In 1958 Tokyo's fledgling TV networks needed a tall antenna array to transmit signals. Trying to emerge from the devastation of World War II, the nation's capital was also hungry for a landmark—a symbol for the aspirations of a city still without a skyline. The result was the 1,093-foot-high Tokyo Tower, an unabashed knockoff of Paris's Eiffel Tower, and with great views of the city. The Main Observatory, set at 492 feet above ground, and the Special Observatory, up
an additional 330 feet, quickly became major tourist attractions; they still draw many visitors a year, the vast majority of them Japanese youngsters on their first trip to the big city. A modest art gallery, the Guinness Book of World Records Museum Tokyo, and view-filled dining round out the tower's appeal as an amusement complex.
Jan 12, 2006
Tokyo Tower, located in the city's southern region, is rather removed from most of the city's other main tourist destinations. There's no point in paying the expensive fees to go up into the structure; there are plenty of free views around the city (Try the Tokyo Metropolitan buildings in Shinjuku or Carrot Tower in Sangenjaya, for example). If you want to attend an English-language church service in Tokyo, you can go to St. Albans Church just across
from the Tower, gaze at the big red structure from the ground, then walk down to the nearby park and cool off in the shade.