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Even in Tokyo, Mount Fuji Is Never Far Away

Date: 07.22.2019

An iconic landmark recognized worldwide as the symbol of Japan, Mount Fuji has long fascinated those who have looked upon it. Throughout history, Japanese artists have devoted themselves to capturing the symmetrical beauty of the volcano throughout the four seasons.

Legendary Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai, known throughout the world for his ukiyo-e woodblock print The Great Wave off Kanagawa—which will grace the back of the new ¥1,000 note come 2024—challenged himself to portray the many beautiful faces of the sacred natural landmark in his series of landscape prints known as Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji.

Among the prints in the series is Fine Wind, Clear Morning. Sometimes called Red Fuji, this piece captures a unique optical effect in which the rising sun can turn the mountain red when skies are clear.

Another magnificent optical effect takes place when the sun hits the peak at sunrise or sunset. Called Diamond Fuji, this incredible sight shows a perfect black silhouette of the mountain with a dazzling diamond-like burst of light at the top. You might be able to see it yourself if you are very lucky!

Located southwest of Tokyo, Mount Fuji straddles Shizuoka and Yamanashi Prefectures. At 3,776 meters, it is Japan’s highest mountain, and between July and September hikers can climb to the top to watch the breathtaking sunrise.

Being there is great, but what is perhaps most enjoyable is to observe the sacred mountain from afar. This can be done from a variety of places, including from Tokyo, where the beautiful snowcap serves as a backdrop to the urban skyline. The best time of year to view the mountain from the capital is winter, when the air is clearest in the early mornings and late afternoons.

As a keen photographer, I decided to put together a list of sites in Tokyo from which you can enjoy a wonderful view of Mount Fuji.

 

Tokyo Metropolitan Government No.1 Building

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government No.1 Building’s upper floors are split across two towers, both of which have a panoramic observatory. Enjoy a drink at the café and shop for souvenirs while enjoying a splendid view of the metropolis and Mount Fuji from 202 meters up.

Hours:
[South Observatory] 9:30–23:00 (Closed on the first and third Tuesdays of each month, and December 29–January 3, except January 1.)
[North Observatory] Currently under renovation. Should reopen mid-January 2020.
Admission: Free
Closest station: Tochomae (Toei Oedo Line)
Address: 2-8-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
http://www.yokoso.metro.tokyo.jp/en/tenbou/index.html

 

Tokyo Tower

The iconic 330-meter-tall broadcast tower has two observation decks: the Main Deck at 150-meters and Top Deck at 250 meters. Both of which offer great views of Mount Fuji.

Hours:
Main Deck: 9:00-23:00 (Final admission is at 22:30)
Top Deck: 9:00-22:45 (Final tours is 22:00-22:15)
Admission: Varies depending on age, number of people in group, tour, and so on
Closest stations: Akabanebashi (Toei Oedo Line), Kamiyacho (Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line)
Address: 4-2-8 Shibakoen, Minato-ku, Tokyo
https://www.tokyotower.co.jp/observatory/en.html

 

Tokyo Skytree

At the time of writing in July, 2019, Tokyo Skytree is the tallest tower in the world and second-tallest freestanding structure, after the Burj Khalifa multi-use skyscraper in Dubai. As you would expect at that height Tokyo Skytree offers an incredible view of the metropolis. Observatories are located at 350 and 450 meters, high enough that Mount Fuji can be easily observed despite the distance.

Hours: 8:00–22:00
Admission: Varies depending on age, number of people in group, tour, and so on
Closest station: Tokyo Skytree (Tobu Skytree Lines), Oshiage (SKYTREE) (Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line)
Address: 1-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida-ku, Tokyo
http://www.tokyo-skytree.jp/en/floor/

 

Roppongi Hills

Situated 270 meters above the ground, atop Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, Sky Deck is an outdoor observation deck offering incredible views across the metropolis all the way to Mount Fuji. Just below, at 250 meters, the indoor Tokyo City View is also an amazing panoramic experience. These vantage points are connected to Mori Art Museum, where you can enjoy temporary exhibitions and great food in temporary theme eateries as well as permanent restaurants.

