The observatory at Sunshine 60 in Toshima Ward, Tokyo, will be closed for about one year from May 7 for renovation work, the first suspension of operations since the building opened in 1978.
Sunshine City Co., the operator of the 60-story, 240-meter-tall building, is holding special events to commemorate its 37-year history until May 6.
The building opened in April 1978 as the nation's tallest building at that time. Elevators that rose from the basement floor to the top floor in about 35 seconds - a speed of 600 meters per minute - were the fastest at the time.
In its first year of operations, Sunshine 60 had about 2.6 million visitors, and the number of visitors exceeded 10 million in fiscal 1982. The total number of visitors is expected to reach 40 million by the final day of the observatory's operations on May 6.
The view from the observatory is panoramic, unchanged from its opening days, but the number of visitors has gradually declined as many high-rise buildings have been constructed. The observatory attracts only about 400,000 visitors per year, prompting the building's operator to decide to renovate the observatory to attract more visitors.
A photo exhibition is currently under way in the observatory, showing 15 retrospective photographs of the building - including one showing a yet-to-be-completed structure and others taken when the building opened.
At a cafe lounge, a limited number of vintage wine bottles from 1978 are available. On May 5, there will be an event called "Last Walking" in which, for a fee, participants can walk up the stairs from the fourth floor to the top floor.
On May 6, the hours of operation will be extended until midnight.
Admission to the observation deck is ¥620 (S$7) for high school students or older, ¥460 for primary and middle school students and ¥500 for those 65 or older.
For inquiries, call the operator at (03) 3989-3457.