Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Introduction

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is a skyscraper complex in Shinjuku, Tokyo. The main building known as Metropolitan Government Building One used to hold the title of tallest building in Tokyo for 15 years.

Name: Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (In Japanese: 東京都庁, pronounced as Tokyo Tocho)

The name is given for that the building serves as the headquarters of Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

Location: 2-8-1 Nishi Shinjuku, Tokyo

The building is situated among the cluster of skyscrapers in Shinjuku.
Although tallest buildings and landmark of Tokyo are all outside of this region, Shinjuku has the city's most majestic skyscraper cluster.

The skyscrapers in Shinjuku, Tokyo
The skyscrapers in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is one the left of this picture

Height:
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building One is 243 meters by standard measurement, and Building Two is 163 meters.
The Building One is comprised of two towers and a bridging structure. Two towers on both sides are 243 meters or 797 feet tall, each has 48 floors, the bridging structure between two towers is 150 meters tall and has 33 floors.

The small antenna on the north tower brings the total height of the building to 260 meters, while the architectural height remains 243 meters.
It had been the tallest building in Tokyo from its completion in 1991 to 2006, when it was surpassed by the Midtown Tower in Minato, which stands only 5 meters taller than it.

Uses: Office and Observation
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is owned by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, which governs over the entire Tokyo Metropolitan Area, the building serves as its headquarters.

The observation decks on upper floors of the building is one of best place for tourists to view the cityscape of Tokyo.

Design:
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building was designed by architect Kenzo Tange, one of most renowned architect in history.
Some other relatively notable skyscrapers designed by Kenzo Tange include One Raffles Place Tower and United Overseas Bank Plaza One, two tallest buildings in Singapore.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building consists of two skyscrapers, respectively are Building One and Building Two. Building Two is located south of Building One.

The Building One is simply comprised of a pair of twin towers that bridged by a lower structure at midsection of the building.

This appearance is inspired by the shape of a Gothic cathedral, most likely is Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris as this cathedral is topped with flat roofs, and Kenzo Tange himself is Christian.

Notre Dame Cathedral

The form of each tower is heavily affected by the UOB Plaza Two in Singapore, which is another skyscraper designed by Kenzo Tange that built back in 1974.

UOB Plaza complex
UOB Plaza complex, UOB Plaza Two is on the left

The similarity on both buildings is that the tower structure is simply one or two shorter cuboid columns rotated 45 degree and stacked above the columns at lower section.

Tourism and sightseeing:
The two towers on both sides of the midsection each has an observation deck on 45th floor. At the height of 202 meters (663 feet) above the ground, the observation decks offer panoramic views of the cityscape of Tokyo. Unlike most observation decks on skyscrapers, these observation decks are free of charge to the public, the operation is sponsored by some shops and cafes in same floors.

From the observation deck, visitors can see other buildings in Shinjuku from the air, and even see the iconic Tokyo Skytree Tower in the distance.

Another business core area Minato can also be seen from the observation deck. Tokyo Tower and Midtown Tower is shown in the distance at middle top of picture below.

Below is the close view of Minato seen from the observatory.

Another iconic building can be seen form the observatory is Shinjuku Park Tower, which houses a Park Hyatt Hotel on upper floors, and same as Metropolitan Building the Park Tower is also designed by Kenzo Tange.

Popular culture:
As a landmark in Tokyo, the Metropolitan Government Building has been featured in lots of Japanese films.
The most famous one with the building heavily featured is 1991 film Godzilla vs King Ghidorah, which was released only eight months after the completion of the building.


In the film, Godzilla and the other monster named King Ghidorah fight near the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. At last Godzilla lost the battle and finally crashed into the midsection of the building to destroy the structure, leaving its twin towers standing alone.

Some other films have Metropolitan Government Building featured are 2001 anime television series Digimon Tamers, the 1990s manga series Tokyo Babylon, 2008 science fiction film My Girlfriend Is a Cyborg, etc.
In the film My Girlfriend Is a Cyborg, the building can be seen among the skyline of Shinjuku in the night before an unprecedented earthquake that destroys the whole city.

Share this: