Tokyo beer enthusiasts and people who simply want to see and experience one of the most spectacular attractions in the world should not miss the World Beer Museum, located on the seventh floor of the Tokyo Solamachi commercial building, attached to Tokyo Skytree in Tokyo’s Sumida Ward.
The World Beer Museum is far more than just a museum of world beers. It is also one of Japan’s most spectacular pubs–actually, it is several pubs in one, including a German pub, a Belgian pub and a British pub.
Operated by World Liquor Importers, these pubs sell more than 500 varieties of beer from around the world, along with a wide variety of ethnic foods from Germany, Belgium and so forth. Employees of the pubs are dressed in European costumes and trained to add to the ambiance of this extraordinary place. An attached store sells some 40 varieties of limited-edition beers, including a signature Skytree label.
The décor and overall atmosphere of the beer museum make it worth a visit, even if you don’t drink beer. However, not trying at least one of the famous German varieties would be a great mistake.
If you have not yet experienced Tokyo’s one-of-a-kind Skytree, you can have two extraordinary experiences on the same outing. Tokyo Skytree is a broadcasting center, restaurant and observation tower that opened in 2012. At 634 m, it is the tallest tower in the world, and has architectural features and visitor attractions that are out of this world.
Tokyo Skytree was constructed by Tobu Railway Company and six broadcasters headed by NHK–Japan’s premiere broadcasting company. This new building replaced Tokyo Tower as the most iconic image in the city.
Tokyo Skytree has a series of decks at increasingly higher altitudes; the highest one at 450 m, with 4.5 m-high glass windows that provide a 360 degree view of Tokyo and the surrounding areas–including Japan’s most famous sightseeing icon, the peak of Mt. Fuji, some 70 miles away. Visitors access the viewing deck through a glass tube.
Each observation deck features distinctive attractions that offer one-of-a-kind experiences. In a number of areas the novel use of glass gives the impression that you are walking on air.
For those who may be afraid of heights, you may find peace of mind knowing that the Tokyo Skytree features some of the most advanced seismic proofing in the world, with dampers designed to absorb fifty percent of any earthquake.
In fact, Japan was one of the first countries in the world to develop anti-earthquake technology; buildings constructed as far back as the Nara era (710-784)–when Nara was the capital of Japan–have withstood hundreds of severe quakes. One of these buildings–the huge Todaiji Temple built in 743–houses the world’s largest gilded bronze image of the Buddha, which stands as high as a five-story building.
Oshiage Station, the “official station” for Skytree, adjoins the complex on the west side. It is accessible from several major station hubs in Tokyo, including Tokyo Central Station. At Tokyo Station, take the JR Sobu Rapid Line and transfer at Kinshicho to the Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Subway Line. Total time: 16 minutes. tj
World Beer Museum
Tokyo Skytree Town, Solamachi 7F,
1-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida-Ku Tokyo
Tel: (03) 5610-2648
Hours: 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
For more about Tokyo Skytree go to www.tokyo-skytree.jp.en, the official website. It includes additional ticket information and a guide to the view decks.
Boyé Lafayette De Mente has been involved with Asia since the late 1940s as a member of a U.S. intelligence agency, journalist, editor and as a former associate publisher of the Tokyo Journal. He is a graduate of Jochi University in Tokyo, Japan and the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Arizona, USA. In addition to books on the business practices, social behavior and languages of China, Japan, Korea and Mexico, he has written extensively about the plague of male dominance and the moral collapse of the U.S. and the Western world in general.
The complete article can be found in Issue #276 of the Tokyo Journal. Click here to order from Amazon.