“Once you have tasted the taste of the sky, you will forever look up” ~ Leonardo da Vinci.

Stepping onto an ascending escalator 230 metres above Tokyo, my jaw voluntarily dropped when I noticed the setting sun created the most vibrant hues of orange, pink and purple, splashing them across the miniature buildings below. My goodness, Shibuya Sky, you’re already taking my breath away!

Towering above the world’s busiest pedestrian crossing and boasting unbeatable views over Japan’s capital, it’s an understatement to say Shibuya Sky is a must visit when planning your Tokyo itinerary.

Shibuya Sky: Tickets & Tips for the Perfect Experience | The Invisible Tourist

Located on the rooftop of the shiny new Shibuya Scramble Square tower building right beside Shibuya Station, Shibuya Sky is Japan’s highest rooftop observatory deck and offers a sweeping 360-degree panoramic view over Tokyo as far as the eye can see.

From this staggering height above Shibuya, it’s easy to see your favourite landmarks of Japan such as the Tokyo Tower, Tokyo SkyTree and even Mount Fuji on a clear day!

While this relatively new Tokyo attraction opened in November 2019, it didn’t leave much time for tourists to visit before Japan’s borders closed in March 2020. Fortunately, I’ve visited three times now and learnt from some mistakes. So I’m about to share my best tips so you don’t make the same mistakes I did.

If you’re wondering when is the best time to visit Shibuya Sky tower, where to buy discounted tickets and what to expect on your visit, read on for more!

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TIP: This article forms part of my comprehensive guide to unreal and exciting things to do in Shibuya during the day and night, so take a look for more inspiration in the area once you’re done here!

Where to buy Shibuya Sky Tickets

Like many popular attractions in Japan, when planning your trip it’s a good idea to buy Shibuya Sky tickets in advance if you’re hoping to be an invisible tourist.

You can save a few hundred yen by buying online instead of purchasing at the venue. School students and those with special needs receive a hefty discount on the admission price. 
 

 Shibuya Sky Escalator, Tokyo

What to expect when visiting the Shibuya Sky observatory

Keep on reading for my tips for visiting and you can head to my Instagram for my for my Shibuya Sky sunset video.

14th Floor: Sky Gate 

Sky Gate is the gateway to the Shibuya Sky observation deck. There is a separate queue for people with pre-purchased tickets. You can either print them on paper or show the QR code on your phone to staff. 

After showing your tickets on the 14th floor, you’ll be ushered by staff to line up and take a lift known as the Transition Pod, in small groups. 

This area is called the Sensing Hall. Don’t forget to look up at the mesmerising animations on the ceiling whilst you’re waiting and in the lift itself!

This lift goes up to the 45th floor, before visitors take a narrow escalator to the 46th floor.

Transition Pod

Sky Gate Escalator

46th Floor: Shibuya Sky Observatory

Shibuya Sky Lockers 

You cannot bring anything up to the observation deck except your wallet and phone/camera. Anything else needs to be placed in a locker at the Shibuya Sky deck.

The lockers are quite big, I was able to fit my handbag and two decent-sized shopping bags inside. These can be locked for 100 yen, and you receive your coin back when you leave.

If you’re carrying a large umbrella like I was, you can leave it in one of the umbrella lockers beside the regular ones. They can be locked with a combination.

TIP: Seasonally in the warmer months there is a pop-up rooftop bar, known as The Roof. This Shibuya Sky bar features comfy couches that can be reserved in 50-minute time slots starting from 4,900 yen each. The couch packages include admission into the Shibuya Sky complex and need to be reserved in advance. For standing room at the bar, take your wallet with you if you’d like to buy a drink and watch the world go by. I wanted to do this but made the rookie mistake of leaving my purse in the locker, oops.

Lockers at Shibuya Sky
Lockers at Shibuya Sky do hold quite a lot!

Sky Stage Rooftop 

Once you’ve secured your bags, head straight outside up the escalator to the Sky Stage, the outdoor viewing platform complete with helipad. To me, this is the best place to take your Shibuya Sky photos!

