DoCoMo Tower, Shinjuku

Mike GristArchitecture 6 Comments

The Docomo Tower in Shinjuku soars over the Southern exit / Yoyogi area like a great pink middle finger, thumbing its nose at the graceless cluster-bomb mess of old-modern Shinjuku with its super-sleek lines, haute-couture design domination, and clean parallels to other auspicious buildings like Big Ben and the Empire State Building. At 492 feet high, it houses 28 stories of pure DoCoMo goodness, capped with the Gothic-esque bell-tower clock-face, complete with flying buttresses.

From the bridge over the tracks in front of Takashimaya.

This Tower has been one of my favourites in the city for a long time. When I was at University I had a huge poster of the Empire State Building on my wall (what, no girls?), and ever since seeing the DoCoMo Tower I felt it was the best approximation Tokyo had to offer- a skyscraper standing proud and alone as the tallest thing around.

On a grey day, shot from inside Yoyogi Park.


DoCoMo Tower up close.

Once years ago I tried to go inside the Tower, when I was on a kick for seeking out sky restaurants and cafes as places to look over the city. I got through the front doors and a security guard turned me around. Apparently there are no sky restaurants here- the whole building is purely functional for DoCoMo.

I wonder what kind of shenanigans they get up to in the windowless few floors at the top.

From in front of the Microsoft Building, beside Krispy Kreme.


200mm zoom from the entrance to Tokyu Hands.

From a car park in front of the Tower.

From the sidewalk.

Straight up, car park.


Peeking in through a window- looks Star Trek inside.

Lobby, from round the back.

Up the right flank.

Up the corner, clock-tower eclipsed by the building’s bulk.

Night shot, grainy as all heck.


Location – Shinjuku / Yoyogi

Entry – Impossible.

Facts – Clock face completed in 2002, building- 2000.

Architect – Kajima Design, makers of not much else of note.

Highlights – Being visible from every tall building anywhere in the city.


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Comments 6

  1. I really loved this building when they first put it up. I just think the clock they added took away from its beauty. Of course it is nice to be able to see the time.

  2. Post

    Kevin- Is that right? I guess they need a ton of processing power.

    Tom- Well, only as much at risk as the people in a building, right? I think they make these things pretty hi-tech safe now…

    Zentaro- I never saw it without the clock, I was surprised top learn actually that they added that as an after-thought. For me- it makes the building.

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