Tokyo Tower is a symbol of Tokyo and one of its most famous sightseeing attractions. It is located in the Shiba-koen district of Minato, Tokyo. Tokyo tower was built in 1958 as both a communications and broadcasting tower and stands at 333 meters in height, which makes it the second tallest structure in Japan. It is the world’s tallest self-supporting steel tower.
Tokyo Tower was inspired by the Eiffel Tower in Paris in its design and stands out like a beacon in the ever growing megalopolis that is Tokyo with its bright orange and white colours.
Tokyo Tower is spectacular at night when illuminated. From dusk to midnight, floodlights illuminate the entire tower. In the cooler months orange lighting is used to create a warm feeling, while in the warmer months white lighting is used to create a cool feeling.
What to See and Do at Tokyo Tower
Foot Town is a four story building located directly under Tokyo Tower. It houses a museum, shops and restaurants. The first floor includes the Aquarium Gallery, Tower Restaurant, a Family Mart convenience store and a souvenir shop. The second floor is primary a food and shopping area with five restaurants and a food court. The third and fourth floor house several tourist attractions including the Guinness World Records Museum Tokyo, the Tokyo Tower Wax Museum, and Tower Tower’s Trick Art Gallery. The roof of the Foot Town building contains a small amusement park.
Amazing Views of Tokyo from the Observation Decks
There are two observation decks at Tokyo Tower that can be reached via elevator from the first floor of Foot Town. The two storey Main Observation Deck is located at 150 meters, while the smaller Special Observation Deck is at 250 meters. The observation decks offer bird’s eye 360 degree panoramic views of Tokyo. Weather permitting on a clear day you can even see Mount Fuji in the distance.
History of Tokyo Tower
Tokyo Tower was built in 1958 as a communications and broadcasting tower and opened to the public on December 23. A large broadcasting tower was needed in the Kanto region after NHK (Japan’s public broadcasting station), began television broadcasting in 1953. The country’s post-war boom also lead to the search for a monument to symbolize its rebirth and ascendancy as a modern global economic power.
The original plan was for the tower to be taller than the Empire State Building, which was at the time the highest structure in the world. The renowned designer, Tachu Naito was chosen to design the tower and looked to the Western world for inspiration. He based his design on that of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France with Tokyo Tower coming in 13 meters taller than its model.
Tokyo tower is now used to broadcast signals for Japanese media outlets such as NHK, TBS and Fuji TV.
The Main Observation Deck is open from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm
The Special Observation Deck is open from 9:00 am to 9:30 pm
No closing days (Open 365 days a year)
Admission to the Main Observation Deck is 900 yen
Admission including the Special Observation Deck is 1600 yen
How to Get There
You can walk to Tokyo Tower from Hamamatsucho Station on the JR Yamanote line in about 15 minutes. Alternatively, the closest subway stations are Onarimon Station on the Mita Subway Line, and Akabanebashi Station on the Oedo Subway Line.
Address: 4-2-8 Shiba Koen, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Best Time to Go
The best time to visit Tokyo Tower is about an hour before sunset to see it in the golden late afternoon sunlight. First check out the views from the observation decks before spending time exploring Foot Town. By the time you are done, it should be dark outside, so you can see the tower beautifully illuminated against the night sky.
Tip: Combine a visit to Tokyo Tower with a visit to nearby Zojoji Temple, which is one of Tokyo’s best known temples.