There is a professional photographer in an “Instagrammable” spot on the Sky Edge to take souvenir photos. People patiently line up for this spot so each person has a photo without other people in it. Cost: The fee is 1800 yen for the photo and a digital copy.

TIP: Hang out and gaze up at the sky on a Cloud Hammock (if you’re able to find an empty one!) and spot the Geo Compass. 

I noticed in early spring, the tall glass walls help shield from icy winds for the most part. During summer, I didn’t bring a cardigan and regretted it after the sun went down because the temperature up there is a few degrees cooler than at ground level. 

But my goodness, the views during “golden hour” simply took my breath away! It was beyond magical to watch the sun descend over Tokyo from here, words just can’t describe it so I’ll let the images below speak for themselves.

Sky Stage at Shibuya Sky

View of Shinjuku from Shibuya Sky, Tokyo

Tokyo Tower from Shibuya Sky, Tokyo

Shibuya Sky Rooftop

Sky Gallery 

Coming back down to the 46th floor from the rooftop, the Sky Gallery is ideal if your visit happens to coincide with a rainy day. You’ll still be able to see right across Tokyo from the comfort of indoors. 

The Sky Gallery features an array of light projections onto the gallery walls that are quite interesting, as their reflections dance in the windows.  

Also on this floor is the Paradise Lounge. Take a seat and enjoy snacks, drinks or cocktails whilst enjoying some of the best views in Tokyo. I was surprised the snack options weren’t Japanese cuisine as they included hot chips, spicy fried chicken, hotdogs, churros and ice cream.

Shibuya Crossing from Shibuya Sky, Tokyo

Gift shop 

I always manage to pick up some interesting souvenirs in the Shibuya Sky gift shop. I definitely recommend stopping by to take a look before you leave.

Think Hachiko-themed gifts, all kinds of omiyage (edible souvenirs to bring home to colleagues or loved ones), stationery, printed reusable cloth bags, clothing, snow globes, the works. 

Geo Compass

Tips for visiting Shibuya Sky for the perfect experience

After three visits at different times of the year with different weather, here are my best tips to help you make the most of your visit to Shibuya Sky.

Check the Shibuya weather forecast

Check the weather forecast for Shibuya each day before your trip and try to be flexible. I only had one shot at this clear day during my rainy season trip so made sure I shuffled my plans around this time.

It’s not the end of the world if you can’t, the views will still blow you away, but it’s something to keep in mind for the best experience.

Shibuya Sky Rooftop

Buy advance tickets

There is a quota on how many people can enter during a certain time slot. As mentioned earlier, buy your tickets online in advance. This will also save you time queuing up to get in. Pre-order discounted Shibuya Sky Tokyo tickets here.

TIP: If you’d like a sunset timeslot (from around 15:00 onwards), you’ll need to book your tickets 4 weeks in advance. This is the most popular time to visit (for obvious reasons!) and these times book out very quickly. But remember, there is no Shibuya Sky time limit so once you’re in you can stay as long as you like. But what if it rains?! This leads me to…

Is Shibuya Sky closed in the rain?

Yes, the Shibuya Sky Stage Rooftop observatory closes in the rain, as I found out on my third visit. This means the iconic escalator and outdoor area are completely closed off, and only the indoor Sky Gallery can be accessed. There is good news in the event of rain, though!

On arrival to the ticket counters, staff will inform you that the outdoor area is closed and ask if you’d prefer to reschedule for another day. I went up anyway to see what it was like, but that could be an option for you to come back.

The benefit of visiting when it is raining is that most people seem to reschedule, so the Sky Gallery is not crowded. It’s the silver lining to rainy weather, I guess!

NOTE: Regarding Shibuya Sky cancellation: No refunds can be obtained after admission or if the indoor area is open, even when the rooftop is closed due to bad weather. Please double-check the conditional cancellation details when you purchase tickets.

Is Shibuya Sky closed in the rain?

