Tokyo in Pics
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Hachitama

The Hachitama observatory is located above one of Tokyo television stations and has some incredible views.  If you want one amazing shot of the city’s skyline, from over the water, this is the place.

Tokyo has some amazing views.  And it has lots of great observatories to enjoy them.  Each of them offers their own unique views. If you want the best one from which to enjoy the waterfront area though, Fuji Television’s Hachitama Observatory is the pick of the bunch.  That’s right, it located at a tv station. The views from it are stunning to say the least.

The Tokyo Skyline from Odaiba looks very impressive at sunset

The observatory is only twenty-five storeys above the ground, but you can see so much from it.  For a ¥500 entry fee you can see the following:

  1. Hama Rikyu Gardens;

  2. Haneda airport;

  3. Harumi Passenger Ship Terminal;

  4. Mount Fuji;

  5. Obaiba shoreline and islands;

  6. Rainbow Bridge;

  7. Shinagawa port area;

  8. Tokyo Skytree, and;

  9. Tokyo Tower.

My list is not fully inclusive of course.   And whether it be day or night, it all looks fantastic.  I would have to say that the sunset views, especially of Rainbow Bridge with Tokyo Tower behind it, surrounded by so many big buildings and water are incredible.  And I also love how the bridge stretches out over the water, joining the north part of the bay to Odaiba. It really is beautiful sight.

Sunset over Rainbow Bridge and Tokyo Tower

But the observation deck isn’t without flaws, of which it has quite a few.  As with most other observatories in Tokyo, you can’t use tripods or even monopods which means some kind of stabilisation for you camera will be useful as the sun gets lower.  And also, once the sun starts to go down and the lights come on, you are going to get a lot of reflections from the lights in the room coming off the windows, but lens hoods or any type of cloth placed near the windows to block unwanted light isn’t allowed.

You can see Tokyo Skytree, but the view of it isn’t the best

And lastly, there are towers on either side of the deck which can pose problems for photography.  They block the views in some areas while causing problems in others. So while you can see Tokyo Skytree (which has a building in front of it anyway) and Mount Fuji, both of them are very close to the towers, which is problematic if you are going there just with the purpose of photographing them.

Tokyo Bay always looks great at sunset

I think the view of Rainbow Bridge and Tokyo Tower together is what will interest most people.  It is just incredible, stunning. If you go there just for that one shot, I think you’ll one of the best cityscape photographs of Tokyo ever.  You can see Hachitama’s website here.

The pyramid-looking building is the Harumi Passenger Ship Terminal

How to get to the Fuji Television Observatory

Fuji Television is just a short walk from Daiba Station (Yurikamome Line) or Tokyo Teleport Station (Rinkai Line).

Here is a Google map for you:

Admission costs

Five hundred and fifty yen (¥550).

On the other side of the bay is the Shinagawa port area. Where the sun is setting is the approximate location of Mount Fuji. The building in the foreground is Hotel Nikko

Opening hours

The observatory is open from 10 am to 6 pm (with last admission at 5:30 pm) and closed on Mondays.

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Hie Shrine - one of the most important shrines in the city

Kyu Iwasaki Gardens - a great place to see how the rich and famous of old lived in Tokyo

Musashi Imperial Graveyard - see the tombs of two Japanese Emperors and their Empresses

Railway Museum - a fantastic museum filled with so many great trains

Telecom Center - another great observatory in the Odaiba area