Visitors to the new Top Deck viewing platform get to enjoy VIP treatment along with the stunning Tokyo skyline.

If you’ve ever visited Tokyo Tower, one of the most famous landmarks in Japan’s capital city, you’ve probably admired the expansive view from the viewing platforms, marvelled at the feat of engineering…and felt somewhat underwhelmed by the outdated interiors.

Having been constructed in 1958, some might argue that the staid and dated interiors are all part of the tower’s charm, but this year, to celebrate its 60th anniversary, Tokyo Tower is bringing its image firmly into the present with some brand new refurbished areas featuring modern and futuristic designs.

While sections of the 150-metre (492-foot) high Main Deck viewing area are currently undergoing a facelift, the 250-metre high Top Deck is now open for business, after being closed for renovations since October 2016. The whole visitor experience has been overhauled as well, with the journey up to the tower’s highest viewing point now being rebranded as the “Top Deck Tour“.

▼ The Main Deck can be seen here as the square-shaped white area in the middle of
the tower, while the Top Deck is the round white portion beneath the top rod.

We paid a visit to the tower shortly after the 3 March grand opening of the Top Deck, and were pleasantly surprised by the new service. Visitors here are made to feel like VIPs, with an exclusive elevator that takes you up to the viewing platforms without any waiting time, even during congested periods.

The Main Deck area gives you an impressive birds-eye view of the city, with green spaces, modern high-rises and traditional buildings stretching out around Tokyo Bay.

Top Deck Tour visitors have exclusive access to a special “Top Deck Gate” area on this level, which features projection mapping using images sourced from the “secret library” of Hisakichi Maeda, who developed the tower.

This is where you’ll also receive free drinks and enjoy a free commemorative photo gift card service, to help you remember your VIP experience.

Then it’s time to enter another exclusive area, stepping inside a glass-panelled elevator that takes you up to the highest viewing platform in the tower.

Once you step out into the Top Deck area, you’re surrounded by a bright interior with geometric mirrors interlaid with LED lighting on the walls and ceiling, to reflect the scene outside and enhance the feeling of being in a “futuristic metropolis”.

▼ Internationally renowned Japanese interior designer and spatial artist Kaz Shirane
created the interior based on a “projecting the future of Tokyo” design concept.

▼ The view from this point is even more expansive than the scene from the Main Deck.

Each guest can enjoy free use of a multilingual voice guide system, containing 13 languages, which provides extra information about the area, including the location of landmarks like the Rainbow Bridge, Tokyo Disney Resort, and Mt Fuji.

After enjoying the Top Deck space and its gorgeous views, it’s time to head down to the Main Deck area once again, making sure to soak up the scene from the glass-walled elevator.

And once you’re down on the Main Deck, there’s a good chance you’ll run into a tour guide dressed as one of the Noppon Brothers, who are the mascots for Tokyo Tower.

The Top Deck Tours run every 15 minutes from 9 a.m. to 10:15 p.m. every day and require an advance reservation, which can be made online or in person at the reception desk on the ground floor of the tower.

Tickets, which include admission to both the main deck and the top deck, cost 2,800 yen for adults (aged 16 and over), 1,800 yen for children (7-15 years of age) and 1,200 yen for children (aged 4-6).

Photos © SoraNews24
[ Read in Japanese ]