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The Tokyo Tower and the World Trade Center

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Although it’s been unseated from its position as Japan’s tallest structure (and, at 333 meters, is positively Lilliputian in comparison to the new champion, Oshiage’s 634-meter SkyTree), the Tokyo Tower remains a popular tourist attraction. Modeled on the Eiffel Tower and painted bright orange, the tower has been a part of the city’s skyline since opening in 1958.

Tokyo Tower

Our reaction to the Tokyo Tower was mixed. It’s a shameless copy of the much grander Eiffel Tower, but still an impressive sight. Maybe it’s the bold orange color which contrasts so strikingly against the normal steel gray of the city’s skyscrapers. Or maybe it’s the weirdness of seeing the Eiffel Tower in Japan. Regardless, we consider the Tokyo Tower to be one of the city’s coolest structures.

Unfortunately, visiting its observation deck isn’t all that great of an experience. The view is nice, but the observation deck is always crowded, and more than a little annoying. Besides, when you’re inside the Tokyo Tower looking out, the best-looking building has effectively been removed from sight.

World Trade Center Tokyo Video

For a superior view, walk to the nearby World Trade Center. It’s not as tall as the Tokyo Tower, but the observation deck at the top of this building is cheaper to visit and much more serene. The huge windows are spotlessly clean and you can sit at them for as long as you want, without impatient tourists trying to shove you aside. You’re even allowed to bring in your own food and drinks. And there, in the foreground, is the Tokyo Tower in all its bright orange glory.

Locations on our Map: Tokyo Tower | World Trade Center

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More Views from the Tokyo Tower
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More Views from Tokyo’s World Trade Center
World Trade Center Tokyo Video
World Trade Center Tokyo Video
World Trade Center Tokyo Video
World Trade Center Tokyo Video
World Trade Center Tokyo Video
World Trade Center Tokyo Video
World Trade Center Tokyo Video
World Trade Center Tokyo Video
World Trade Center Tokyo Video
World Trade Center Tokyo Video
World Trade Center Tokyo Video
World Trade Center Tokyo Video
World Trade Center Tokyo Video
World Trade Center Tokyo Video
World Trade Center Tokyo Video
World Trade Center Tokyo Video
World Trade Center Tokyo Video
World Trade Center Tokyo Video
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May 21, 2014 at 8:52 am
3 comments »
  • May 21, 2014 at 9:25 amThe Honourable Husband

    Your last couple of posts have brought back memories.  In the eighth and fourteenth pictures after the videos, you’ll notice the MacArthur Street tower with the twin triangle shapes atop it.  In front of it, there’s a much smaller grey building of about fifteen stories.  Masa and I used to live there, and it was a very happy time in our lives.  The neighborhood is full of gaijin hangouts, and a short walk to louche Roppongi.  Our apartment didn’t face Tokyo Tower, but rather the American Embassy and the Mad-Men era Hotel Okura. The round and octagonal buildings in front are the Atago Green Hills development, and the taller (the Mori Tower) has a great bar at the top—a bit classy for some tastes, but fun, and a perfect view of the Ginza.  It’s notable because that neighborhood is rife with temples and shrines, as you discovered, and the churches often sell the land on the condition that the new complex include a rebuilt place of worship.  You’ll notice a shrine nestled between the two Green Hills tower, for example.  Our building, in addition to the apartments and offices, featured a Buddhist shrine ministering to seafarers on the ground floor, with a corner of the churchyard preserved as a cemetery. A sharp eye will notice many elements that appear thanks to Tokyo’s laws on urban planning.  All new developments must be mixed-use, residential and commercial—the in the Green Hills Towers, the round is an apartment building, and the square an office building.  Our building featured thirteen floors of offices, and three of apartments centered around a rooftop courtyard.  The 14th floor courtyard was planted with trees, an odd sensation to be so high but feel like you are in a garden.  New buildings are also required to have trees on the roof, since Tokyo is, in fact, a heat-sink. Estimates say that human activity has raised the temperature of the Kanto Plain up to 9 decrees celsius hotter than it would otherwise be.  If the tall buildings include gardens at ground level, the requirement to plant the roof is waived, to Atago Green Hills gets away without it—in fact, the developer planted a herb garden at the back of the apartment building for residents. The neighborhood has doubtless changed since we lived there (the Macarthur Street development, as an example) but it holds a spot in our hearts.  The Atago Cellars, the 400-year-old wine store, and the French cheese shop as you walk down the northern road form the Shrine, particularly.  Guys, many thanks for your posts.  They bring back many memories for us.  


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The Tokyo Tower and the World Trade Center Although it's been unseated from its position as Japan's tallest structure (and, at 333 meters, is positively Lilliputian in comparison to the new champion, Oshiage's 634-meter SkyTree), the Tokyo Tower remains a popular tourist attraction. Modeled on the Eiffel Tower and painted bright orange, the tower has been a part of the city's skyline since opening in 1958.
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