Tokyo Solamachi: Shopping, Eating, and Fun in the Shadow of Tokyo Skytree
You may have heard of Tokyo Skytree, but perhaps you were unaware that it is attached to a large shopping complex known as Tokyo Solamachi or "Tokyo Skytree Town." With a large plaza, breezy terraces and green spaces, over 300 shops, and plenty of engaging attractions, you could easily find yourself spending the whole day at Tokyo Solamachi. In today’s article, we will be exploring a few of the many great shopping and leisure options that await you at the foot of Tokyo Skytree in Tokyo Solamachi.
Apr 28 2020 (Sep 09 2020)
What Is Tokyo Solamachi?
Tokyo Solamachi is a huge complex of shops, restaurants, and attractions at the base of Tokyo Skytree (the world's tallest free-standing tower). Here you'll find traditional Japanese elements in a modern setting perfect for souvenir shopping, dining, or just spending a day out and about. Tokyo Solamachi offers something for everyone!
As mentioned above, with more than 300 shops across multiple floors, Tokyo Solamachi offers a wide variety of things to see and buy including famous Japanese character goods such as Pokemon, Hello Kitty, and Studio Ghibli, traditional Japanese crafts from Tokyo, tons of delicious restaurants, charming souvenirs, and more! Not only are the shopping options great and varied, but the complex is also home to the Postal Museum, the Sumida Aquarium, the Tenku Planetarium, and, of course, Tokyo Skytree itself.
It’s a great place to visit, and you may find yourself coming back again and again.
What You Can Buy at Tokyo Solamachi
While there are just too many shops to cover in one article, below is a selection of shops that demonstrates the variety and range available at Solamachi.
Donguri Kyowakoku: Get Spirited Away to the World of Ghibli
Located on the first floor outside of the main Solamachi complex you can find this charming shop full of Studio Ghibli merchandise. There are a variety of goods, from books, to figures, to cups and plates. Fans of films such as "Spirited Away," "Princess Mononoke," and "My Neighbor Totoro" should visit by all means.
LOFT: See Why Japanese Stationery is the Best in the World
LOFT can be found in multiple locations across Tokyo, but this lifestyle and home goods store is a great place to pick up nifty souvenirs for your friends or yourself! From awesome stationery items including a huge variety of planners and more pens than you've ever seen in your life, to elaborate stickers and postcards, to beauty supplies like facemasks, creams, and lotions, to seasonal accessories and knickknacks, LOFT is sure to have something that suits your fancy and is always worth a visit.
Gacchara-ya: Where Japanese Cuteness and Tradition Combine
This shop offers all sorts of traditional-style Japanese and Tokyo specific gifts and sundries that just scream “JAPAN”. Don’t miss this delightful selection of souvenirs such as Maneki Neko lucky cats, beautiful tenugui hand towels, daruma dolls (symbol of good luck and perseverance) and much more.
Pokemon Center SKYTREE TOWN: Gotta Catch 'Em All!
This specialty store offers a variety of Tokyo Skytree-themed limited-edition Pokemon merchandise and goods. Pokemon video games, stationery, cosmetics, plushies and more are all on sale here, making it a must-visit location for any fan of the Pokemon franchise!
Sanrio Hello Kitty: Classic Kawaii Goods Await
Sanrio's famous Hello Kitty is known and beloved the world around. Any fan of this super-cute character should take the chance to check out the variety of Sanrio goods available here. Aside from Hello Kitty, there are other Sanrio character goods on sale as well, like My Melody, Gudetama, Badtz-Maru, and Keroppi.
What to Eat and Drink at Tokyo Solamachi
Solamachi isn't just good for shopping, however, there are also many delicious restaurants to choose from. As you can easily spend an entire day in the area, consider the following eateries for lunch, dinner, or both!
GINZA TENRYU: Jumbo Gyoza to Die For
Ginza Tenryu is a famous Chinese restaurant with its headquarters in Ginza. For over 70 years, people have enjoyed their delicious jumbo-sized gyoza stuffed with juicy meat filling. Satisfy your dumpling craving here by stopping in for a snack or a full meal!
RAMEN EXPRESS HAKATA IPPUDO: Grab a Quick Bowl of Ramen
RAMEN EXPRESS HAKATA IPPUDO serves up delicious Hakata style ramen in their famous red or white flavor choices. A perfect choice for ramen lovers, Tokyo Solamachi's RAMEN EXPRESS HAKATA IPPUDO was designed specifically for getting people their food quickly.
