately 15 meters. It took me over 2 hours just to get to the ticket counter.

 

 Surrounding the ticketing queue area are a long stretch of LED screen with interesting art of the surrounding downtown area of the Skytree. You can see drawing of big sushis the size of the buildings.

 

Finally after a painful 2 hours of queuing up, I managed to get my ticket to the Tembo deck which is the observation deck at 350 meters. And it’s so expensive! To get to the Tembo deck it cost ¥ 2,000 and if you want to proceed higher up to the second observation deck called the Temba galleria where the spiral corridor is you need to purchase another ticket specially for Temba galleria that cost ¥ 1,000.

 


Ticketing chart from Tokyo Skytree website.


 

Illustration from www.japan-guide.com.

 

So after queuing up for 2 hours and I finally got my ticket. I thought finally no more queue. But to get into the lift I had to queue up for another 45 minutes. OMG! They have so many high speed lift but you still have to wait for 45 minutes for your turn. That is how crowded the place is. The lift has very hight ceiling. Approximately 15 feet tall. With nice LED deco above the door.

 

The information display panel telling you where you are.

 

 Finally after nearly 3 hours of standing in line with my camera bag, I made it! The view is worth the wait.

 

 

 

I met this bunch of uni students from Kobe when I was waiting in line for the lift.

 

 Very friendly bunch. Emina, Kana, Runa, Arisa, Saki.

 

Kana says hi!

 

 The whole observation deck is in a circle. So you walk around it and there are several cafes where you can sit and get a drink or a bite to eat.

 

But the disappointing thing is there were so many people that you can hardly find a place to sit or stand and take you sweet time to look down.

 

 

 

 It’s amazing to see Tokyo from above.

 

 You can see how small Tokyo Tower look in this pix. The red and white tower about 3/4 to the right of the pix.

 

 

Standing tall and mighty the Tokyo Skytree puts everything down below in it’s shadow.

 

 

A glass panel on the flow of the Tembo deck where you can look directly down to the base where the mall is.

 

 That’s my Dr Mart! Standing on a glass window 350 meters above the ground.

 

This is the spiral corridor which you need to pay additional ¥ 1,000 for. Photo from www.japan-guide.com.

 

 Boots to boots. My Dr Mart saying hi to Runa’s.

 

 We all hung out after the Skytree tour and they asked if I wanna join them to Harajuku for the afternoon.

 

I thought why not since I was gonna head there anyway.

 

 Arisa.

 

 Runa.

 Saki.

 

 Kana.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waiting for the monorail at the Tobu Isesaki line’s Skytree monorail station for the monorail to Asakusa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here we are at Harajuku.

 

 


 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a fun day with this bunch of uni girls. I went off for dinner and headed back to my hotel after this. Kindda tired out after the long queue at Skytree.

 

 What’s for dinner? I ordered purely based on what looks good in the picture.

 

 

Not sure what it’s called but I know it’s beef.

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