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Tokyo City Sky View at Roppongi Hills Mori Tower

View of Tokyo Tower from Tokyo Sky ViewView of Tokyo Tower from Tokyo Sky View

Roppongi Hiruzu Mori Tawā no Tokyo City Sky View

When to Go?

Summers in Japan are oppressively hot and humid which causes atmospheric distortions to the city scenery.  August through mid-October is considered typhoon season and thus rains quite a lot in the Tokyo area and much of Japan.

You’re left with Late Autumn, Winter, and Spring for optimal scenery observing.  Although it can get quite cold, I myself prefer December and January because the air seems clearer for better long distant views. Also, from December through February, the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower area usually features a winter illumination display at night. 

The Autumn season offers fall foliage when looking northwest toward Aoyama Cemetery and from the Roppongi Hills Sky View Observation decks.  If my memory serves me correctly, Sky View also holds a few Gazing Parties on the Rooftop deck.

Regardless of what season you go, be sure to check the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower website for special events and any art exhibits on display.

On the day before you decide to go, check the weather.  All I can say is that the views are very disappointing when it rains, especially during the day. At night the views are better, but not as much as a clear day with the full moon out. 

Tokyo Tower at night from Tokyo Sky View at Mori Tower in Rippongi Hills
Tokyo Tower at night from Tokyo Sky View at Mori Tower in Roppongi Hills

How Much?

Like many of the sky decks, you can buy tickets online the day before you go to Tokyo City Sky View. Advance tickets cost ¥1,500 JPY.  If you purchase online, you’ll get a mobile ticket which you can turn in at the ticket counter. This will give you access to the Mori Art Museum in addition to the indoor observation deck.  If you buy online from places like Viator or Google, your ticket will be valid for 7 days from when you buy them. I should let you know that there are no refunds when purchased, and each ticket is single entry only with no re-entry.

If the Rooftop Sky Deck is open, visiting will cost an extra ¥500 and are sold on the 52nd floor from a ticket machine just before the escalators. Honestly, for the price of a grande latte, the view from the rooftop is worth it.

For art fans, the Mori Art Museum also holds special art exhibits or events, but it will cost you extra.  I’ve seen some exhibits cost as much as ¥2200, but it also includes access to the indoor observation deck.

You can, of course, buy your tickets on the day of your visit on the third floor, but it will cost ¥1,800.

“The Cone” – Tokyo City View & Mori Art Museum Entrance

How to Visit

Roppongi Hills Mori Tower – with its art galleries, exhibits, events and rooftop observatory – is understandably very restrictive about what you can bring into their areas.

They do have coin lockers, but those also cost extra and only for small items.  I highly recommend bringing as little as possible when you visit and leave your large luggage at the hotel or at a train station storage locker.  Small bags, cameras, and smartphones are fine. They outright forbid tripods.

For the art gallery area, it is even more restrictive and there is a whole list of things that you cannot bring.

If you plan on visiting the rooftop Sky Deck, they’ll check you over before letting you up the elevator for access. But in general, they’ll allow you and a camera. If you have any lose clothing like scarves or hats, they’ll ask you to put that in a coin locker since winds can get strong at 270 meters above sea level.  Large items like baby strollers, tripods, umbrellas and such are forbidden.

View of Tokyo Tower and Odaiba from the Sky Deck

Second Floor – Museum Cone & Entrance

To enter, follow the signs to the second floor and enter through the Museum cone. Then take the steps or elevator up one floor to the Ticket Counter.   

Third Floor – Ticket counter

Here you can pick up or buy your tickets at the ticket counter, then be led to the entrance elevators up to the 52nd floor.

Also, on the 3rd floor is the Roppongi Hills A/D Gallery which features a monthly rotating art by various artists. Adjacent to the gallery is the Roppongi Hills Art & Design Store strategically placed near the exit elevators.

Mori Tower with spider sculpture.

52nd Floor – Indoor Observation Deck & Mori Arts Center Gallery

I’ve found the layout of the 52nd floor to be confusing and the throng of crowds can make it hard to navigate.  Both the Observation deck and Gallery have entrances right next to each other, so if you bought tickets for one and not the other, you’ll need to double-check if you’re going into the right area.

As you exit the elevators head toward the Museum Café and Restaurant and then to the right. You’ll see two entrances: the left leads to the observatory, and the right is the Arts Center Gallery.

Upon entering the indoor observatory deck you’ll instantly see Tokyo Tower toward the east and Rainbow Bridge with parts of Odaiba to the southeast.  In the southwest, you’ll see a distant Mt. Fuji, parts of Yokohama, and nearby Ebisu.  Directly west are the glittering towers of Shinjuku, and the swath of green of Yoyogi Park of Shibuya.