TSUKIJI GINDACO: Enjoy Classic Japanese Street Food
Gindako is a famous takoyaki (fried octopus balls) chain across Japan. At the Tokyo Solamachi location, you can try exclusive Tokyo Skytree menu items in addition to the classic menu. This is a perfect choice for a quick afternoon snack or as a side dish to eat with a cold beer!
Kaiten Sushi Toriton: Get Your Fill of Conveyor Belt Sushi
With 13 locations on Japan's northernmost island of Hokkaido, this Tokyo Solamachi restaurant brings the fresh taste of the north to Tokyo. It's conveyor belt sushi, meaning it is quick and fairly inexpensive, yet the Hokkaido freshness shines through.
World Beer Museum: Take Your Taste Buds on an International Tour
While not actually a museum, this classy bar offers over 200 varieties of bottled beer from around the world and 20 kinds of barrel beer on tap. Connoisseurs and casual fans of beer alike are sure to find something they like. Why not cap off a day of fun at Solamachi with your favorite beer?
Attraction Highlights at Tokyo Solamachi
Postal Museum: Learn About Japan's Postal Service and History
It might not strike everyone’s fancy at first glance, but the Postal Museum is a fun little look at Japan’s phenomenal postal service and history. With 330,000 stamps on display, this is a must-see for stamp collectors and enthusiasts. There is some English throughout the museum to help with your enjoyment. Of course, you can also send custom postcards from the museum to friends, family, and even your future self back home!
Sumida Aquarium: Fall in Love with the Marine Life
The Sumida Aquarium takes pride in its theme, “The Cradle of Life: Water and What It Nurtures." Stepping into this space will transport you to a world close by but often out of reach.
Don’t miss the chance to take a peek at the Tokyo Tank, which showcases some of the huge variety of colorful water life that can be found in the sea around Tokyo. One of the other major attractions is the Open Pool, which is home to some unbearably cute penguins and fur seals.
TENKU Planetarium: Observe the Stars Above Tokyo
Even if you are not the biggest fan of planetariums, chances are you’ve never seen one like this before. The Konika Minolta Planetarium TENKU offers a variety of different kinds of shows, ranging from musical to educational presentations which always include a stunning visual experience and the latest in 3D sound technology. There are even aromatherapy-enhanced shows and special crescent moon seating available, meaning you are sure to have a relaxing experience that will leave you feeling refreshed. Headsets with translations are available in English, Chinese, and Korean.
Tokyo Skytree: Admire the City From High in the Sky
It would be remiss of this article not to mention Tokyo Skytree itself, the centerpiece and namesake of Skytree Town. Notable as the tallest tower in the world standing at 634 meters high, and second only to Dubai’s Burj Khalifa in terms of overall height, Tokyo Skytree is a marvel of modern architecture. Two observation decks, the first at 350 meters and the second at 450 meters, offer a one of a kind view of the magnificent metropolis below. At night the tower is illuminated in blue, purple and orange, an elegant beacon for all of Tokyo and the surrounding areas.
It is possible to buy tickets for Tokyo Skytree on the 4th floor over the counter or you can make a reservation online from their website (listed below). There is a slight discount when reserving online, and it will also save you the time of having to line up to purchase them.
How to Get to Tokyo Solamachi
There are a few options for getting to Tokyo Solamachi, and it is only as difficult as asking for directions or following signs to Tokyo Skytree. Solamachi is actually flanked by two stations: Tokyo Skytree Station on the Tobu Isesaki Line, and Oshiage Station, which is accessible by taking the Asakusa Subway Line, Hanzomon Subway Line, or the Keisei Oshiage Line. From Tokyo Station, take the Marunouchi Line to Otemachi Station and change to the Hanzomon Line until you arrive at Oshiage Station. The trip only takes about 20 minutes and costs 200 yen (one way).
With so much to do at Tokyo Solamachi and the surrounding area of Oshiage and Asakusa, you could easily spend more than one day exploring and having fun. For those who are interested in staying multiple days to enjoy all there is, please have a look at our article about hotels near Tokyo Skytree, detailing hotels nearby with a great view of the tower. For an article on other things to do not far from Solamachi, check out our article titled 50 Things to Do in Ueno and Asakusa: Shopping, Dining, Temples, and More! before you go.
Note that the Tokyo Skytree and Tokyo Solamachi are currently closed during the state of emergency declared in response to the spread of Covid-19. For details about the closure, see the official Tokyo Skytree website. Also see our article about other Covid-19-related closures and cancellations for more information about how other destinations have been affected.
Cover Photo: Osugi / Shutterstock.com
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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.