Tokyo Metropolitan Gov't Building: A great view for a great price
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is located not far from Shinjuku Station in an area famous for its skyscrapers. The spot is visited by many foreign tourists.
The building consists of a complex of three structures, where, along with government offices, two observation decks offer a splendid 360-degree panorama views. From here one can enjoy daytime and nighttime scenes of Big Tokyo at a height of 202 meters (663 ft). A nice thing is that unlike many other similar spots, it’s completely free of charge.
High-speed elevators will take you to the 45th floor in a mere 55 seconds. There are also souvenir shops and cozy cafes on the deck floor. During fair weather, especially on a winter’s day, one can see the peak of majestic Mount Fuji – one of the most vivid and impressive symbols of Japan.
The Metropolitan Building was designed by the famous Japanese architect, Kenzo Tange, and is associated with modern Tokyo.
The complex was constructed between 1988–1991. One of the important features of the building is its high level of earthquake resistance. There was no damage after the March 2011 earthquake and it can withstand such natural disasters as the Great Kanto earthquake of 1923, when Tokyo was almost completely demolished.
The building is a notable example of post-modern futurism. The height of the two main towers – the Northern and Southern – is 243 m. Total floor count is 51, with three of them underground.
The design re-creates an image of European Gothic cathedrals. To the south of the two sister towers there is another structure which is connected with the main building by a gallery. This one is 163 m high and has 37 floors.
An open space in front of the building, which depicts the shape of a Japanese fan, is considered one of most original findings of the architect. Above, there is a huge disc-shaped hall for the Metropolitan Assembly, which is located above the gallery.