Thursday, January 29, 2009

Tokyo Tower

At 333m high, the glowing orange structure towering over Shiba Park is the tallest self-supporting building in the world and a major Tokyo landmark.

Tokyo Tower, opened on December 23, 1958 (building was completed on October 14th, 1958) has been celebrating the 50th anniversary of its opening. First built as a transmission tower for all the television broadcast in Tokyo, the tower is constructed of steel - a third of which was salvaged from 90 US tanks used in the Korean War. It takes about 28,000 liters of paint to cover the whole tower, which undergoes a makeover every five years.

Even as we change our outfits according to the seasons, Tokyo Tower does the same. Its lightings are changed to suit the seasons or for particular events. For example, Tokyo Tower was lit green for the premiere of "The Matrix: Reloaded" in 2003. More recently, the tower was illuminated with the Olympics logo to commemorate the 2016 games to take place in Japan.

Tokyo Tower has two observation decks inside. On a clear day, you may be able to see Mount Fuji from the 145m deck which grants you a 360 degree view of the whole Tokyo area. The second deck, located at 250m, requires an additional fee to visit. Also providing a 360 degree view but with most of its walls being made of glass, you can view Tokyo in the best possible way. There are also a few places where the observatory deck has a glass floor, so you can see what it is like right beneath your feet. Best seen during the day - and a bit scary at first - the view itself is both beautiful and unforgettable.

Since TV broadcasting is planned to be digital by 2011, and the New Tokyo Sky Tree is also planned for construction, it is being discussed whether or not to tear down Tokyo Tower or to continue to use it for radio wave transmissions. While still under discussion, visit soon to experience the best view of Tokyo from the best landmark in Tokyo, just in case it gets torn down.

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