Tokyo Skytree Vs Tokyo Tower: A Battle of Two Iconic Towers

Tokyo is a city known for its stunning tourist attractions, night views, top-rated restaurants, and skyscrapers.

And two of the iconic towers that draw millions of travelers to this city are Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree. Even though both function as telecommunication towers, their attractive appearances adorning the city make them extremely popular among visitors.

When two similar types of attractions are highly recognized, comparison comes automatically. Right?

For example, which one is the symbol of Tokyo, what are their charms, what types of illuminations they have, which is more appealing? So, to break down all the curiosity, I am presenting a discussion on Tokyo Skytree vs Tokyo Tower.

Tokyo Tower Vs Tokyo Skytree: A Head-to-Head Comparison

Both of them are free-standing broadcasting towers and are quite tall. You can take a ride on the elevator to reach up to look over the city view of Tokyo. And the similarities between these two ends here.

The most significant difference among them is the height. While Tokyo Tower is 333 meters tall, Tokyo Skytree is 634 meters.

Tokyo skytree vs tokyo tower

But size isn’t the only variance, and there is more to explore.

And I think a quick comparison will be the best, to begin with. Don’t you think so?

Well, let’s take a look.

Side By Side Comparison Table

Here is a table that shows their difference based on different measures.

Terms of Comparison Tokyo Tower Tokyo Skytree
Formal Name
Japan Radio Tower
Tokyo Skytree
Construction Started
June 1957
July 14, 2008
Opened
December 23, 1958
May 22, 2012
Height
1,092 feet (333 meters)
2,080 feet (634 meters)
Weight
About 4,000 tons
About 36,000 tons
Color
International Orange & White
Skytree White
Number of Floors
15
29
Number of Observation Decks
2
2
Observation Deck
Main Deck (150 meters), Top Deck (250 meters)
Lower Deck (350 meters), Upper Deck (450 meters)
Visitors Per Year
Around 2.5 million
Around 4.5 million
Percentage of Foreign Tourists
Around 35%
Around 20%
Official Mascot
Noppon
Sorakara-chan

Alright, as you got a quick preview of them, it’s time to dig into deeper details.

We Japanese people highly cherish the history of everything, whether it’s our culture, cuisine, festivals, or monuments.

And that’s why I will let you know about these two towers’ history first.

History of Tokyo Tower

The purpose of the construction of both Skytree and Tokyo Tower was to serve as television and radio broadcasting sites.

In the early 1950s, our country saw its economic miracle after World War II. And Tokyo Tower is considered a post-war recovery symbol.

Tokyo tower post war economic symbol

With the beginning of NHK (Japan’s national broadcaster) in 1953, other private companies also followed the custom.

As a result, there was a chance of Tokyo becoming a city overflowing with broadcasting towers. And that’s why plans were made to build a massive tower that will cover up the whole city.

Tokyo tower massive structure

Initially, the plan was to construct the world’s tallest building of that time, exceeding the 381 meters Empire State Building.

However, because of the lack of both money and materials, developers decided to keep it 333 meters, which is tall enough to broadcast signals at a 150 kilometers (93 miles) radius.

Tokyo tower used for broadcasting signals

Now tell me something, doesn’t the structure remind you of another tower? I guess you already noticed and know which one it resembles.

If you think of Paris’s Eiffel Tower, your assumption is totally on point.

Yes, Tokyo Tower was modeled on the famous Eiffel Tower, yet there are few differences between them.

Eiffel tower and tokyo tower side by side

The chief architect of Tokyo Tower, Tachu Naito, managed to make the Japanese one a bit taller than the Eiffel Tower.

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And when the construction was finally completed in 1958, Tokyo Tower was declared the tallest free-standing tower in the world and the highest building in Japan. 

But, the title of the tallest structure in Japan was snatched away from it as soon as the Tokyo Skytree was built.

So, let’s move on to know the Skytree’s history now.

History of Tokyo Skytree

Tokyo is the finest city to live in Japan and the country’s economic backbone.

With the fast-forwarding development, the Tokyo Tower became insufficient for transmitting strong signals across the Kanto region.

Therefore, the capital city needed a new broadcasting tower, and that’s how Tokyo Skytree made its way.

Tokyo Skytree

Standing 634 meters tall, this skyscraper is almost double the height of the Tokyo Tower.

By the way, the height isn’t just a number: it can be read as “mu-sa-shi” in Japanese, which is the old name of the region that Tokyo occupies.

Musashi was a province of Japan that consisted of Tokyo Metropolis, part of Kanagawa Prefecture, and most of Saitama Prefecture.

Even the name “Tokyo Skytree” was selected by public vote with “Tokyo Edo Tower” coming second.

Anyway, when the construction was completed in 2012, Skytree became the main broadcasting tower and the tallest building in Tokyo.

Tallest building in tokyo

By far, you learned some basic information about both towers. And now, it’s time to start comparing them in terms of offered views, tourist attractions, and so on.

Difference Between The Offered View from The Towers

Standing in the middle of the capital city, Tokyo Tower offers a gorgeous sweeping view of the surrounding metropolitan district.

As it is almost half the height of the Tokyo Skytree structure, you will get a closer sight of the city.

Sweeping view from tokyo tower

If you get lucky enough to drop by this place on a clear day, you may end up seeing Mt Fuji in the distance! And, at night, you can enjoy a dazzling cityscape.

Now, moving on to the Skytree, it’s obvious that you will experience a jaw-dropping view because of its tall height.

Jaw dropping view from Tokyo Skytree

Especially from the top deck, you will be rewarded with a panoramic vista of glamourous Tokyo.

When the view from Tokyo Tower gives you a moment of excitement, Skytree Tower offers a rollercoaster ride of chills with the surrounding scenes.

Surrounding scenes from Skytree tower

In my opinion, Tokyo Skytree presents the best view, and every time I go there, I come back with a satisfactory smile.

And, of course, you will see Mount Fuji if the weather remains favorable.

Tokyo Skytree with Mount Fuji background

Attractions in And Around The Towers

Both of these towers can amuse you with stunning inside facilities and outside attractions. And you are bound to be enchanted by everything.

First, I will share what your experience is going to be inside them.

1. Experience Offered Inside Tokyo Skytree

At the base of this tower, you will find an aquarium, a museum, a planetarium, and Solamachi, which is a shopping center with lots of establishments. It also has a Pokemon Center, which can be a reason for your visit to this place if you are a pokemon enthusiast.

But, the highlight of this tower is obviously the two observation decks.

Tembo Deck is the lower one situated at 350 meters high and has three levels with spectacular views from all of its floors.

The top floor features broad windows that offer the best 360-degree panoramic view of the city. When you move to the middle floor, you will find a souvenir shop and the Musashi Sky Restaurant, which serves French-Japanese fusion cuisine.

Floors of Tokyo Skytree

And the lowest floor has a café and some look-down glass windows on the ground from where you can view all the way down to the base of the tower. The moment you stand on the glass, you will either feel a sensation of fear or excitement.

If you are brave, you definitely will experience a thrill. But in case you’re faint-hearted, you may jump immediately out of the frame!

There is a tower-shaped red post on this floor from where you can send a postcard or letter to your family, friends, or partner. I will suggest you send one as a memory of your visit to this tower.

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Anyway, taking via the elevators, you can move to the 450-meter-high Tembo Galleria from Tembo Deck. It consists of a sloping spiral ramp that achieves heights as it circles the tower.

The steel and glass tube construction will allow you to look down from the dizzying height of the tower and out over spectacular distances.

Overall, your experience in Skytree tower will be filled with shopping, meeting thousands of sea creatures in the Sumida Aquarium, traveling to outer space in the Planetarium Tenku, and overlooking from a 450-meter height.

2. Experience Offered Inside Tokyo Tower

There is not much difference in the attraction of Tokyo Tower than Skytree. It has three sections.

In the foot town, you will find a complex with souvenir shops, a place to eat, an aquarium, and an amusement park Tokyo One Piece Tower. If you are an anime lover, then a visit to the One Piece Tower is a must.

Then you can move to the main deck at 150 meters via an elevator or a 600-step staircase.

From there, a 360-degree city view can be enjoyed, and a look-down window to stand on will be found.

The top deck, which is 250 meters high, is the main attraction of this tower. You need to take a second elevator to reach it from the main deck. After reaching the summit, you can get a glimpse of the city.