Know the sunset time

During my first visit in early spring, the days were shorter and I arrived after dusk. While this visit was still absolutely worthwhile, I highly recommend checking the time of the sunset during your trip and head there at least 1.5 hours earlier. Then you’ll see the best of both worlds – day and night!

Be mindful when taking photos and videos

Take plenty of photos and remember to not capture faces that can be identified where possible. If you’re planning to post photos online, this means blurring out faces or cropping out people who didn’t consent to being in your photo. This is the law in Japan.

Shibuya Sky Rooftop at Sunset

Shibuya Sky time limit

Thankfully, there is currently no time limit for how long to spend at Shibuya Sky once you’re in. If it’s a busy time like sunset however, you may need to wait a little while before you can head up. This is why I recommend arriving at least 1.5 hours before sunset if you’re able. The longer before, the better!

Shibuya Sky Tower, Tokyo
Shibuya Sky Tower (Shibuya Scramble Square)

How to get to Shibuya Sky

Wondering how to go to Shibuya Sky? It’s part of the Shibuya Scramble Square building, right next to Shibuya Station and can be reached on the JR Yamanote line (covered by the Japan Rail Pass), or the Hanzomon, Fukutoshin or Ginza Metro lines (covered by the Tokyo Subway Pass). The Inokashira line operated by Keio also stops at Shibuya Station.

From Shibuya Station, follow the signs for East Exit or Shibuya Scramble Square Exit. You don’t need to go to the street level at all for Shibuya Sky access. Walk for around 2 minutes and once there, take the lifts to the 14th floor. I can suggest buying the Tokyo Subway Pass to save a lot of money on Metro trips during your visit!

NOTE: The lifts from Shibuya Scramble Square can take a long time, so remember to allow for this with your timed ticket.

Shibuya Sky Opening hours: 10:00am – 10:30pm daily (the last entry is at 9:20pm).

Buy Shibuya Sky tickets in advance to save time and money

Concluding where to buy Shibuya Sky tickets and tips to know before visiting

Based on my experiences, now you know where to buy online tickets, best time to go to Shibuya Sky, how much you can fit in a locker, the different areas and more tips to plan an unforgettable visit to this incredible Tokyo attraction. It’s easily one of my favourite experiences in Japan’s capital!

I hope you found these tips helpful, are able to enjoy a Shibuya Sky sunset and have the best possible experience when you’re there!

Is visiting Shibuya Sky on your bucket list? Let me know in the comments below and feel free to ask if you have any other questions I haven’t addressed.

While you’re here, why not take a look at my itineraries for 2 weeks or 3 weeks in Japan to help plan your trip, do’s and don’ts of Japanese etiquette, learn some basic Japanese phrases for tourists with my free cheat sheet, find out what to pack for Japan, and even the best Japanese souvenirs to bring home – I have every step of your Japan planning journey covered from my multiple visits!

Feeling social? Come and join me on Facebook, Pinterest, TikTok and Instagram for more Japan travel inspiration!

Until next time,

The Invisible Tourist


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Shibuya Sky: Tickets & Tips for the Perfect Experience Above Tokyo | The Invisible Tourist

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38 Comments

  1. Hi Alyse,
    Thanks for all the great info. Do you happen to recall if there is a collectable stamp available here? If so, where?
    Thanks!
    Hayley

    1. Hi Hayley! I haven’t seen one there or found any info online about it unfortunately.
      I know you can get one at Shibuya Station though. If you find out during your visit, feel free to report back and I can update the article 😊
      Thanks so much for reading and enjoy your time at Shibuya Sky!

  2. Hi is this accessible for wheelchair users? can you buy a discounted ticket online? what do you need to show to get discounted tickets regards Kerry

    1. Hi Kerry, yes Shibuya Sky is wheelchair accessible in the majority of areas. There is one part of the rooftop where there are five steps onto an elevated helipad, which you may not be able to access. However the rest is fine and there is plenty of room on the rooftop. There are also priority lifts for wheelchairs.

