When I am visiting a bigger city in Japan for the first time, I really like to use observation decks in high-rise buildings for exploring the area. From the top you will get a real feeling of the density of buildings in cities like Tokyo, Osaka or Yokohama. It is like an ocean of concrete till the horizon.
Here are my recommendations for Tokyo.
You have to go first to the TOKYO SKYTREE within the Sumida Ward. It is with 634m the world’s tallest free-standing broadcasting tower. Trust me you will never find a better view of the capital of Japan than from this place.
Other great observation decks can be found at Roppongi Hills in Minato-ku, Tokyo City Hall in Shinjuku, Tokyo Tower in Minato-ku and the skyscraper district in Shiodome.
My tip: You should visit the Tokyo Tower at night. You will love the illumination there.
I have lived for 1 year in Yokohama (second largest city in Japan) and my favourite observation deck there was on top of the Landmark Tower in Minato Mirai. The Landmark Tower is with 296,3m the second largest skyscraper in Japan. The view over the city and the harbour is amazing, especially at night.
The last time I went to Osaka was in 2016 and I would like to share with you my top 2 choices. My first observation deck was on top of Umeda Sky Building in Kita-ku. The height of the building is 173m and the view is spectecular.
The second observation deck can be found on top of Abeno Harukas in Abeno-ku, with 300m the tallest skyscraper in Japan. The building is open for the public since 2014.