Because of its resemblance to the Eiffel Tower, love birds and couples who come to Tokyo to spend their honeymoon drop by this place to cherish their love life.

So, your experience here will be delighting with chilling in the amusement park, eating at a café, and observing a panoramic view.

Till now, you knew the inside attraction. Now, I will tell you the surrounding beauty of these towers.

3. Surrounding Attractions of Tokyo Skytree

Tokyo Skytree Town is almost full of its own self-contained complex, and there are plenty of things to do here. If you plan to venture outside the tower, you will be able to explore a peaceful area of Tokyo.

Tokyo skytree surrounding

For the most part, the surrounding region is quiet, but in the east of Tokyo Skytree Town, you will find an old shopping arcade that holds a large morning market on the fourth Sunday of the month.

Another attraction is the Tobu Museum of Transport and Culture, where you can try out driving a simulated bus or train and enjoy a sense of how embedded the railways are into Japanese life.

And if you are interested in the history of goods, you may visit the Tobacco and Salt Museum.

In case you decide to move a little further, you will reach Asakusa, where you can visit the famous Sensoji Temple. No matter day or night, whenever you go to this temple, you are going to be stunned by its beauty.

Sensoji Temple

So, if possible, don’t miss it!

4. Surrounding Attractions of Tokyo Tower

Unlike Skytree Tower, Tokyo Tower is pretty well-connected to many downtowns of the capital city.

About 5 minutes of walking from the tower will take you to Shiba Park, where you can enjoy a sense of tranquility in the middle of this hectic city.

Shiba park near tokyo tower

Within the park is Zojoji Temple, which was established by the Tokugawa family, who reigned Japan from 1600 to 1868. You will find the mausoleum of the family at the back of the complex, and it contains the tombs of the Tokugawa shogun.

Zojoji Temple

To experience a more recent historical perspective, you may stop by the nearby NHK Museum of Broadcasting, which tells Japan’s history of public broadcasting up to the present.

Nearby place, Roppongi also hosts several art museums and is fascinating for shopping, dining, and nightlife.

Roppongi at night

Well, you can see that there are more tourist places around Tokyo Tower than Skytree Tower. So, in terms of the surrounding beauty, Tokyo Tower is better than Skytree.

By the way, both of these towers sparkle at night with different illumination themes. And I will talk about the difference in the next segment.

5. Illumination Difference Between Both Towers

Two types of light-ups are seen at Tokyo Tower. One is “Landmark Light,” and another is “Infinity Diamond Veil.”

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Landmark light illuminates the tower with 180 lights. There are two distinct patterns, the summer version, and the winter version.

In summer, silver lights called metal-halide lamps are lit up. The illumination switches to the summer version on July 7th, when Japan celebrates the Tanabata festival.

Illuminated tokyo tower

In winter, high-pressure sodium lamps with a warm orange tone are seen. And the light-up switches to the winter version during early October.

Speaking of the Infinity Diamond Veil, it is a new light-up for the Reiwa Era (the current era of Japan). It was launched in October 2019.

Colorful illumination of tokyo tower

There are 268 LED lights set up on 17 floors, which are controlled and can produce an endless range of colors and patterns.

This diamond veil lights up on Monday every week with 12 different colors depending on the month. And during special events or national holidays, Tokyo Tower lights up in distinct patterns according to the occasion.

Tokyo Tower illuminated with distinct color

For Tokyo Skytree, two illumination patterns are seen: one is Iki (chic, stylish), and another is Miyabi (elegance, refinement). Sky blue color is used for Iki, and purple for Miyabi. And the lighting is changed alternating daily.

Skytree tower blue and purple illumination

Besides these, the tower also hosts special lighting adorned with different colors. You may check their site to know the special lighting schedule.

Different color lighting of Skytree

Personally, I like the illumination of Skytree more, but your preference may vary. It’s just a matter of choice.

Anyway, since you have learned about these towers, can you decide on which tower to visit?

Maybe you can’t decide. Even though I don’t know which one hits your interest, I want to share my final verdict on this Tokyo Skytree vs Tokyo Tower battle.

Find it below.

Which One Is More Worthy to Visit?

