THE GIANT buildings are lined up neatly with their backs to Mount Fuji. Deciduous trees line them. The blue-sky grades into a deadline. From the 45th floor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) building in Shinjuku, Tokyo, the scene was clear and vivid on Thursday afternoon, February 16, 2023.

TMG is the Tokyo Government building. This state-owned office, which is adjacent to the parliament building, has an observatory that is open to the public. As a free tourist attraction, the building is often on the list of favorites for local and foreign tourists to visit.

Kobayashi Ayumi, a Japanese citizen, has visited the 202-meter observatory twice. For her second visit, she came during the day.

“When the weather is clear, I like to see Mount Fuji from here because it is clearly visible. But right now, it’s a bit covered in fog. The preferred time for Japanese citizens to enjoy the landscape from the observatory is in the evening. From the 45th floor, whose walls are almost 360 degrees made of glass, tourists can enjoy the flickering lights of the magnificent city of Tokyo,” said Ayumi when met at the location.

She added, it’s beautiful, many Japanese people visited TMG when Tempo had the opportunity to visit the building. Locals came with their families or in groups with their peers. There were also foreign tourists, including from Indonesia.

Indonesian traveler Katriana took the time to visit TMG on the sidelines of her visit to the cherry blossom country to participate in the Jenesys 2023 journalist exchange program organized by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. According to her, seeing Japan from a height is an unusual experience.

“It’s amazing, because I can see the scenery in most parts of Tokyo for free,” Katriana said.

The Japanese government allows tourists to enjoy the landscape from the observatory for free from 10 am to 6 pm local time. The tourist site is open every day. There are no requirements except that visitors wait patiently in line. Tourists simply come and wait in line from the lobby of the government building to enter the elevator.

The elevator with a maximum capacity of about ten people will take visitors to one of the ‘roofs of Tokyo’ at high speed. The elevator travels to the 45th floor in 55 seconds. In addition to enjoying the view of Tokyo from above, visitors can buy souvenirs.

In the center of the observatory room, there is a circular booth. There, souvenirs such as handkerchiefs, T-shirts, displays, chopsticks, postcards, and other trinkets are sold. Souvenirs are priced from 100 yen.

Indonesian traveler Nurjanti was impressed with the souvenirs sold at the observatory. She bought a maneki neko or decorative cat statue and a desk display for her relatives and coworkers. She bought them for 413 yen and 310 yen respectively.

“The total was less than 1,000 yen for the two items. Affordable because per display, the price is less than IDR50,000. For Tokyo standards, that’s cheap,” Nurjanti said.

While looking at the scenery and buying souvenirs, visitors can also enjoy coffee. In the same location as where the souvenirs are sold, there is a cafe that sells various coffees, such as americano, latte, and cappuccino. The smell of coffee fills the observatory room. The small cafe in the center of the observatory closes at 5 p.m. every day. [ special]