We climbed Tokyo Tower by stairs!
Tokyo Tower is the symbol of Tokyo. Going up the 600 stairs to the observation deck showed us a view of Tokyo that we have never seen before.
A gigantic, 333-meter orange tower standing in the center of the metropolis. For over 60 years since its completion, Tokyo Tower has been loved as a symbol of not only Tokyo, but also Japan. You might have seen its pictures or visited there, as it is a famous tourist destination that is covered in pretty much every travel guidebook on Japan.
But did you know that you can get to the observation deck located at 150 m, by stairs, and not just by elevator? In this article, we will take you through Fa-So-La AKIHABARA editor team’s journey taking on the “Open-air Outdoor Stairs Walk”—a profound experience that is not so well-known even among Japanese people despite the fact that the tower is a symbol of Japan.
By the way, this is the third time that I, editor Kotera, have come to Tokyo Tower. The first time was with my family when I was an elementary schooler. The second time was four or five years ago when I heard there was a collaboration restaurant with Japanese manga One Piece (the event no longer available). I have never taken the Open-air Outdoor Stairs Walk, and it has been a long time since the last time I came here, so I am so hyped and ready to take on this challenge.
Tokyo Tower consists of several sections including Foot Town, in which there are souvenir shops, a food court, and other shops, and the two observation decks—the Main Deck at 150 m and the Top Deck at 250 m. You can access Foot Town and up to the Main Deck at 150 m by stairs.
Without further ado, let’s get the 1,200-yen ticket at the front desk for accessing the Main Deck. After checking out the souvenir shops a little bit, we headed to the rooftop of Foot Town where there is an entrance to Open-air Outdoor Stairs Walk.
Look for the elevators under the “SHOPS & RESTAURANTS” sign.
When you get to the rooftop of Foot Town, you’ll find the entrance to the stairs. Hand the ticket to the staff here. FYI, there are 600 steps, so make sure to bring something to drink during summer.
The starting point of Open-air Outdoor Stairs Walk. Present your ticket here.
Finding out that there are 600 steps, we were unable to get up from the bench, just looking up the stairs and feeling anxious if we were going to make it, but we were finally able to push ourselves and take on the challenge.
It is also nice to sit on the bench and appreciate the tower.
Near the starting point, you can also look up the tower from the bottom.Maybe this is a rarely seen view as well?
When you hand the ticket to the staff, you’ll get the exclusive Tokyo Tower card. There are ten different versions of these cards.
The certification card that you can get when you take the stairs.You are a true Japan master if you collect all ten versions!
We were worried at first, but the wind that blows from time to time feels really nice once you start going up, and the view of Tokyo through the orange steel frame structure that you can’t usually see is remarkable.
Arrived at the area near the arch at the foot of Tokyo Tower.
Some steps are numbered so that you can see how many steps you have taken.
The nearby buildings appeared to be close at first, but they were far below us before we knew it. It is fun to watch the view as it gradually changes.
Tokyo Tower is also known for numbers with repeated digits, as its height is 333 m. At the 333rd step, you will be welcomed by Tokyo Tower’s mascots “Noppon Brothers.”
Our editor team going further on up the stairs. Editor Hayashi is taking the lead and going up at a high pace.
100 steps to go! From around here, the staircase is enclosed, as you are getting close to the observation deck. You are almost there!
We made it! At the Main Deck, you’ll be welcomed with a spectacular view through the 360-degree glass walls. Here you can cool down and enjoy some ice cream at a café, and you can also watch videos on the history of Tokyo. Moreover, it has many other things to offer, such as the official shop where you can shop for souvenirs, as well as the “Tower Ojingu” which is said to be the Shinto shrine located at the highest place out of all 23 wards of Tokyo.
You can see Roppongi Hills and the Rainbow Bridge. You can sometimes see Mt. Fuji when the weather is nice. It’s fun to look for them from the deck.
There is a café in the main deck, so you can take a rest too.
Test your courage by standing on the glass floor through which you can see below.
I wasn’t sure if I could make it because I hadn’t been exercising lately, but I was able to reach the Main Deck in about 30 minutes despite the fact that I walked slowly while taking pictures for this article. I felt a great sense of achievement and a nice exhaustion that you can’t get if you take the elevator. My third time at Tokyo Tower showed me a view that I had never seen before.
You may also go down the stairs on the way back, but you can of course take the elevator if you are too tired from walking up the Outdoor Stairs Walk. You’ll get down to the ground in an instant if you take the elevator, so first make sure to do everything you want to do while at Tokyo Tower.
In this article, we only introduced the areas up to the Main Deck. For the breathtaking view from the Top Deck, which is above the Main Deck, we would like you to go see it for yourself.
Tokyo Tower has been continuing to make improvements in recent years, for example by enlarging the glass walls of the observation decks for even more spectacular views and by offering the latest esports experience at RED°TOKYO TOWER in Foot Town.
Tokyo Tower is a fantastic place not only for those who have never been there, but also for people like me who have been there before. Visit it again, and Tokyo will appear to you differently from Tokyo back then.
■DATA Address: 4-2-8 Shibakoen, Minato-ku, Tokyo Opening hours: Main Deck (150 m) 9 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. [Last entry at 10 p.m.] Open-air Outdoor Stairs Walk Ascending stairs: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Descending stairs: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Official website:https://www.tokyotower.co.jp Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tokyotower_official?igshid=MzRIODBiNWFIZA==
(Information as of July 2023)