Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, Tokyo - Japan, Kenzo Tange
Construction year: 1990
Address: 2 Chome-8-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku | TOKYO | Japan
Latitude/Longitude: 35.68961, 139.69211

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building also referred to as Tochō for short, houses the headquarters of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, which governs not only the 23 wards, but also the cities, towns and villages that constitutes the whole Tokyo Metropolis.

Located in Shinjuku, the building consists of a complex of three structures, each taking up a city block. The tallest and most prominent of the three is Tokyo Metropolitan Main building No.1, a tower 48 stories tall that splits into two sections at the 33rd floor. The building also has three levels below ground. The design of the building, by architect Kenzo Tange, has many symbolic touches, most notably the aforementioned split which re-creates the look of a Gothic cathedral.

The other two buildings in the complex are the eight-story Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly Building and Tokyo Metropolitan Main Building No.2, which has 37 stories including three below ground.

The two panoramic observation decks, one in each tower on floor 45 (202 meters high), are free of charge to the public and contain gift shops and cafes.

The building was designed by Kenzo Tange and finished in December 1990 at the expense of ¥157 billion (about US$ 1 billion) of public money. It replaced the former Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building at Yūrakuchō, which was built in 1957 and also design by Tange. The former Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is now the site of the Tokyo International Forum.

It was the tallest building in Tokyo, at 243 meters, until the Midtown Tower was completed in 2006.

Though it has not gained the same degree of worldwide recognition as Tokyo Tower or Tokyo Skytree, the Metropolitan Government Building has come to represent the city in its own right. It frequently appears in Japanese science fiction and anime such as Digimon Tamers as a symbol of authority or in type scenes depicting a futuristic or post-apocalyptic Shinjuku.

⇒ Architecture Guide to TOKYO
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