Tokyo Tower

18 Jan

ImageAnyone who has ever watched the popular anime Sailor Moon might be familiar with the large, red, Eiffel Tower-esque structure that stands in Minato, Tokyo, Japan.  Or at least, this was my experience as a child; I was unsure why Sailor Moon and the other characters in the show visited a red, Japanese Eiffel Tower in the series, but at age six, I didn’t ask too many questions.  But Tokyo Tower continued to appear in many of the anime shows I liked as a child, and so as time went on, I became more and more interested in this broadcast tower in my youth.  

ImageTen plus years later, Tokyo Tower is fondly nostalgic to me.  As the second-tallest man-made structure in Japan, second only to the much more recently constructed Sky Tree, which was created to replace Tokyo Tower in its function as a broadcast tower, Tokyo Tower is a popular landmark and tourist destination in Tokyo.  It reminds me of my childhood, and so, when I studied abroad in Tokyo in 2010, it was one of the first places I chose to go.  ImageIt’s usually packed with tourists and can get quite hot when the sun shines in the windows on the observatory deck, but really, the view makes up for it.  It’s not the tallest point you can look out in Tokyo, but it’s still a pretty nice view.  You can see across multiple prefecture, include into Tokyo Bay/out to Chiba, as well as to Yokohama and even Mount Fuji, on a clear day.  The view of Mount Fuji, in particular, is quite spectacular, but unfortunately, it doesn’t photograph well.   However, I highly recommend it for anyone who’s planning to take a trip to Japan in the near future!

ImageAnother really fun feature of Tokyo Tower is the look-down windows on the first floor of the observatory deck.  These are simply small glass windows made so that one can look directly down inside of Tokyo Tower, but they’re pretty effective at showing off how high one is when one is in Tokyo Tower.  Unfortunately, they’re also a popular attraction for small children with a death wish to jump on, so it’s almost impossible to get a photo without the feet of small children in it.  Oh well.  

ImageAnother fun thing about this trip to Tokyo Tower was that it was decorated for New Year’s!  Last time I went, it was August, so there were no major holidays for which to decorate.  But this year, the place was decked out for the New Year, and the first floor of the observatory deck was decorated with a kadomatsu!  These popular New Year’s decorations are basically all over the place as soon as Christmas is over, but the one in Tokyo Tower was particularly fancy!  Usually the bamboo is green and unpainted and the decorations are not quite so elaborate, so I particularly liked the Tokyo Tower kadomatsu.  

ImageTokyo Tower was only one stop on my trip to Tokyo with my sister, who I was showing around.  We had a great visit, but after two days looking around the city, we headed out to Yokohama for the final event of our weekend: seeing the Sexy Zone New Year’s Concert!  My sister had never been to a large concert before, so I was excited to be able to take her to one, especially when going to concerts is essentially my hobby right now.  I think she enjoyed it, so I’m really glad I was able to take her!

And then, after our exciting trip to Tokyo… I came back and almost immediately got really sick.  Alas.  

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