      Regarding discounted tickets: You’ll first need to purchase a full price ticket, then show your ticket and a disability certificate at the ticket counter on the day for a partial refund. It does say that some admission tickets aren’t eligible for a discount (but doesn’t say which ones). So it is worth a go! Advice taken from here.

      I hope you have a fantastic time and enjoy Shibuya Sky!

  3. Thanks for your thorough guide! I’m looking to snipe a ticket for specific day and time slot for the couches as soon as it becomes available. Do you know what time tickets are opened each day?

    1. Thanks for reading, Kyo! Tickets for Shibuya Sky open at 10:00 JST, so you can book tickets up to 8 weeks in advance from that time 🙂

  4. Hi, would you by any chance know why the entire selection dates for November 2023 is all greyed out. Nothing is clickable. Thank you.

    1. Hi Fred, I can see there are regular tickets available for the month of November, with the exception from about 14:00 – 19:30 onwards each day (the popular sunset times). Is that what you’re after?

      Or do you mean to reserve The Roof couches? I can see there are only 4 spots left on 22nd November from 18:30. The Roof couches are available from 15:30 onwards only. However there are more spots after 20:20.

      November is a very popular time for tourists to visit Tokyo due the autumn colours, so my guess all the other days for the couches have been booked already (tickets are available 4 weeks in advance).

      1. Hi Alyse, thanks so much for responding. I was after the Rooftop bar tickets in addition to the Observation deck tickets. I can appreciate now that they are all sold out on the day that they are open for booking. Have to be really super fast (just like Disney Sea’s Magellan’s). I missed out in April this year as the Rooftop was temporarily closed then. Also, Klook had a combo ticket (Deck and Rooftop) in the past but they are no longer offering that anymore. Thanks again, now i know I will have to stay up and click once booking opens.

        Best rgds
        Fred, Adelaide

        1. No worries, Fred! Just remember if you buy the Rooftop bar tickets, they do include the observation deck entry as well – save you buying twice!
          Sorry to hear you missed out earlier this year, I’ll have my fingers crossed for you to have better luck on your next trip.
          Thanks so much for reading and best of luck!

  5. Do you happen to know how the maximum of how many people are allowed at the couch seats? We are planning a group with 5 of us and I don’t know if that will be to many for one grouping.

    1. Hi JM! unfortunately the ticketing system doesn’t allow purchases of more than 4 tickets at a time for the couches. They comfortably fit 4 people, but 5 may be a bit of a squeeze!
      Perhaps you could make 2 purchases, one for a group of 3 and group of two for your desired date and time?
      Also note that all guests for the rooftop bar need to be over 20 years old, the legal drinking age in Japan.
      I hope you’re able to get seats and enjoy your trip!

  6. Hi Alyse, thanks for all the information! Does the time on our ticket mean that is the window for us to get our tickets scanned by staff on the 14th floor? How strict are they with the time slots? What if we miss our slot by 20 minutes because we are waiting for elevators/long line to check-in etc. … will they still let us in?

    1. Hi Coco, as the time slots are allocated in 20min blocks, they may let you in but I honestly I wouldn’t count on it.
      They are strict on entry numbers, so much so if tickets are sold out for a timeslot they will not let anyone else in unless there has been a ticket cancellation.
      If your timeslot is a popular time (such as in the lead up to sunset), they could make you wait until another time that is not as busy, such as after 8pm to enter.
      Japanese people can be quite strict with following rules, and for a site as popular as Shibuya Sky it’s a much better idea to arrive earlier so you’re on time (as an example, I once arrived 10mins after last admission for Tobu World Square and despite it being very quiet, I was not permitted to enter).
      My recommendation is plan ahead and allow more time than you think you’ll need, and you should be fine 😊
      I hope you enjoy your time at Shibuya Sky!

