Tokyo Skytree is a neo-futuristic style broadcasting and observation tower. It broadcasts TV and radio across numerous sectors of Tokyo and it is absolutely massive! In fact, it’s the second tallest tower in the world behind the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
I see this building everyday, I live in it’s shadow. I see it from my wall length window every morning and it lights up my room at night. However, at no point in my time here am I ever bored looking at it. It’s crazy how the tallest freestanding tower in the world just sits there in Sumida City. Some people don’t even look up at it while they are on their way to work or on their way home. The tower is a stark contrast to the typical buildings of the neighbourhood. Despite this, most people just walk by as if it’s a totally normal thing to be in such a place.
I had lived in this flat for four months and I had still not gone in. When I moved here, I was really busy for a while and then the state of emergency happened and they shut their doors for a month or so. When they re-opened their doors and announced that the Final Fantasy 7 Remake event was still going on, @mariannavlogs and I made it a point to visit.
First we went on a little tour inside the Skytree Gallery to learn more about the tower’s construction, how long it took to build, and how they made it earthquake proof. You could see the inside of the tower and the pillars that make up the foundations, find out how it lights up, why it lights up, and what all the different colours mean. However, it’s not just a pretty lit up tower. Adjacent to the tower is a huge shopping mall called Solamachi and for me, this place is like Disneyland for adults.
After the little tour of the tower’s foundations we went to get some lunch and stopped at a ramen restaurant on the First floor Called Soratoraya. It does really amazing vegan gyoza. I went with the spicy ramen which is absolutely delicious but very, very, very spicy… and peppery. In a Tokyo recovering from a corona induced state of emergency, I spent the entire meal desperately trying not to cough my heart out. Its was like every irresistible peppery bite kicked my lungs in the crotch.
Solamachi has several floors filled with shops and restaurants. The establishments range from clothes stores to patisseries and everything in between. There was so much to see and do!
Going up one floor I couldn’t help but indulge in a totally unnecessary, completely bad for me in every way, “why on earth did I drink that” chocolate milkshake from the Godiva cafe.
Of course, there is no way that I could talk about every store here because to visit them all would require a few days and a passion for shopping that I just do not have. There is one store, however, that I definitely wanted to visit.
Pokémon Go is played by… well, everyone in Japan. I hate to generalise but if someone’s looking at their phone in public in Tokyo, chances are they are playing it. At certain times of the week there will be a rare Pokémon up for grabs and everyone just stops in place and looks down at their phone for 20 minutes. People travelling to their destination with laser focus will notice that 60 people are standing around, looking down at their phones, will proceed to whip out their phone and join in. Before you know it, the streets are lined with people playing Pokémon Go, sometimes with two or even three phones. People dressed casually, people dressed in three piece suits, people juggling 2 kids and 12 bags of shopping. People from all walks of life powerless to resist the viral outbreak that is a location based rare Pokémon hunt. Then, like nothing happened, everyone gets back on with their day. So of course SkyTree Town would have a full sized Pokémon Center!
This is the first time I had ever seen a real life Pokémon Centre. It is full of Pokémon memorabilia, everything from T-shirts to toilet brushes. There are a few arcade style Pokémon games for “kids” and huge models of Pokémon characters all over the place.
From there, we went to the Kirby Café to see if we could grab a quick coffee. We didn’t have high hopes of getting in as we have heard that they are always extremely busy and we might need to book a table in advance. It would seem however, that coming out of the state of emergency they are enthusiastic to get business moving again. Despite being quite busy, the manager and workers were eager to pull us in and sit us down.
We only wanted a drink but we took one look at the menu and had to get something to eat! The amount of Kirby related sweets on the menu looked too good to turn down!
So, it’s now 1 o’clock. We have 6 hours to burn before we ascend the 350 floors of SkyTree to see the Final Fantasy VII Remake event. Luckily, we are in the perfect place for wasting time, and waste time we did. This was the first proper outing we had since the state of emergency. So to finally leave the house and have so much stuff to do was like going to Disneyland.