Designed by architect Taichi Naito and completed in 1958, Tokyo Tower was obviously inspired by Paris Eiffel Tower, although it rises a good dozen meters higher (or 7.6 meters if you include the aerial). With its 333 meters, it ranks as one of the tallest metal towers in the world. It is, however, much lighter weighing in at four thousand tons compared with the ten thousand tons of its Parisian counterpart.
The construction was intended to provide better resistance to earthquakes, obviously a key issue with Japanese buildings, especially very tall ones.
You will instantly recognize its distinctive red and white metal latticework, beautifully illuminated after nightfall. At the tower’s base, which covers an 80m2 surface area, is a shopping center named “Foot Town” which houses restaurants and even an aquarium. In March 2015, the first official One Piece entertainment park was opened in the Tower and attracted 100,000 visitors within the first 48 days.
The Tower also houses two observation decks. The more dauntless visitors can climb the stairs (open only week-ends and bank holidays) to the first one, located 145 meters above ground. It has a glass floor and also harbors, incidentally, the highest Shinto shrine in the Prefecture of Tokyo. The special observatory is located 250 meters above ground, just underneath the aerial and obviously offers a view of Mount Fuji in clear weather.
Although the TV / radio broadcast aerial in-between these two floors was in use for a long time, it was recently moved to Sky Tree which is twice as tall as Tokyo Tower.
For more sights, walk on to the beautiful Zojo-ji Temple which is near the Tower.
How to get to Tokyo Tower
By subway -- Tokyo Metro:
- Oedo line, Akabanebashi station (E21), Akabanebashi exit and 5 minute walk
- Mita line, Onarimon station (I06), A1 exit and 6 minute walk
- Hibiya Line, Kamiyacho station (H05), exit #1 then 7 minute walk
Location unreachable with the JR Pass
Get there with a rental car
Get your Japanese Yens free of charge
Open every day of the year
150m observatory: 9am to 10pm, last admission at 9:45pm
250m observatory: 9am to 9:30pm, last entry at 9pm
How long / when to visit
- Adults and high-school students: ¥900 (~US$ 8.40)
- Schoolchildren: ¥500 (~US$ 4.70)
- Children 4 to 6 years old: ¥400 (~US$ 3.70)
- Under 4: free
- Adults and high-school students: ¥1,600 (~US$ 15.00)
- Schoolchildren: ¥1,000 (~US$ 9.40)
- Children 4 to 6 years old: ¥800 (~US$ 7.50)
- Under 4: free