Friday, May 23, 2008

5/25/08 Tokyo Tower

I met a friend of mine in Tokyo last Sunday. We had a bit of unoccupied time on our hands so we resorted to some touristy stuff. The only place we could think of that neither of us had seen was Tokyo Tower.

OK, so I have seen the tower quite a few times, from various distances. At 333m in height, its pretty hard to miss. It is the tallest artificial structure in Japan. What I hadn't done, though, was take the touristy journey up inside the tower.

The walk to the tower revealed these little guys. There was a small shop nearby where one could buy a pinwheel for the child-like statues. Haven't seen anything like this before.

A monkey on stilts struggles to succeed in the face of self doubt at Tokyo Tower.

It was a pretty straightforward affair. Every tower visit is the same, right? Buy a ticket, wait in line, get smooshed into an elevator, see a view of varying beauty, visit the gift shop, the end. The view was pretty nice, and its always fun to check the little maps that point out what everything is. The National Diet Building(where Japan's legislature is found) has even made it onto my "To-Tour" list, as it really stands out... nice architecture at work.

A view of Tokyo from the Tower. Can you find the Diet Building?

There was a bit of a sheist in play, though. There are actually two observatories. After paying 8 dollars for an elevator ride to the observatory, we realized that we weren't even halfway up the tower. The much higher "Special Observatory" costs an additional 6 dollars. No thanks to that.

A spider web of metal.

In a practice more Japanese than sumo, some awful little tower characters were spawned to sell souvenirs. I can think of a couple of things that these creatures resemble, but none of them are repeatable in polite company. There was a little tower person at Kyoto Tower, too, remember?

The brochure was pretty amusing as well. The tower bears a striking resemblance to the Eiffel Tower, right? Minus the bright orange(international orange, the same color as the Golden Gate Bridge and NASA astronauts' pressure suits) and white stripes, of course. Well, the literature didn't let that point go unnoticed. Tokyo Tower is taller and "is much lighter than the Eiffel Tower... a result of remarkable advances in steel manufacturing and construction technology". Yeah, a hundred years usually brings a change or two. Eat it, France!


I'd like to share with you a picture of the animal that I found lurking in my kitchen sink today. I can think of few things more motivating: keep my apartment clean or beasts will crawl from hell to punish me.

I killed this thing so good...


  1. I can't believe you went to Tokyo tower without me ... that's it our relationship is over!