With Tokyo firmly in autumn jacket territory, it’s only a matter of weeks until the winter coats come out of storage. The approaching cold means that shortly the weather will be unsuitable for lounging outside for any length of time. The change in seasons, though, heralds an end to hazy air and late summer storms.
As a consequence, right now is the perfect time to visit some of the free, open-air terraces around Tokyo. Photographers will find the spots excellent for the outlook onto iconic Tokyo buildings and areas. Travelers looking for a warm cup of tea with a view will also want to visit; the terraces mentioned in this article are all free to enter but have attached restaurants and cafes.
So put on a warm jacket and get ready to visit a few Tokyo terraces.
Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan’s Garden Terrace
Near Yurakucho Station, you can find the Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan next to Marui Department Store. The Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan contains a bookstore, Hokkaido and Osaka souvenir “satellite” shops and a luxury towel shop, among other stores.
On the third floor, the Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan has a terrace with a well-maintained garden and several seats, including some shaded tables for customers of the cafe next to the terrace. The main draw of the Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan terrace is its beautiful, if small, garden and the excellent view of the bullet train going past Yurakucho Station.
Open: 10:00 to 16:30
Location: 201001 Yurakucho, Chiyoda, Tokyo, 100-0006
Map: Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan Google Map
Notes: Entrance is free. Food and drink available at terrace cafe. Non-smoking.
Shin-Marunouchi Building Marunouchi House Terrace
The renovated Tokyo Station is lit up in orange every night and looks equally as gorgeous from above as from the ground. The Shin-Marunouchi Building’s Marunouchi House Terrace, on the seventh floor, wraps nearly entirely around the building, affording a wonderful view of Tokyo Station as well as of the buildings closer to the Imperial Palace.
Tripods aren’t allowed, but you are free to sit at any of the plentiful tables around the terrace. The restaurants inside the Shin-Marunouchi Building have takeout menus for the terrace and wifi is available.
The nearby Marunouchi Building also has a small terrace on the fifth floor with a similar view of Tokyo Station and has a free viewing corner on the 35th floor so you may want to head over there for a view from a higher vantage point if you have time.
On a similar note, you may also want to go to KITTE Marunouchi for a slightly different angle on Tokyo Station from KITTE’s sixth-floor rooftop garden.
Open: 11:00 to 23:00
Location: Shin-Marunouchi Building, 7th floor, 1 Chome-5-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0005
Map: Shin-Marunouchi Building Google Map
Notes: Entrance is free. Food and drink available at several terrace restaurants. Non-smoking. No tripods. No outside food or drink.
Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center Viewing Deck
Many travelers find themselves in Asakusa, whether to see the famous Sensoji Temple and Kaminarimon Gate or on their way to the Sky Tree. By going to the Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center’s 8th floor terrace, you can see both of these well-known sights from above.
On the same floor, the Miharashi Cafe offers food and drink along with the same view from inside a warm room. You’ll definitely want to take photos of Kaminarimon from above, but the Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center itself is an interesting building, worthy of a few megabytes on your SD card.
Open: 9:00 to 22:00
Location: Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center, 8th floor, 2 Chome-18-9 Kaminarimon, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Map: Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center Google Map
Notes: Entrance is free. Food and drink available at cafe. No tripods.