After exiting the observatory, you can take a turn on the inner circuit and view the Mori Arts Center Gallery. The gallery typically does not exhibit a permanent collection but rather temporary exhibitions of works by contemporary artists. On occasion, they’ll make an exception and showcase older artworks such as the collection of Marie-Antoinette paintings.

Indoor Observation at Night

53rd Floor – Mori Art Museum

After making the double lap on the 52nd floor, head up the central escalators to the 53rd floor to the Mori Art Museum. Here is the main show as intended by the museum’s founder, Minoru Mori. The museum focuses on contemporary art and primarily exhibits works of Asian artists.  Be sure to check the Mori Art Museum’s website before visiting, you might find it worth the extra yen and include it in your visit.

Escalators up to MAM – the Mori Art Museum

Rooftop – Sky Deck

Personally, I really love the Sky Deck of Mori Tower: True unobstructed views of Tokyo – No glass, just the air and wind, and the city. As you walk near the edge, you can look over the railing and get fantastic photographs, or just marvel at the megacity of Tokyo – the largest city in the world! 

The sky deck is why I suggest going in late Autumn or winter when the weather is dryer and all you need is a warm jacket or a few layers. In the summer the direct sun and heat will quickly drive you inside unless you like getting sunburned. While in late August through early October, the heavy rains of typhoon season will most likely prevent you from visiting.

Tokyo Sky View vs Tokyo Skytree

Although I like Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Sky View has some advantages.  Firstly, Tokyo Sky View is more central to the Tokyo metro area than Sky Tree.  From Roppongi Hills Station, you can easily access Tokyo Tower, Harajuku, Shinjuku, and Chiyoda City by subway or train. 

Second, Sky View costs less than Sky Tree by a good 400 to 800 yen depending on which options you go with. Plus the base ticket price does also includes access to the Mori Art Museum.

Finally, Sky View does have the Sky Deck which allows open-air access to Tokyo Views, which can be a real treat for those who love cityscapes from up high.

Mori Tower at Roppongi Hills
23 WardsMinatoTourist SpotsViewing Spots

Caretta Shiodome Sky View

Carretta Shiodome Illuminations 2019Carretta Shiodome Illuminations 2019

カレッタ汐留 SKY VIEW
Caretta Shiodome Sky View

While not a proper observation deck, Caretta Shiodome Sky View does offer some fine views of the Odaiba, Rainbow bridge, the old Tsukiji fish market, the Harumi passenger ship terminal, Hama-Rikyu Gardens, the Imperial Palace, and Shinjuku. More of a lounge, Caretta is located on 46th and 47th floors and serves as a waiting area for the many restaurants on the same floor. I do have to warn you, there are a few windows and the field of view limited when compared to a real observation deck. The best views are located at the stairwells between the two floors. Caretta does, however, have the best elevator ride with pretty Tokyo views as you’re going up. The views overall are pretty good, but the best time to go is at night when Tokyo is blazing with city lights.

If you want to view Tokyo city proper along with the Imperial Palace and Shinjuku clearly visible, you’ll have to order a beer or meal at one of the restaurants there. Don’t worry it’s all good and tasty! If you go between November to January, you’ll get to see the Caretta light and sound illumination show in the courtyard below – a real romantic treat especially when you combo it with a fancy meal.

Also, in the area is the Hamarikyu Gardens – a beautiful public park built on the site of a 17th-century villa belonging to the Shōgun Tokugawa family. For a mere 300 yen ($2.80 USD) you enjoy perfect peonies, a sweet plum tree grove, and fields filled with flowers for every season. I also suggest visiting Tsukiji Outer Market for some lunchtime grazing. If you’re up for some iconic Tokyo scenery stop by Zōjōji Temple which is an easy 25 minutes walk from Caretta.

Honestly, Caretta Shiodome Sky View is best at night and during the winter illumination season. I just enjoyed bundling up and strolling through the pretty lights, thankful that I remembered to bring my hand warmers. Then heading up to the Sky View lounge to warm up with a warm drink and a light meal. *sigh*

View from Caretta Shiodome at Night
View from Caretta Shiodome at Night
Anne at Carretta Shiodome Illuminations
Obligatory Selfie at Carretta Shiodome Illuminations
Hamarikyu Gardens
View of Hamarikyu Gardens from the moat
Jizō-sama of Zōjōji Temple
Jizō-sama of Zōjōji Temple