Hours:
[Sky Deck] 11:00–20:00;
[Tokyo City View] 10:00–23:00 (Fridays, Saturdays, and days before holidays 10:00–25:00)
Admission: Tokyo City View Adult ¥1,800. Additional ¥500 for admission to the rooftop Sky Deck. (Tickets include entry to the Mori Art Museum.)
Closest station: Roppongi (Toei Oedo Line and Tokyo metro Hibiya Lines)
Address: 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
https://tcv.roppongihills.com/en/

 

Bunkyo Civic Center

Just north of Tokyo Dome, the Sky View Lounge observation deck on the 25th floor of the Bunkyo Civic Center Building offers views from 105 meters up.

Hours: 9:00–20:30 (Closed on the third Sunday in May, and December 29–January 3.)
Admission: Free
Closest station: Korakuen (Tokyo Metro Marunouchi and Namboku Lines), Kasuga (Toei Mita and Oedo Lines)
Address: 1-16-21 Kasuga, Bunkyo-ku
https://www.city.bunkyo.lg.jp/bunka/kanko/osusume/lounge.html (Japanese only)
https://www.city.bunkyo.lg.jp/var/rev0/0081/4776/facilities-guide.pdf

 

Carrot Tower Setagaya

This 26-story commercial building has an observation deck on the top floor from which you can see Mount Fuji.

Hours: 9:00–23:00
Admission: Free
Closest station: Sangenjaya (Tokyu Den-En-Toshi and Tokyu Setagaya Lines)
Address: 4-1-1, Taishido, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
https://www.city.setagaya.lg.jp/mokuji/kusei/012/002/d00004091.html (Japanese only)

 

Tower Hall Funabori

After going up to the seventh floor, you must take another elevator to reach the Observation tower, which is 115 meters above the ground. From the top, if the weather is on your side you should be able to see Mount Fuji.

Hours: 9:00–21:30
Admission: Free
Closest station: Funabori (Toei Shinjuku Line)
Address: 4-1-1 Funabori, Edogawa-ku, Tokyo
http://www.towerhall.jp/1facility/facility-up.html (Japanese only)

 

 Haneda Airport Domestic Terminal 1

The domestic passengers’ Terminal 1 observation deck allows you to watch the airplanes up close against a magnificent backdrop featuring Mount Fuji.

Hours: 6:30-22:00
Admission: Free
Closest station: Haneda Airport Domestic Terminal (Keikyu-Kuko Line), Haneda Airport Terminal 1 (Tokyo monorail)
Address: 3-3-2 Haneda Airport Terminal 1, Ota-ku, Tokyo
https://www.tokyo-airport-bldg.co.jp/en/service_facilities/view_deck/

 

The Yurikamome Line

The Yurikamome automated train offers wonderful views of the sea and the artificial island of Odaiba. You can enjoy the reflection of Rainbow Bridge on the water by night and of Mount Fuji by day. When heading toward Toyosu, the mountain can be seen from the right side of the train between Shibaura-Futo and Telecom Center Stations.

Admission: adult (ticket) ¥190–380
Location: Shinbashi-Toyosu
http://www.yurikamome.tokyo/

 

Fujimi Terrace

Located on the second floor of Higashi-Kurume Station, this terrace offers an amazing view of Mount Fuji between the tall buildings.

Closest station: Higashi-Kurume (Seibu Ikebukuro Line)
Address: 1-8 Honcho, Higashikurume, Tokyo
http://www.city.higashikurume.lg.jp/shisei/profile/midokoro/1000082.html (Japanese only)

 

Tsurumaki Nishi Park

During late March and early April, enjoy Mount Fuji as a backdrop to the magnificent cherry blossoms.

Hours: Always open
Admission: Free
Closest stations: Karakida (Odakyu Tama Line)
Address: 2-18 Tsurumaki, Tama city, Tokyo”
http://www.city.tama.lg.jp/0000003155.html (Japanese only)

 

Mount Takao

This 599-meter-high mountain located in Hachioji, in western Tokyo, offers a magnificent view of Mount Fuji from its summit. You can also enjoy local sweets and visit Yakuo-in Temple. In December, you have a solid chance of catching the very rare Diamond Fuji!

Closest station: Takaosanguchi (Keio-Takao Line)
*The summit can be reached in around an hour and forty minutes depending on the hiking route. There is also a Cable Car and a chair lift available to take you partially to the top.
Location: Takaomachi, Hachioji, Tokyo
https://www.takaotozan.co.jp/course/#h3_03 (Japanese only)

 

This article was written by Matilde Rubio

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