Japan's Famous Tokyo Tower
A Famous Japanese Landmark
Tokyo Tower is one of Japans’ more famous landmarks and has been seen in many Japanese films. It’s modeled after the Eiffel Tower design and is actually 13 meters taller, making it the world's highest self-supporting iron tower. Tokyo tower weighs a little over 4000 tons compared to the French tower at over 7000.
Finished in 1958, it's chiefly a relay tower for 9 TV stations and 5 FM radio stations. It also houses a system for detecting earthquakes and is a popular tourist destination.
At the time it was built it was the tallest structure in Tokyo, but that record has long since been superseded by several other buildings.
Perhaps the Most Famous Attraction
However, according to critics, although the tower is perhaps more famous than other tourist attractions, there are better values for your money. While doing research on this article I came across the word “tacky” more than once. Visitors have also described it as being overpriced, inconveniently located and having poor amenities.
I was lucky enough to visit Tokyo Tower as a young child shortly after it opened. My dad was in the United States Air Force and stationed in Japan. But at 6 years old, I don’t remember seeing some of the following attractions. Perhaps they were added later.
At the bottom is a 4-story building known as “FootTown”. On the first floor is an aquarium, containing over 50,000 fish.The second floor is primarily a food and shopping area.
The third floor is home to the Mysterious Walking Zone which is an interesting attraction displaying 3-D hologram technologies and the Wax Works Museum. And on the fourth floor there's a Trick Art Gallery of odd, curious 3D images.
There are also two observatory floors. The main observatory (at 150 m) and the "special observatory" (at 250 m); both offer a beautiful 360 degree panorama view ofTokyo and, if the weather is clear, sacred Mount Fuji. I only saw the main observatory, but that was an impressive sight. People do look like ants from that height! However, sometimes smog makes visibility high humidity and smog make visibility difficult. Even if you visit during the day, you should also come back at night to see Tokyo brilliantly lit up.
Afraid of Heights?
Are you afraid of heights? Then don’t stand on the glass panels looking down at the streets. We had fun watching the antics of more timid visitors finding themselves standing on clear glass.
Then there were the inevitable pay telescopes. I vividly remember spending an hour scoping out the busy Tokyo harbor with multitudes of shipping traffic. Dad was scoping out the pretty Japanese ladies.
As with most tourist attractions tickets must be purchased."Main" gallery tickets are bought at booths on the first floor and tickets for the “special” gallery are bought from booths located in the “main” gallery. That’s right, they hit you twice.