Shibuya Sky—Unique Views of Tokyo from 229 Meters Up
Guideto JapanTravel Architecture
Stunning Panoramic Views from Central Shibuya
Shibuya, the nerve center for transmission of Japanese popular culture, is currently undergoing redevelopment of the station vicinity on a “once in a lifetime” scale. At the heart of the transformation is Shibuya Scramble Square, a 47-floor combined retail-office building soaring 229 meters skyward that opened in November 2019. The building connects directly to Shibuya Station, providing easy access to its shops and eateries. The top floor observation deck, known as Shibuya Sky, is the showpiece attraction.
Shibuya is best-known for the “scramble” pedestrian crossing outside the station that sees up to 3,000 people cross the street at a time. It is the world’s busiest pedestrian crossing, yet somehow people manage to flow across without colliding into one another. The crossing is also an iconic symbol of Tokyo, known the world over. Shibuya Sky provides the ultimate bird’s-eye view of the hubbub.
The Shibuya Sky observation deck was designed based on the concept of a transition from every-day life to an extraordinary place where you can sense the vigor of the city from on-high, and imagine the world beyond the horizon. The deck aims to transcend sightseeing by providing a cultural space, harking back to the Gotō Planetarium in the Shibuya Tōkyū Bunka Kaikan that once stood to the east of Shibuya Station. After passing through a narrow, dimly lit passageway, visitors reach the spacious rooftop with its panoramic views, experiencing a sensation akin reaching a mountain summit.
The top floor space, known as Sky Stage, features a wooden deck, artificial lawn, and unobstructed view of the city and surroundings. To the north are the skyscrapers of Shinjuku, Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree are to the east, southward is Tokyo Bay, and Mount Fuji is visible to the west. It is a wonderful place to watch the drifting clouds or the starry sky while feeling the sun and wind on your skin. While lying on the grass or in one of the hammocks provided, you could imagine yourself floating in the clouds.
Tall glass walls surround the deck on all sides except for the lower wall of the Sky Edge area in the northwest corner that overlooks the scramble crossing. It is a unique view of the world’s busiest pedestrian crossing, but from this height it is not for the faint hearted.
Views Enhanced through Hi-Tech
As darkness falls, the scenery transforms, revealing a wondrous cityscape. The observation deck is always fully booked for the magical sunset hours. The night skyline is like a science fiction movie, as the city lights up with neon and traffic. After dark, 18 searchlights beam into the night accompanied by a soundtrack that changes each season, creating a mystical atmosphere.
The indoor Sky Gallery on the forty-sixth floor offers comparable views in any weather. There are also displays of digital art, a cafe-bar, and souvenir shop to while away the time.
Shibuya Sky offers an out-of-the-ordinary experience in the heart of the metropolis that will no doubt be a major tourist attraction for many years to come.
- Address: fourteenth floor (ticket counter), 2-24-12 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
- Open: Year round
- Hours: 10:00 am to 10:30 pm (last entry 9:20 pm)
- Admission: Online (onsite ticket counter): ¥2,200 (¥2,500) for adults, ¥1,700 (¥2,000) for junior-high and high-school students, ¥1,000 (¥1,200) for elementary school students, ¥600 (¥700) for children aged 3–5
- Access: Directly from Shibuya Station (JR and private lines)
- Shibuya Sky official website (external site)
(Originally published in Japanese. Reporting, text, and photos by Nippon.com.)