Visitors to Tokyo spend good money to visit observation decks like the Tokyo City Vie win Roppongi Hills, the Tokyo Skytree or Tokyo Tower. There are many free access observatories in Tokyo and quite popular too. A relatively less well known is the Carrot Tower in Sangenjaya. I discovered it in 2004 when I had visited a company Index Corporation, for a sales meeting. From records my old blog it was the March 13 of 2004, a clear beautiful day and the view of Mount Fuji with no other skyscraper trying to block it was simply A..W..E..S..O..M..E..Located in the suburbs just next to Shibuya in Setagaya Ward, it is a minute of walk from the Sangenjaya Station on the Tokyu DenEntoshi Line. Google map is here
The directions from the station will take you to this walkway going to the observation deck on the 26th floor.
The lift will take you to the 26th floor. I have pondered on why the name is “Carrot”, seems that there was a competition for kids held in 1996 when the Tower was constructed and the name was adjudged the winning entry by a kid who thought of the high rise construction in a residential neighborhood looked like a Carrot with the exterior color of the building giving that impression.
The day I went, although was a clear one, it was already noon and the the sun was there high in the sky blowing out all the highlights of the blue sky and the Mount Fuji was something I could barely catch on my camera as below. See the white spec in the center. That’s all. Go early morning or late evening and you will get a very different view.The Observation floor has a good restaurant too, but I decided to first zoom in on a few residential areas below and capture some every day life action. I could see the cute Tokyu Setagaya Line trains crossing each other below at the station. This train providing the last mile connectivity in the suburban areas with just two carriages is like a tram service. One more area of interest in my zoom turned out to be a building undergoing renovations and repair work, with a beautiful swimming pool on the top. Is this some school building. Not so sure.I turned my attention to the other end of the observation deck and got the best view from a height of the Shinjuku high rise area. The Hatsudai area on the left and the Shinjuku NTT Docomo Tower clearly visible on a bright beautiful day.Other trivia around Carrot Tower includes things like the tallest structure in the neighborhood, it also houses a broadcasting studio of the local FM Setagaya radio station. For interest to the gaming freaks, the 22nd floor is the current headquarters of the game development company Game Freak, Inc., who are the creators of the popular game series Pokémon. There is also a restaurant with a beautiful view called RESTAURANT SKY CARROT. You can get some breathtking views of the Tokyo Tower and on a lucky clear day even the Tokyo Skytree. The coffee was a bit pricey for the quality served though. Getting back to the station I skipped the regular Denentoshi Line and jumped on Setagaya Line (tram like two carriage, small and cute train) and went around the ward a bit to enjoy the suburbs.