Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office, Shinjuku

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Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

Shinjuku & Northwest Tokyo

Tokyo's city hall – a landmark building designed by Tange Kenzō – has observatories (202m) atop both the south and north towers of Building 1 (the views are virtually the same). On a clear day (morning is best), you may catch a glimpse of Mt Fuji beyond the urban sprawl to the west; after dark, it's illuminated buildings all the way to the horizon. Direct-access elevators are on the ground floor; last entry is at 10.30pm.

Symbolic of the city's bureaucratic might, the granite structure, completed in 1991, looks somewhat like a pixelated cathedral, or perhaps the lair of an animated villain.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Shinjuku & Northwest Tokyo attractions

1. Shinjuku I-Land

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This otherwise ordinary office complex is home to more than a dozen public artworks, including one of Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculptures (on the southeast…

2. Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower

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3. Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery

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Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery is at its best when it holds solo shows and retrospectives of major modern Japanese artists and movements (spanning diverse…

4. NTT Intercommunication Centre


The ICC shows challenging, conceptual works that explore the intersection between art and technology – sometimes including participatory VR installations…

5. Godzilla Head


Godzilla, a portmanteau of the Japanese words for gorilla (gorira) and whale (kujira), is king of the kaijū (strange beasts) that ruled Japanese popular…

6. Golden Gai

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Golden Gai – a Shinjuku institution for over half a century – is a collection of tiny bars, often literally no bigger than a closet and seating maybe a…

7. Hanazono-jinja

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Merchants from nearby Kabukichō come to this Shintō shrine to pray for the solvency of their business ventures. Founded in the 17th century, the shrine is…

8. Shinjuku-gyoen

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Shinjuku-gyoen was designed as an imperial retreat (completed 1906); since opening to the public in 1951, it has become a favourite destination for…