Tokyo is an impossibly vast city and replicating its urban topography as a 3D rendering is no easy feat, but that’s just what the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) have gone and done. MLIT’s Project Plateau released a full 3D model of the city this month that’s completely free for commercial and personal use.
Most people, like us, saw the map’s release as an opportunity to take a virtual tour of Tokyo's 23 wards, but a handful of whip-smart innovators saw the true potential behind all that publicly released data.
Software engineer Ken Kawamoto has a blog dedicated to inventions and personal projects he does outside of work. When he recently found himself with some spare time on his hands, he decided to use the public data to create a map of Tokyo that highlights every building in the city with a rooftop view of Mt Fuji.
Outlining steps that he described as ‘not too difficult’, Kawamoto used coding to identify rooftops that have an unobstructed view of Mt Fuji based on the height of the buildings, as you do.
He used the same method to identify all the rooftops with a view of Tokyo Tower, as well as the annual Sumida Fireworks festival. Kawamoto’s project is also available for free – you can even select an option that’ll reveal the rooftops that boast both views of Mt Fuji and Tokyo Tower.
Sadly, not all of these rooftops are open to explore in real life. As Kawamoto points out, many of the structures are private buildings and apartments, though the map could come in handy if you’re looking to make a big investment on a new home with a killer view.
Want to know where you can actually go to spot Mt Fuji? Try checking out the Sky Deck at Roppongi Hills, the observation deck at Skytree, or the Bunkyo Civic Center Observation Lounge (as seen in the top photo) – preferably on a bright and clear day. We’ve also got a handy list of the best place to go to see the snow-capped peak up-close. As for a view of Tokyo Tower, we reckon you can’t beat the views from the Lobby Bar of Tokyo Edition, Toranomon.
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