Not really an observatory, Sky View, which is accessed through the Caretta Shiodome building offers some good, but rather limited views of Tokyo Bay. I mean, it is small, just a few windows on the restaurant floor, a lounge-type area. The view is limited in scope, but what you see from forty-six floors up is very, very nice. So, if you want something that is free, and near the bay area, this is the best place to go and to top it off - it has an awesome elevator ride!
The viewing windows are about ten meters across and divided into three sections that give roughly a 180° field of view. From them you can see Rainbow bridge, the Odaiba area, Toyosu, the old Tsukiji fish markets (mostly demolished), Kachidoki bridge, the Harumi passenger ship terminal and Hama-Rikyu Gardens – all good stuff. And the view is great, day or night. However, if you want to see towards the city, you’ll have to enter one of the restaurants or bars that face that direction. And just remember that when you ride the elevator up the Sky Lounge to turn around and enjoy the view as it is definitely one of the best elevator rides in Tokyo – great during the day, but fantastic at night.
I think the view is Sky View is really good, but it could have been fantastic if had an all round view. Still, it is really worth going to enjoy the sights of the bay area. And while you are there you can also enjoy some great restaurants and bars and if you go in December, Caretta Shiodome puts on a great Christmas light show that is tremendously popular. You can see the building’s website here.
How to get to Caretta Shiodome’s Sky View
Shinbashi is the closest station and several different JR and subway lines pass through it, including the Yamanote and Gina. From the station, the Caretta Shiodome/Denstu building is about a ten-minute walk away. It’s a very easy place to find as the Dentsu building is so iconic.
Here is a Google map to show you:
Once in the building take the elevator, which are in the basement (level 2) up to the forty-sixth floor. Parking is available.
Caretta Shiodome’s Sky View lounge and restaurant floors are open from 11 am to 11:30 pm. The lower shopping areas are open from 10 am to 8 pm.
If you liked this article, you might also enjoy:
Jindai Botanical Gardens - the most beautiful rose garden in the city
National Museum of Nature and Science – a great museum located in the popular Ueno area
Omiya Hachiman - one of Tokyo's local shrines
Tower Hall Funabori – another of Tokyo’s free observatories
Zoshigaya cemetery – one of Tokyo large cemeteries and actually, a great place for a walk