Rooftopping in Tokyo: Shinjuku at Night – Japan
Note - I've gotten a good amount of requests on rooftopping tips in Tokyo from this post. I've put together a few pointers at the end of the post, under the section titled "Tokyo Rooftopping Tips". Good luck out there!
I spent quite a bit of time roaming around Tokyo looking for interesting places to explore and for rooftopping. I always had Shinjuku on my list. In case you didn’t know Shinjuku is a major commercial and business hub, and one of the 23 wards in Tokyo, composed of various areas such as the Skyscraper district as well as Kabukicho, a famous red light district.
Excluding the skyscrapers and some hotels, most if not all the buildings I found here were held to a building code that restricts the number of floors to 10-12. I typically like to go for the tallest buildings available, but after a couple failures in the hotels, I ended up on top of a typical multi-complex building with karaoke and restaurants.
It’s a nice feeling being above the chaos of the city sometimes, especially at night when Shinjuku fields masses of people migrating from section to section.
Apparently people from the building frequent the roof every now and then, and I confirmed that on the way out when I ran into someone coming up the stairs as I was leaving. Being a foreigner it isn’t hard to act lost in Tokyo, and it didn’t seem liked he minded much anyways.
Shinjuku turned out to be where I found the majority of my success rooftopping in Tokyo. I returned later that week and found a few more places that I’ll post about soon.
Tokyo Rooftopping Tips
If you found this post, and want some easy guidelines to check out roofs in Tokyo, see below.
- The easiest thing to do is usually go to areas like Kabukicho/Shinjuku/Akihabara
- Look for the buildings with many shops They are usually 12 floors high, and have many different businesses there.
- The pictures and roof from this post–> Just go to Kabukicho, and look for multi-complex centers like in this picture: http://goo.gl/gIlFVR
- There are usually elevator and stairs. Take the stairs all the way to the top floor and look for the door to the roof. Sometimes, it is unlocked and you can go and take pictures!
**If you are a foreigner, chances are high that even if you get caught you can talk your way out of it and act lost (i.e. the lost gaijin trying to take photos). As long as you aren’t blatantly breaking and entering, you should be ok.
That’s an easy way to find places, but if you want to go somewhere really high like this: http://www.
You have to take more risks, and try other things. It’s your choice, always be careful and good luck!