Address: 4 Chome-2-8 Shibakoen, Minato | TOKYO | Japan | Visit Website
Latitude/Longitude: 35.65858, 139.74543
Tokyo Tower is a communications and observation tower located in the Shiba-koen district of Minato, Tokyo, Japan. At 332.9 metres, it is the second-tallest structure in Japan. The structure is an Eiffel Tower-inspired lattice tower that is painted white and international orange to comply with air safety regulations.
Built in 1958, the tower’s main sources of revenue are tourism and antenna leasing. Over 150 million people have visited the tower since its opening. FootTown, a four-story building located directly under the tower, houses museums, restaurants and shops. Departing from there, guests can visit two observation decks. The two-story Main Observatory is located at 150 metres, while the smaller Special Observatory reaches a height of 249.6 metres.
The tower acts as a support structure for an antenna. Originally intended for television broadcasting, radio antennas were installed in 1961, but the tower is now used to broadcast signals for Japanese media outlets such as NHK, TBS and Fuji TV.
Tachū Naitō, renowned designer of tall buildings in Japan, was chosen to design the newly proposed tower. Looking to the Western world for inspiration, Naitō based his design on the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. With the help of engineering company Nikken Sekkei Ltd., Naitō claimed his design could withstand earthquakes with twice the intensity of the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake or typhoons with wind speeds of up to 220 kilometres per hour.
The new construction project attracted hundreds of tobi, traditional Japanese construction workers who specialized in the construction of high-rise structures. The Takenaka Corporation broke ground in June 1957 and each day at least 400 laborers worked on the tower. It was constructed of steel, a third of which was scrap metal taken from US tanks damaged in the Korean War. When the 90-metre antenna was bolted into place on October 14, 1958, Tokyo Tower was the tallest freestanding tower in the world, taking the title from the Eiffel Tower by 13 metres. Despite being taller than the Eiffel Tower, Tokyo Tower only weighs about 4,000 tons, 3,300 tons less than the Eiffel Tower.
⇒ Architecture Guide to TOKYO
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