Start from Tokyo Skytree Station.
It’s been two years since its opening, but the Tokyo Skytree still remains a popular tourist destination. As the name suggests, Tokyo Skytree Station is the closest station to the Tokyo Skytree. The platform might be a good meeting spot, since the station gets so crowded with visitors on weekends.
Stroll around the Tokyo Skytree and Take Photos of the Tower from Different Angles.
Once you get out of the station, you’ll feel like going straight to Solamachi, the shopping complex connected to the Tokyo Skytree. Before that, however, let’s walk around the area to enjoy the view of the tower from many angles.
Sorakara-chan, the official character of the Tokyo Skytree, is enjoying viewing the tower as well.
At the foot of the Tokyo Skytree, you can’t take the photos of the whole tower from head to toe. So I recommend that you get out of the station, walk toward the Oshinari Shopping Archade, cross the Kitajikken River, and then turn around. Then, the stunning view of the Tokyo Skytree will be in sight. This is the best photo spot I’ve found, but it must be fun to compete with friends to see who can find the best photo spot!
Feel Hungry? Then, Visit Calbee Plus and Get Freshly Fried Potato Chips!
Have you ever wanted to taste freshly fried potato chips? Calbee Plus is where you can make the dream come true! The shops can be seen at terminal stations, and there is one at Solamachi as well. They offer limited products such as freshly fried potato chips and ‘Potechurro’, the churros made with potatoes. The texture is crispy outside, and soft and chewy inside. It’s similar to French fries, but Potechurro tastes even better. The irresistible taste will make you want more!
The shop usually has long lines, which means customers can usually get freshly fried products. While waiting in lines, check out their local-limited products, some of which are available only at this shop!
Nippon-Ichi Introduces Traditional Craftsmanship in a Modern Way.
A trend in ‘zakka’ (household goods) is the use of good old Japanese craftsmanship or back-to-basics, which has been regaining attention recently. There have been an increasing number of these kinds of zakka shops. Among them, the shop Nippon-Ichi is one of the coolest! They have a variety of cool ‘good luck’ items!
Nippon-Ichi sells the items featuring Mt. Fuji, and they are attracting foreign visitors. They have a wide selection of good luck items, from traditional crafts to the collaborated items. One of the most popular souvenirs is the Skytree Tenugui (Japanese hand towel) made through the traditional process. What I personally recommend is the Nippon-Ichi Bag. I've got one, but this has the print of Mt. Fuji and the sun, two good luck symbols! How about using it as a sub-bag?
Interact with Owls! Takanome, an Owl Cafe Recently Opened around the Tokyo Skytree.
Japan has many animal cafes including cat cafes, rabbit cafes, and bird cafes, but that’s old news! Now, the hottest animal cafe is owl cafe! Tokyo has some owl cafes, but Takanome distinctively has falcons as well as owls to interact with, as its name suggests! (Takanome means falcon’s eye). Both falcons and owls are the birds of prey, so it must be thrilling to be with them!
You can have an hour to enjoy, and a drink is included with the cover charge. When you drink coffee, you can watch the owls through the window, as the cafe space and the petting room is separated. Seems like everyone is more interested in birds than drinks, as they flocks to the petting room!
They have many kinds of owls. From these little ones…
To the big ones like this! As they are active at night (nocturnal), some owls are sleeping all the time. They are living at their own pace! Some are pretty friendly when the owner is around, letting us hold them or sitting on our shoulders. So cute!
You can interact with falcons, too. Don’t forget to put on gloves, as they have sharp talons. If you hold out your bare hand, the falcons can do you serious harm with their sharp beak! Be careful when you are with them, remembering the warning notice given at the entrance, and following the owner’s advice!
Falcon, King of Birds! They never get scared of cameras when resting on your arms, so you can take close-up photos of them as much as you want, which is incredible! They are friendly when we are relaxed. They probably feel the same way as we do.
These two owls, sitting close to each other, have been drowsing all the time. Are you okay? You must be tired from working in the daytime! By the way, you can buy these birds. (Having them at your house might not be easy though). According to the owner, there is a customer who bought an owl but has the café take care of it for her, as it is impossible for her to keep it at her house. She visits the café to see her pet owl.
The Main Spot of Today: Daikoku-yu, Tokyo’s Only Bathhouse Offering a Great View of Tokyo Skytree.
It’s a bit of a walk from the Tokyo Skytree toward Kinshi-cho, but Daikoku-yu is probably the closest bathhouse to the Tokyo Skytree. I feel my expectation mounting when I look at the traditional exterior of the bathhouse! They use natural hot spring water unlike other ‘sento’ (a public bath using heated tap water), but their entrance fee and rental towel fee are as low as other sento’s. You don’t need to bring anything. Just come and relax!
The ‘noren’, a door-curtain, has a print of Daikoku-sama (one of the Seven Lucky Gods). I’m feeling lucky now! Let’s get inside!
This is the front desk / lobby. The shower space has a picture of Mt. Fuji, which is often seen in most sento. This natural hot spring water will leave your skin feeling soft and smooth. They have various kinds of indoor baths just like ‘super-sento’! If you are lucky, (odd number days for men, even days for female) you can enjoy outdoor bath, which has a spot where Tokyo Skytree is visible while lying down in the bath! This will make you feel so special!
Drinking bottled milk is a must after taking a bath! There is a notebook for visitors in which they can write a message. Flipping over the pages, and I find that not a few visitors has come to Daikoku-yu after the visit to the Tokyo Skytree. Daikoku-yu has many repeat customers who love the water quality and the atmosphere, let alone the middle-aged locals who love sento! The place is not too touristy, which must be the key to popularity.
For Souvenir Shopping at Solamachi, Kyukyodo Is Worth a Visit!
An old paper specialty shop Kykyodo is located in Ginza, the high-end district that has been ranked as the most expensive land in Japan every year. Kyukyodo offers a wide selection of incense and Japanese traditional stationery including Washi paper and calligraphy brushes, and this Solamachi shop has more reasonable items compared to the main store in Ginza. For Japanese stationery, Kyukyodo is the place to go!
As a gift, I recommend the incense called ‘Sora-no-ki’, meaning ‘a sky tree’, a limited item only available at this Solamachi shop. This smells so refreshing!
Cute boxes made with small Washi paper. These boxes have the prints of Daruma, the innocent-looking Ebisu-sama and Daikoku-sama. They have full of playful spirit! I’ve got them for myself!
Hot Topic, Perfect As a Gift! FUJIYA Sweetoven’s Popular Cookies Are Fresh from the Oven.
This FUJIYA Sweetoven Solamachi Shop is one of the few shops that offer fresh-made Country Ma’am, one of the most popular cookies in Japan! The outside is crispy, and the inside is soft. These cookies seem to have more chocolate chips than regular Country Ma’am cookies. Let’s eat both and compare the taste, and you will notice the difference!
Everyone is curiously looking at the showcase. Their Skytree Chou a la Crème, which is only available at this shop, is popular too. As Solamachi has lots of nice stuff, I tend to loosen up my purse strings! This fresh-made Country Ma’am is perfect as a gift, being inexpensive, and a hot topic as well!
Finally Enjoy the Stunning Tokyo Skytree! It Looks Quite Different at Day and Night.
The Tokyo Skytree looks like the vintage Tokyo Tower in the setting sun. The seasonal lighting-up starts at 5 p.m. The experience of seeing the Tokyo Srytree while taking a classic bath will be an unforgettable memory! Today’s date has involved so much nice stuff including a hot spring, sightseeing, and rarely seen owls. I highly recommend this course with retro and modern feel!