A visit to Japan – Tokyo, Tokyo Skytree

After my visit to Sensō-ji and a simply delicious (and very filling!) Midday meal, I head east with a full stomach towards the Sumida River with the last goal of the day visiting the Skytree tower. I planned to walk there, although it could also be done by metro or surface via a suspended train, the quickest method. So I arrive after a few minutes of walking in Sumida Park, just before the river that marks the border between Asakusa and Sumida-ku neighborhood. I spend some time in the park, but don’t stay there for long considering the crowds rushing to admire the cherry trees. It’s almost impossible to walk around without hitting someone; the fault with the starting point of the river tours which is right between the park and the river. After Sensō-ji, here is my second walkabout!

Several dozen people are still sitting under the cherry trees, eating or talking. It is said that you have to reserve your place in advance to enjoy the place; a plastic tarp on the ground and a stunning view of the cherry blossoms just above. Sometimes people even come to settle there early in the morning to secure a place or to reserve for a group of people, sometimes even just by placing a written note on the tarpaulin. I don’t know how they organize themselves, but I imagine it happens naturally “Japanese-style”.

After my little walk, I retrace my steps in order to cross the bridge to go to the district of Sumida-ku. Before that, I imitated the locals heavily armed with newer and more expensive cameras than the others in taking a famous view of the city: the headquarters of the Asahi company, as well as the Skytree in the background. since 2012.

Japon / Japan – Tokyo, Sumida

A few words about the Asahi company, its building “beer mug with foam” and its “golden poop”, time for me to cross the bridge.

Asahi was created in 1889 in Osaka in order to produce and market a new beer. The brand will thrive and continue to develop over the years to eventually become one of the most consumed in Japan with Kirin and Sapporo. In order to create the design for its headquarters in Tokyo, the company called on a French designer, Philippe Starck. Originally, the golden sculpture was meant to represent a “beer bubble rising to the surface,” but due to height standards at the time, Tokyo City Hall did not approve the project. The bubble was therefore placed horizontally and is a priori supposed to represent the future. Today, it is seen by some more as a flame, and by others as golden “poop” than as a beer bubble rising to the surface. However, it remains a well-known symbol and a photo that tourists and Japanese visitors must take.

Whatever one thinks of this poop / flame, Asahi is still an excellent beer that can be tasted on the 22nd floor of the building, where you can also eat and admire the 180 degree view around. Note, however, that the latter doesn’t rival those of the city’s many other observatories, but is worth a look if you’re in the building.

Speaking of the observatory, I am now heading, still on foot, in the direction of the Tokyo Skytree. Nothing too complicated, because the tower is the most visible part of the capital: you just have to walk in its direction to get there, which I do in about 10 minutes after crossing the bridge. If you lose sight of the tower (which is highly unlikely if you are on the surface), the easiest way is to follow the signs here and there. Once at the foot of the complex, all you have to do is reach the 4th floor by climbing the stairs or escalators from the outside or even from the inside via the first three floors, a real economic place where shops are lined up by the dozen in a An impressive maze of by-products, souvenirs of all kinds, not to mention the countless restaurants at every corner of the hall!

Once on the 4th floor, I discover an exterior esplanade surrounding the different entrances to the tower (north, west, etc.) as well as very distinct queues: some according to the scheduled entry time, others for groups, etc. And the line of visitors is already very long outside, several hundred meters from the elevators! I then take a quick tour of the complex to realize that the estimated wait time is approx.

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