The cars on the expressway look like toys and the only things above you are clouds and the planes taking off from Haneda airport, an airship lazily floating by and the ubiquitous crows. It was my first time to go up on the roof at Tokyo City View at Roppongi Hills and I would very much recommend it if you find yourself in the area.
It is a chance to regain perspective, to see the now-familiar landmarks and look past them towards the horizons that you would never know are there when you are down at street level. As per usual whenever I go to one of these viewing platforms, Mount Fuji was hiding somewhere behind a veil of clouds. What else can you expect from what the legends tell you is such a ‘shy mountain?’
Don’t think I will ever get bored of looking at the city I call home from high up. Luckily, there are a range of different viewpoints as well as Tokyo City View, with Tokyo Tower, the Skytree and the Metropolitan Government building also providing a Godzilla-eye view of the metropolis.
I think Tokyo City View is unique in that the viewing platforms are open – you are not allowed to take any bags outside with you but lockers are provided – and it is a different perspective not to be looking out through a window. Some of these buildings require tickets but others don’t cost much at all.
As the Drifters sang,
On the roof it’s peaceful as can be
And there the world below can’t bother me
When the bustle of Tokyo starts to get too much, if you can’t get out of the sprawling city – either to the beach or to the mountains – the next best thing is to go up on the roof.
Thanks to the good friends visiting from home who inspired the occasion and gave us an excuse to play tourists in our own city!