Since their construction, the Tokyo Tower and the Tokyo Skytree have been drawing crowds, both locals and tourists, for their magnificent bird’s eye views of Tokyo. But did you know that there is another tower where you can glimpse very unique views of Tokyo Bay and even Mount Fuji on a clear day?
The Chiba Port Tower constructed in 1986 stands at approximately 410 feet tall and offers 360° panoramic views of the area. Located in Chiba Port Park and rather close to the Chiba Prefectural Museum of Art, the tower was constructed to commemorate Chiba Prefecture’s population exceeding the 5 million mark. The exterior of the tower is covered with mirrored glass, which reflects the sun and makes the tower appear blue during the day.
The tower has four stories. The middle portion of the tower is hollow, which provides an interesting perspective during the elevator ride. When you enter through the first floor, you will find a souvenir shop selling items unique to Chiba along with an exhibition room, theater and a children’s room. Visitors take the elevator from the first floor to the fourth floor observation deck. The third and second floor can be accessed from the fourth floor via a stairway. There is an elevator located on the second floor, which will take visitors back to the first floor.
The second floor contains a special wall painting called Aqua Fantasy, painted with special luminous paint. After the sun sets, the painting is illuminated by black light and the objects in the painting appear to be three-dimensional. There is also an area called Lover’s Sanctuary, with seats set together in close pairs near the windows. Couples can purchase a heart-shaped lock and after writing their names on it, fasten it onto a window grate for all time. In a way, it is reminiscent of the lover’s bridge in Paris, the Pont des Arts, where couples toss the keys into the River Seine after attaching their locks to the bridge.
The third floor houses a coffee shop called Café La Plage. The shop can accommodate 50 people and it can be reserved for weddings and parties.
The main observation deck is located on the fourth floor. From here, visitors can see the Chiba Marine Stadium, Mount Tsukuba and the Chiba Zoo to the North; the Tokyo Electric Power Company and the Tokyo Bay Aqua Line to the South; Narita Airport, Chiba Prefectural Museum of Art and Chiba Port Square to the East and finally, Haneda Airport, Rainbow Bridge, Tokyo Disney Resort, Mount Fuji and Tokyo Tower to the West.
From the middle of November to the end of December the exterior of Chiba Port Tower is decorated with 3,000 Christmas lights, which form a large Christmas tree.
The tower is somewhat underrated hence it is cheaper to access its observatory than its more formidable neighbors, Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree and the views are quite nice if you overlook the Keiyo Industrial Zone.
You can access the Chiba Port Tower via the JR Keiyo Line, exit Chiba Minato Station. From that point, your destination is merely 15 minutes on foot.
Pont des Arts, Paris
Mt. Fuji in the distance
Web page: http://chiba-porttower.com/