Tokyo Tower is a communications and observation tower in the Shiba-koen district of Minato, Tokyo, Japan. At 332.9 meters (1,092 ft), it is the second-tallest structure in Japan. The structure is an Eiffel Tower-inspired lattice tower that is painted white and international orange to comply with air safety regulations.
Built in 1958, the tower’s main sources of income are tourism and antenna leasing. Over 150 million people have visited the tower. FootTown, a four-story building directly under the tower, houses museums, restaurants and shops. Departing from there, guests can visit two observation decks. The two-story Main Deck (formerly known as the Main Observatory) is at 150 meters (490 ft), while the smaller Top Deck (formerly known as the “Special Observatory”) reaches a height of 249.6 meters (819 ft). The names were changed following renovation of the top deck in 2018. The tower acts as a support structure for an antenna. Intended for television broadcasting, radio antennas were installed in 1961, but the tower now broadcasts signals for Japanese media outlets such as NHK, TBS and Fuji TV. Japan’s planned digital television transition by July 2011 was problematic, however; Tokyo Tower’s height, 332.9 m (1,092 ft) was not high enough to support complete terrestrial digital broadcasting to the area. A taller digital broadcasting tower, known as Tokyo Skytree, was completed on 29 February 2012. Every five years Tokyo Tower is repainted. It takes one year to repaint it.
Since its completion in 1958, Tokyo Tower has become a prominent landmark in the city, and frequently appears in media set in Tokyo.
How to get there ?
Fittingly for a major attraction, Tokyo Tower is conveniently located. To get there, hop on the Mita Subway Line and get off at Onarimon Station. Alternatively, take the Hibiya Subway Line to Kamiyacho or the Oedo Subway Line to Akabanebashi. The tower is about a five-minute walk from each of these stations.
Alternatively, take the JR Yamanote Line to Hamamatsucho Station. From there, the tower is a 15-minute walk.
The observatories are open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. Admission to the main deck costs 900 yen, while a ticket for both decks is 2,800 yen.One Piece Tower is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and entrance costs 3,200 yen.
Every five years, the tower is repainted in a process that takes about a year to complete. Tokyo Tower is next planned to be repainted in 2024.
Tokyo Tower’s two main revenue sources are antenna leasing and tourism. It functions as a radio and television broadcasting antenna support structure and is a tourist destination that houses several different attractions. Over 150 million people have visited the tower in total since its opening in late 1958. Tower attendance had been steadily declining until it bottomed out at 2.3 million in 2000. Since then, attendance has been rising, and it has recently been attracting approximately 3 million visitors per year. The first area tourists visit upon reaching the tower is FootTown, a four-story building stationed directly under the tower. There, visitors can eat, shop and visit several museums and galleries. Elevators that depart from the first floor of FootTown can be used to reach the first of two observation decks, the two-story Main Observatory. For the price of another ticket, visitors can board another set of elevators from the second floor of the Main Observatory to reach the final observation deck—the Special Observatory.
Media representation of Tokyo Tower
Just as the Eiffel Tower is often used in popular culture to immediately locate a scene in Paris, France, the Tokyo Tower is often used in the same way for Tokyo.
It is used in anime and manga such as Doraemon, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, Magic Knight Rayearth, Please Save My Earth, Cardcaptor Sakura, Digimon, Detective Conan, Sailor Moon, Tenchi Muyo! and Death Note. The tower is also frequently used in the Japanese kaiju (giant monster) film genre. It has been the location of numerous battles and visitations by Godzilla, Mothra, Gamera and King Kong (King Kong Escapes) wherein it is frequently destroyed and rebuilt. Based on the popular manga series by Ryōhei Saigan, the 2005 film Always Sanchōme no Yūhi was a nostalgic view of life in the neighborhoods beneath the construction of the Tokyo Tower.
Tokyo tower is fully featured in the Japanese culture and lifestyle television show Begin Japanology aired on NHK World in 2008.
The Tokyo Tower was also featured in the Cars Toons episode “Tokyo Mater”, as the Japanese street racer Kabuto challenges Tow Mater in a race where the goal is to arrive at the top of the tower. It additionally appears in the ending scene of Pretty Cure All Stars New Stage 3 where Cures Lovely and Princess and the first completed PreCure teams perform their rendition of the song called Pretty Cure Memory.
Tokyo Tower is great if you want a closer view of the city and feel the history of Japan.