My return trip from the mountains seemed to take ages, but my train finally glided into Tokyo in the midafternoon. Rather than completing the circuit back to Asakusa, I got off one stop early at Tokyo Skytree Station, which is located almost directly below the 634 metre tower on the east side of the city.

Then I stood in line for over an hour behind hundreds of other people waiting to buy tickets for the main observation platform. After getting my hands on a ticket and riding the elevator 350 metres up, the doors opened and I was struck by a breathtaking view of the sunlit city below.

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