Japan Tokyo Shinjuku

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

Icon of Tokyo’s Governance by Kenzo Tange

Photo of Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, Japan (Less distorted views by Mathew Schwartz)

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, known as Tochō, is a symbol of the city’s administration and a distinguished example of architectural design by Kenzo Tange. The complex’s No.1 Main Building was once the tallest in Japan. It serves as the headquarters for the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and provides visitors with free access to observation decks for panoramic city views.

About Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

Tochō, completed in 1991, is the seat of Tokyo’s government and an architectural landmark. The complex includes three structures, with the No.1 Main Building reaching 48 stories. It was the tallest building in Japan when it was finished. The design, influenced by the idea of an integrated circuit, represents Postmodern architecture with a distinctive silhouette that is part of Tokyo’s skyline.

Located in the dynamic Shinjuku district, Tochō is part of a bustling hub of commercial and entertainment activities. The twin towers’ 45th-floor observatories offer views of Mount Fuji on clear days. These decks, along with gift shops and cafes, solidify the building’s role as a tourist attraction.

The complex stands on the former Yodobashi Water Purification Plant site, chosen for its strategic position in Shinjuku’s skyscraper district. Built during Japan’s economic bubble, it cost approximately 156.9 billion yen, emblematic of the period’s extravagance. Although newer structures like the Yokohama Landmark Tower have since exceeded its height, Tochō maintains its status in the city’s landscape.

Inside, the interconnected No.1 and No.2 Main Buildings and the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly Building boast a column-free construction, demonstrating the building’s innovative design. A comprehensive elevator system, maintained by companies like Mitsubishi Electric, Hitachi, and Toshiba, moves people efficiently throughout the complex.

Dining facilities in the No.1 Main Building offer meals with scenic views, adding to the visitor experience. In the evenings, the illuminated observation decks contribute to Tokyo’s nightscape, creating a memorable experience for nighttime visitors.

Functioning as a center for decision-making, Tochō is pivotal in shaping Tokyo’s future. Displays within the building provide educational insights into urban planning, history, and culture. The tourist information center on the second floor is a valuable resource for discovering more about Tokyo and other Japanese destinations.

Visiting the observatories early in the morning during autumn and winter is recommended for the best views. Special fairs on the 1st floor celebrate local areas and their produce, offering a glimpse into Tokyo’s diverse culture.

Getting There the easiest way to reach Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

E 28

 Toei Oedo Line

 about 5 minute walk (300m)
M 07

 Marunouchi Line

 5-10 minute walk (800m)

Around Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

Lookout in Tokyo

open 9:30am - 10:30pm
closed Tuesday


東京都庁舎, 東京

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Updated 14 Mar 2024 • Report an error

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