Shinjuku: The Skyscrapers District


One of Tokyo’s most famous view and landscapes is, without any doubt, its skyline. Full of contrasts between, huge and tall skyscrapers trying to scrape the sky and the small and short Japanese traditional buildings such as shrine and temples giving spiritual calm and peace of mind. Undoubtedly, it is one of the most attractive elements of one of the biggest cities around the world.

Right in the middle of the city centre of the big city of Tokyo, there is one of the most famous neighbourhoods: Shinjuku. Literally meaning “the new lodge” (“shinjuku”,新宿), this special ward is one of the most bustling, commercial and administrative centres. It is not only one of the most centric places in Tokyo, one of the most alive places or one of the economic centres of Japan, but it also is the centre of the bureaucratic life of the city.

Surrounded by shops, shopping malls, restaurants and entertainment and amusement places, it is also housing the busiest railway stations in the world, Shinjuku station. As it has been already stated above, it is one of the biggest and busiest locations, full of companies, state and official buildings. However, on the other side of the Odakyu train station, the visual spectacle begins and pops up.

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Universities, business and companies’ buildings, luxurious hotels, big shopping malls, transport stations and even more. Exultant and impressive buildings that go up and up into the sky. Doubtless, the original designs of some of the buildings provide an amazing and unique view outlined against the horizon of the city. Black, white, silver, steel, metal, mirrors, straights or with geometrical shapes, all the details and ornaments that decorate the buildings give a singular, peculiar and exceptional appearance that gives an appealing aspect to the place.

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One of the most attractive buildings between all these pieces of architectural art is the building that belongs to the government of Tokyo: the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (“Tôkyô-to Chôsha”, (東京都庁舎), also known as “Tochô” (都庁). The building houses the headquarters of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, which governs the 23 wards in Tokyo, as well as the cities, towns and villages that constitute the entire metropolis of Tokyo. That building is an amazing 242.9 meters height structure with quirk characteristics and style. Designed and started in 1988 by the architect Kenzo Tange, with the help of the structural engineer Kiyoshi Mutô, it has a very specific combination of elements, revealing the building as a unique attraction for tourists and visitors.

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The distribution of the building consists of a complex of 3 structures, each one of them taking up a city block.

The tallest of them is Tokyo Metropolitan Main Building (No.1). It includes a tower 48 storeys tall which’s structure splits into 2 towers at the floor 33rd. This building also has 3 underground levels. It has a central square of 5,000 square metres, with a surrounding semicircular elevated structure that creates a beautiful circumference effect around all the complex.

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The design of this building was meant to resemble a computer chip, according to the original idea of the architect. However, there are many symbolic touches that it can be associated with. For instance, the original and peculiar aforementioned split of the building in 2 separated towers recreates the look of Gothic style cathedrals such as the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris.

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The other 2 buildings in the complex are the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly Building and the Tokyo

Metropolitan Main Building (No.2). These buildings are 8 storeys and 37 storeys and include 1 below ground and 3 below ground levels respectively.

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The 2 towers located in the main building include 2 panoramic observation decks, one in each tower. These observatories are on the 45th floor, at about 202 meters high.

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They both can be visited, free of charge, and besides the city observatory, there are also souvenir and gift shops and even a restaurant and cafes.

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Without any doubt, when visiting Tokyo, this location is a must stop for all the visitors who want to delight their vision with this exclusive and exceptional view and experience: The District of the Skyscrapers.

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For more information → http://www.odakyu.jp/english/destination/shinjuku/