While Tokyo Tower is the old symbol of Tokyo, Skytree is new. 

Tokyo Tower has an old-school look that nostalgically reminds us of our postwar economic recovery. That’s the reason it holds a special place in the hearts of the aged Japanese people.

On the other hand, Tokyo Skytree represents the modern age with its advanced technology and stylish form. As it has a more futuristic look, young people relatively like it more.

Yet, both towers symbolize Tokyo and offer a majestic view of the city. And, I will be more than pleased if you plan to visit them both.

And for your kind information, they are only 30 minutes away from each other. So you can easily visit them in one day.

However, if you want to opt for only one, decide which one attracts you the most.

Old-school look of tokyo tower

In case you are looking for great surroundings, are fond of old-style monuments, and have a fascination with history, Tokyo Tower is the one to go for.

In contrast, while you wanna experience the highest viewpoint in Tokyo, go ultra-modern shopping, and eat in fancy restaurants, the Skytree is your best choice.

Futuristic structure tokyo skytree

Anyway, there is nothing left to compare.

Now, if you want to visit any of these two towers, you need to check the upcoming section. I have included all the vital information you need to know before heading to the towers.

Information for Tourists

Whether you are planning to pay a visit to Tokyo Tower or Skytree, you have to know their location, opening hours, cost, and many more. Right?

Therefore, don’t forget to check all the necessary information from the box.

Tokyo Skytree
Opening Hours: 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM (last admission at 8 PM).
Admission Fee for Tembo Deck on Weekdays: ¥2,100 (18 years and above), ¥1,550 (12 to 17 years old), ¥950 (6 to 11 years old), Free (children under 5).
Admission Fee for Tembo Deck on Weekends & Holidays: ¥2,300 (18 years and above), ¥1,650 (12 to 17 years old), ¥1,000 (6 to 11 years old), Free (children under 5).
Admission Fee for Tembo Galleria on Weekdays: ¥1,000 (18 years and above), ¥800 (12 to 17 years old), ¥500 (6 to 11 years old), Free (children under 5).
Admission Fee for Tembo Galleria on Weekends & Holidays: ¥1,100 (18 years and above), ¥900 (12 to 17 years old), ¥550 (6 to 11 years old), Free (children under 5).
Admission Fee for Both Deck on Weekdays: ¥3,100 (18 years and above), ¥2,350 (12 to 17 years old), ¥1,450 (6 to 11 years old), Free (children under 5).
Admission Fee for Both Deck on Weekends & Holidays: ¥3,400 (18 years and above), ¥2,550 (12 to 17 years old), ¥1,550 (6 to 11 years old), Free (children under 5).
Opened During: 365 days.
Official Site: tokyo-skytree.jp
Location: 1 Chome-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida City, Tokyo 131-0045, Japan.
Time from Tokyo Station: Around 30 minutes.
Time from Shinjuku Station: Around 40 minutes.

Now, check the information for Tokyo Tower.

Tokyo Tower
Opening Hours: 9.00 AM to 11:00 PM (last admission 10:30 PM).
Admission Fee for Main Deck Only: ¥1,200 (19 years and above), ¥1,000 (16 to 18 years old), ¥700 (7 to 15 years old), and ¥500 (4 to 6 years old).
Admission Fee for Both Main & Top Deck: ¥3,000 (19 years and above), ¥2,800 (16 to 18 years old), ¥2,000 (7 to 15 years old), and ¥1,400 (4 to 6 years old).
Opened During: 365 days.
Official Site: tokyotower.co.jp/en
Location: 4 Chome-2-8 Shibakoen, Minato City, Tokyo 105-0011, Japan.
Time from Tokyo Station: Around 15 minutes.
Time from Shinjuku Station: Around 20 minutes.

I recommend you to check their respective official site as ticket prices, visiting hours, and other information may vary from time to time.

Since there is nothing left to discuss, let’s call it a day here.

Conclusion

In this Tokyo Skytree vs Tokyo Tower writing, I have highlighted their differences from every perspective.

As I said earlier, both of them are worth paying a visit at least once. Hence, if you come to Japan and stay in Tokyo, try to put them on your bucket list.

Lastly, keep traveling and have fun.