The weather has been rather pleasant lately (not too chilly), so today after classes my friend and I decided to finally take a trip to Tokyo Tower! Actually, when walking from Tamachi Station to TUJ’s Azabu Hall, Tokyo Tower is visible and at night you can see it lit up. The tower is in the same ward as TUJ (Minato-ku), and since it did not look as though it was too far, we decided to walk instead of taking the Yamanote line (we would go to the stop right after Tamachi, Hamamatsucho). Walking saved us ￥130, and saving money is always good in my opinion!
The walk itself was not bad – we were worried that it would be a long walk, but it took probably about 20 minutes and was pretty straightforward. Basically, we just pointed ourselves in the right direction and headed towards the tall yellow-orange object.
During the day, Tokyo Tower is just painted plain orange and white, but as soon as it becomes dark (around 17:00), it lights up to usually this yellow/orange color. However, when I first arrived to Tokyo in August, it was a white color instead. I have been told that sometimes it changes colors for special events or seasons, so I am currently waiting to see if it will change as the winter holiday season begins.
We explored the bottom area of the tower, which mainly consists of souvenir shops (they sell many Tokyo Tower phone straps, mugs, etc., so I plan on going back and buying a few gifts there) and restaurants. The souvenir prices were reasonable (about ￥200 – ￥1000, depending on what you are looking for). There are also elevators that take visitors to the observatory, which I would like to go to when I go back to Tokyo Tower during the day.
Here is some information concerning Tokyo Tower, taken from its official site: It was built in 1958 as a structure for communications, to support antennae, and stands at 333m tall. As you may notice, the design is based upon Paris’ Eiffel Tower, and currently it is one of the tallest pieces of architecture in Japan. There are two observatories – the main observatory and the special observatory. The main observatory consists of two floors, and on the first floor there are “look down windows” that allow visitors to literally look down at the ground below their feet. The second floor holds a Shinto Shrine, and the special observatory is higher up and shows visitors the best views of Tokyo city available from the tower.
Although visiting the tower during the day would be very interesting (especially to use the “look down windows”), I definitely recommend visiting at night as well to see it all lit up – it’s so bright that all the buildings around it reflect the orange glow!