The Tocho free observatory is now open

Tocho might be a new word for some of you. It’s what locals call the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. It is famous for its free observation decks in its two towers. If you didn’t know, they have been closed several times since 2020 due to the pandemic. But as Japan will soon be open to tourists, these free observatories are ready for business again in 2022.  

Actually, I should have said one observation deck. That is the southern one, and it has been busy since September 1! I wanted to go on that day but didn’t have the time. It wasn’t until the twenty-third that I did. So, on a Wednesday afternoon, I hoped to get lucky with sunset photos. Things didn’t go as well as I wanted, but it wasn’t a complete disappointment either. 

Anyway, upon entry, I saw quite a few people. Most seemed to congregate near the western windows. They seemed to be waiting for Mount Fuji to appear.

Well, that didn’t happen.  Due to the cloud cover, no one saw it. Actually, I can’t remember the last time I saw it from the observatory! Can I remedy that in the near future? Well, I’m expecting better skies with autumn and winter approaching.

The conditions weren’t great. Some sky was visible, but the cloud cover was pretty heavy. I never saw the sun while I was there. Oh well, better luck next time as they say.

My photos from the Tocho’s south observatory weren’t bad, but not great. As usual, I need to go again and shoot when the weather is better. Anyway, I stayed and shot while the light was usable.

With so much cloud cover, the sunset was disappointing. Of course, there was nothing I could do about it. Such is the life of a photographer.

Had anything changed at Tocho?

Nothing much had changed. The only thing that had was Tokyo Tower. We’ve been gradually losing it over the last couple of years to new buildings under construction. Now you can barely see it from Tocho.

Wrapping up 

It’s good to see the Tokyo Metropolitan Building’s southern observatory back. Hopefully, there will be no need for it to close again. And I also hope we’ll be able to see Mount Fuji from the deck very soon.

One last thing. If you look on Google, Tocho is marked as closed. It definitely is not. The south observatory is waiting for you. Take your camera!

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