Photo by Connie Sceaphierde

Tokyo Tower reopens, but there’s a catch if you want to get to the top!

When COVID-19 hit began to hit Japan back in January, numerous venues and locations across the country closed their doors for the safety of the public, with more and more businesses pulling the shutters down after the government announced a nationwide state of emergency on the 16th of April.

On the 25th of May, the Japanese government finally lifted the state of Emergency for all prefectures – slightly ahead of schedule (the original plan was for it to end on the 31st of May), yet much anticipated by business owners and the Japanese economy.

With the new found freedom after the end of Japan’s COVID-19 isolation, venues across the country have rushed to welcome back visitors. Amongst those allowing customers back is Tokyo Tower, an iconic landmark of the capital, formerly the world’s tallest freestanding tower.

The building has two observatories, one at 150 meters and the second at 249.6 meters, which would normally be open to the public via an elevator, however following the lockdown lift, Tokyo Tower will now only be allowing visitors entrance to the lowest of the observatories via a metal staircase that climbs up through the centre of the tower.

The “Open Air Stair Walk” – as the course has been named – has been put in place to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which although the lockdown has been lifted, still exists. Climbers will reduce the chance of spreading the virus, as the staircase avoids what has been penned as “triple danger” in japan; closed-off environments, crowded spaces and close-contact situations.

To the lowest observation deck (Main deck), standing at 150 meters, there are about 600 outside steps to climb. It is estimated to take only around 15 minutes to reach the deck, but that doesn’t mean it is an easy climb, and it will more than certainly knock the breath out of you!

TOKYO TOWER Co. Ltd has stated that the climb is a “healthy and interesting course recommended for those who have been staying home and have been lacking exercise”.
People online have even picked up on the strenuous activity, saying “This seems to be more effective than gyms across the world", and "this could eliminate my lockdown weight gain!"

If you’re not particularly keen on the prospect of huffing and puffing your way up the tower just to get a decent look across the city, there is also a tempting special certificate available only to those who reach the deck via stairs. If you have a competitive soul like myself, this is all that's needed to coerce me into getting my sweat on.

Whether you need a good boost in mentality with a beautiful view across the metropolis, you want to get your hands on an exclusive “I climbed Tokyo Tower” boastful certificate, or you fancy yourself a sudden gruelling workout, step up to the challenge and climb up Tokyo Tower!

Open Air Stair Walk

*may be closed in stormy weather

Business hours: 09:00 - 20:00 (staircase open for descending until 20:30)
Fees: Adult 1200 YEN, High School Student 1000 YEN, Children 700 YEN, Infants 500 YEN

By - Connie Sceaphierde.