The One about the World Trade Center (Minato, Tokyo)


Before I go into describing this building, I want to put this out for all photographers who want to take pictures of the Tokyo Skyline…

The BEST OBSERVATION DECK in TOKYO to take pictures is the World Trade Center Building in Minato, Tokyo.

OK, with that being said, let me now go into today’s blog about the World Trade Center Building right in Minato, Tokyo and is easy to access from the Daimon Station or Hamamatsucho Station.

During the day, the World Trade Center Building, a 40-story building in Hamamatsucho, Minato was made in 1970.  In fact, looking at the building, the first thing that comes to mind is how this building looks as if it was made in that era.

But once you go inside, you realize this building is anything but.  From the greeters and the professional business men coming in and going out, the interior can best be described as being classy.

Inside are retail stores, restaurants and the awesome observation center.

And while it serves as the headquarters for global automotive company, KYB Corporation, in 2014, the building was purchased by Nippon Life Insurance Company for 80 billion yen in 2014 and their plan is to demolish the building and construct a new office building on the site.  The goal is to create a 160m office building and complete it by 2017.

While it is very sad to see such a building to be demolished, a lot of buildings are demolished in order to build new buildings that are more modern but most importantly, to make sure it can withstand a major earthquake.

But once you make it to the 40th floor, you are greeted with beauty.  Multiple windows, darkened room and while I was there Christmas music playing.  It was a romantic setting with few lights and many photographers with their tripods and I simply realized from then on, this was the best place to shoot photos.

As many Japanese observation centers have way too many lights, that it makes it very difficult to shoot photos and also, no tripods are allowed.  It makes things difficult.  I’ve tried shooting and finding the best windows and it’s really a hassle because the lights reflect behind you and some areas don’t have chairs or don’t let you get close to the window.

While some buildings such as the Government Building in Shinjuku allows for you to put your lens right to the window and you often see people bring a black towel covering their heads and the lens to prevent any light from reflecting, World Trade Center is so cool that you have full access and there are so many windows on every side.

And people are courteous enough to not stay with one window for too long, giving you a chance to circle around.

And it’s also one of the most inexpensive buildings to shoot from, where almost every other tower is close to Y2000, this one is under Y1000.

So, if you had to choose one place to shoot photos of the Tokyo skyline, my favorite is the World Trade Center building hands down.  But remember, this building is not going to be up long, so if you have the chance, go there soon and take the best photos that you can! Have fun!

Here are a few videos from my Facebook Live Stream: