Day Eight: Skytree
Day Eight: Skytree
Our last day in Japan began with a bang! More specifically, with an earthquake! Now, we had felt smaller earthquakes during our trip that felt like large trucks rumbling down the street, but this was different. We had just woken up and were still lying in bed when we started to feel the hotel shake and sway. We immediately knew that this wasn’t just a garbage truck outside our window. The rumbling from the earthquake jarred us and lasted a few minutes with some aftershocks that followed.
Of course, years of preparing for the big earthquake that’s supposed to hit Vancouver went out the window for us as we didn’t do anything that we were taught to do (we didn’t go stand under a doorway or crawl under a table)… we just stayed in bed and checked our phones to check for earthquake news.
When we turned the tv on, we saw all of the reports of the earthquake that was centred off the coast of Fukushima with a reported magnitude of 7.4 (later downgraded to 6.9).
As this was our last day in Japan, we were a bit concerned whether or not we’d be able to fly out of Japan since there was also a tsunami warning in effect. As it turned out, the earthquake only proved to be a minor inconvenience in Tokyo (only limited effects to the train schedules). For the most part, the residents seemed to just take things in stride and went about their day as normal. I guess they’ve been through this enough that it’s a fairly common occurrence.
With that scare out of the way, we decided to take in one more sight before leaving Japan… visiting Tokyo Skytree. Tokyo Skytree is a sight to behold… the tallest structure in Japan and the 2nd tallest structure in the world behind the Burj Khalifa.
The really amazing thing about this 634 metre tower is the high-speed, large capacity elevators that they have. These puppies will whisk you up 350 metres to the Tembo Deck in 50 seconds. What’s more is that you barely feel like you’re moving at all because the ride is so smooth.
The Tembo Deck spans three levels and has a great panoramic view of the city. The tower is so tall that it casts a huge shadow on the streets below.
All of the buildings below looked puny from this height.
Despite the smog from the city, you could see clear out to all of the surrounding mountains, including Mt. Fuji.
You can also take a second set of elevators up to the 450 metre high Tembo Galleria. There’s a sloping spiral ramp which gradually gains height as you circle the tower.
We were very lucky that it was sunny on our visit to Skytree as the view was amazing!
You can’t come all the way to Skytree and not stand on the glass floor (yes, it’s a bit freaky at first).
Tokyo Skytree Town has a big shopping and dining complex that surrounds the tower and we decided to grab lunch at Edo Mirakuchaya Sora Machi Tei before leaving Tokyo.
Our trip back to Narita International Airport on the Skyliner express train had better views than when we first arrived because the sun was still out.
We had a bit of time before our flight took off so we explored Narita and looked for some souvenirs to bring home.
Mochi is definitely something that you want to pick up here.
Just like on our flight into Tokyo, our flight back to Vancouver on Japan Airlines had some pretty good food.
I think I’m spoiled now for airline food… and this was in coach.
All in, our trip to Japan was great and filled with lots of great food and interesting sights. Even though we barely scratched the surface of exploring the different wards and districts of Tokyo, I think next time we’re in Japan, we’d like to spend some time in other cities.
Day Two: Tokyo Dome, Imperial Palace, and Asakusa
Day Three: Tsukiji Fish Market, Ginza, Winter Illuminations at Shidome
Day Four: Shibuya, Takeshita Dori, Harajuku, Meiji Shrine, Yakitori Alley
Day Five: Snoopy Museum, Odaiba