Eclipsing the Eiffel Tower in height by just 13 meters and modelling itself on Paris’s older and more famous landmark, the candy-striped Tokyo Tower has been a feature of Tokyo’s skyline since 1958. Still the world’s tallest self-supporting steel tower, it has since been left behind in the height stakes by other structures and stands at just over half the height of Tokyo’s newest skyscraper and viewing tower, the Tokyo Skytree.
An important communications tower and landmark, Tokyo Tower is also a popular place to take in views of the city. There are two observation decks within the tower. The Main Observatory is 150 meters high and affords 360-degree views of the whole Kanto region; travel further up the tower to the 250-meter Special Observatory and you can take in views as far as Mt. Fuji on a clear day.
The Main Observatory consists of two floors: on the first floor you’ll find a café, a club and two in-floor windows that provide views to the ground, 145 meters below; on the second floor there’s a gift shop, a tiny Shinto shrine and the elevators to whisk you up to the enclosed Special Observatory on the tower’s top floor.
You can’t visit Tokyo Tower without first walking through FootTown, a shopping and entertainment complex at the base of the tower. Here you’ll find a number of shops, restaurants and attractions including the Guinness World Records Museum, the Tokyo Tower Wax Museum and a small fun park for the kids.
Tokyo Tower looks particularly striking at night when it is lit up with various colors projected from its base. Designed to change color with the season, the tower is also specially lit for important annual events and has established its place as an enduring symbol of the city.