There’s a beautiful observatory in Southeastern Tokyo, in a town called Shiodome, right off the Oedo Tokyo Metro line. It’s free to go up, and there’s a lot to see and do.
I wrote this article last year, but I never published it. So finally, here it is.
Surrounded by expensive restaurants, you might think that Shiodome observatory is going to make for one expensive night out. But that doesn’t have to be the case. My date and I have an amazing, romantic evening, and all we paid for was a little ramen on the way.
We walked from Kiba to Shiodome, stopping here and there along the way, and then took the train back to where we started.
Former Fish Market
I didn’t want to call it the “old fish market,” because that sounds less than appealing. But it was fun to see the place where there used to be a fish market (the fish market has since moved to nearby Toyosu).
My date pointed it out to me, and we stopped in to check it out. There wasn’t much going on there, but we did find a decent ramen shop in the area.
There’s also some sort of giant buddhist temple right across the street, but I was feeling impatient to press on, so we skipped it.
Shiodome: Night Lights and Walkways
As we got closer to Shiodome, we started seeing elegant night lights and beautiful walkways. I like the walkways in Japan. They’re fun. You get to go above the traffic and look down on everyone.
Eventually, we got to the building it was in, but we couldn’t figure out how to get up.
For a little while, we loitered in the main square, appreciating the giant turtle shell sculpture.
Eventually, my date found the elevator and opened it up for us. We went inside.
The Elevator to the Observatory
If you’ve ever been to Disney World, the elevator to the Shiodome Observatory was like the Tower of Terror. My stomach dropped. But what a sight! The lights drew up all around us as we roared up towards them, while at the same time, all the tiny shapes of the road dropped away to fuzzy insignificant shades.
The Shiodome Observatory
The Shiodome Observatory might have been free, but the broad paneled window up there was surrounded by expensive restaurants and bars that I couldn’t afford.
But it was nice. We sat up there and gazed out into the surrounding areas: Monzennakacho, Kiba, Chiba, and Rainbow Bridge. We were even able to see the Skytree, even though the windows weren’t really pointed in that direction.
Anyway, if you’re ever looking for something fun to do in East Tokyo, but you don’t have a whole lot of money, I recommend checking out the Shiodome Observatory.