  7. Thanks for all the helpful information…it will make
    it much easier for me on my free day in September !

        1. Hi! The lockers are only as big as I described, they don’t have any that are big enough for larger luggage unfortunately.
          However, you will find some at Shibuya Station, so you could leave them there before heading up to Shibuya Sky.
          I hope that helps and you have a fantastic time!

  8. Hi Alyse,

    Thank you so much for all your helpful information! My husband and I are struggling to decide between all of the tower lookouts in Tokyo (eg Shibuya sky vs skytree vs Tokyo tower). Do you have any pointers or guidance regarding how to choose or which may be best?

    Thanks so much! Lana

    1. Hi Lana,
      Thanks for your kind words!
      It’s a good question when it comes to Shibuya Sky vs Tokyo Skytree! The way I like to put this is: We can’t see these landmarks when we are on them 🙂
      I guess it depends what you would prefer to be in your photos, while I have done both the Skytree and Shibuya Sky, I personally prefer Shibuya Sky as we can see all the other landmarks from there.
      It’s also the tallest rooftop observatory in Japan!
      But it depends, if you’re short on time and staying in Asakusa near the SkyTree, or in Minato near Tokyo Tower, then they may work out better for you.
      I hope that helps your decision making and thanks for your comment!

  9. Hello,

    Why hat and beanie are not allowed on top? If it’s getting cold — need to wear beanie.
    – Cuy

    1. Hi Cuy, because there is a chance it could blow off over the edge I guess, if you have a hoodie you could try that instead 😊

  10. Hi Alyse,

    Thank You Very Much for all your invaluable information on Shibuya Sky ❤️
    I would like to know how much time should I allow for the long waiting time for lifts at Shibuya Scramble? ❤️

    Love ❤️
    Audrey Chan
    Malaysia

    1. Hi Audrey, thanks for reading 😊
      Allow at least 10mins to line up for the lifts downstairs in Shibuya Scramble to head up to Shibuya Sky.
      These lifts are for the general public to access things on the higher floors, too. I’d forgotten how long they take!

      It may even be longer during peak times, like during cherry blossom season/Golden Week/before sunset. You may need to allow 20-30mins to queue up.
      Then after you’ve shown your tickets up at Shibuya Sky to enter, there will be another lift, but that is just for Shibuya Sky ticket holders only.
      Basically, just allow plenty of time to get there, the earlier you can arrive before your Shibuya Sky time slot the better.
      I hope you have a fantastic time!

  11. Thank you so much for this info! Question about the wallet-and-phone-only policy: does that mean no cameras? 99% of the reason I want to go up there is to set up my tripod and camera and get some great long-exposure shots after dark. It seems odd to me that they wouldn’t allow camera equipment at a spot where the main attraction is the view, but… is that the case?

    1. You’re absolutely allowed to bring cameras 🙂 but no tripods, selfie sticks, umbrellas or bags on the rooftop.
      It’s possible to use tripods on the lower enclosed level, I know PrettyPastelPlease did a timelapse of the sun setting over Mt Fuji from there.
      Hope that helps!

  12. Hey Alyse, thank you for sharing this! I have a question about going inside and back outside to the rooftop again. If it gets too cold outside, is it possible to go inside in the warmth of the lounge area to wait for the sunset, then go back up to the rooftop? Or is the traffic one way only?

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Sarah!
      Yes, It’s completely fine to go downstairs to the enclosed lounge area, then pop back over to the rooftop upstairs.
      This was my experience during both my visits, but maybe that could change if it gets SUPER busy and the staff feel they need to keep people moving.
      I hope you have a great time!

  13. Alyse thank you so much for the detailed information 💕😍 now I am more confident in visiting and will bring my purse with me hahahaa

    1. I’m so glad to hear that, Inex!
      I read the rooftop bar was supposed to close on 9 January 2023, however it does come back in summer. Your purse may still come in handy for snacks and cocktails at the inside bar 🍹
      Have an amazing time at the Shibuya Sky observatory!

  14. Hi Alyse, great information about Shibuya Sky. You have a typo on the cost for the roof. It should be around JPY4,000 not 40,000

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