Today I will be covering one of Tokyo’s most iconic and most visited sites – Tokyo Tower! Tokyo Tower is located in Minato, Tokyo.
As you can see, it is very obviously inspired by the Eiffel Tower, in fact, it’s taller than it’s French sister! Tokyo Tower is the second tallest structure in Japan, being only surpassed by the Tokyo Skytree (which will be covered at a much later date, I visited Osaka and Hiroshima before the Skytree!).
Tokyo Tower is a support tower for an antenna, this is where much of the Tower’s revenue comes from, but also from allowing people to come up to the observation deck.
The Tower was not tall enough for Japan’s fully digital TV transition in 2011, which is why the Skytree is built. I remember the announcement of the Skytree being built so clearly, a lot of people commented on how such an iconically Tokyo marvel was being superseded by something else!
Tokyo Tower at first glance did not seem so incredibly tall. For a while, Fae and I kept commenting on how we were slightly disappointed with the height of it.
It turns out we were just much further from it than we thought. It’s damn huge.
Minato, like most areas of Tokyo, is extremely modern and clean.
Our path to Tokyo Tower may have been a strange one, we literally just followed the Tower, which I imagine many people do. This lead us through some little parks and pathways between buildings.
These paths provided for some sneaky peeks of the Tower itself. On these little paths, it was easy to forget you are stood bang centre in one of the biggest cities on Earth, then Tokyo Tower appears and slaps you in the face.
You can see that this was one of the few days without a completely clear sky, of course this was the day we had scheduled Tokyo Tower.
Sakura season was just beginning! This was one of the first mostly bloomed trees we had seen. The blossoming only lasts for a few days, so seeing any slightly early blooming trees is quite the sight!
At this point you begin to realise that it’s huge.
Fun fact: Tokyo Tower is actually built upon a platform! This is incase of an earthquake, which Japan is extremely prone to, so the tower will just sway!
The Tohuku earthquake in 2011 actually caused the antenna at the top of the tower to bend because of such intense vibrations.
One Piece has a major collaboration with Tokyo Tower, if you’re a One Piece fan you’ll have an amazing time, I think there’s even some sort of One Piece themed amusement park too.
Many iconic Japanese franchises make location exclusive merchandise, my beloved Pokemon does too of course!
Tokyo Tower has a large shopping plaza, much of it is stalls and vendors selling touristy junk, but there was some cool stuff to be found in amongst it!
A ticket to the main observatory is only 900 yen, about £6 or so. That is so amazingly worth it. By comparison, I believe it’s around £30 to visit the top of the Shard.
So we headed to the lift to be brought high, high up above Tokyo! You’re crammed in with tons of other tourists all excited to see a marvellous city from above!
Of course the observatory had a sakura theme!
And suddenly BAM, you’re looking out over Tokyo.
Tokyo truly is a city that never ends.
It absolutely blew my mind that it almost every directions buildings continued as far as the eye can see. According to Wikipedia, Tokyo is the 4th largest city on Earth by urban area, beaten only by Los Angeles, New York and London. I’m a little skeptical of this as London is usually much lower down than first place in these sort of lists.
Sadly it was a slightly hazy day, so we couldn’t see Mt. Fuji.
Hopefully you can read this, but this ball was found somehow very high on Tokyo Tower, no one knows how!
You can see the Skytree in this picture to the left.
Like most high places, it has a glass floor! 150 metres in the air!
Ok, so this is terribly blurry, but a duo were performing and being filmed for TV!
The mascot on the gift shop bag is more than a little bit cute.
We then headed up to the special observatory level for 700 yen.
We had to queue for a very long time, and to be honest I didn’t find the view that much more amazing than at the regular observation deck, even if this one is 100 metres higher!
But now looking back at these pictures, I do see how great that higher deck was! You have to go all the way to the top, you don’t go to the cinema and leave before Harry defeats Voldemort do you?
The bathroom was pretty lit. Peeing at 250 metres is fun.
Back to Shibuya we headed, by a multitude of trains including our token Yamanote Line.
Thank you for reading, and check out the rest of my Japan blogposts thus far: