OWL Magazine Korea

Tokyo, Iconic Structure “Tokyo Tower”

In Seoul, our capital, we have Namsan Tower. Although officially named “Seoul N Tower,” it is still commonly referred to by its former name, Namsan Tower. Similarly, Tokyo, the capital of Japan, has a tower resembling our Namsan Tower, and it’s called the “Tokyo Tower.” Like Namsan Tower, Tokyo Tower is centrally located, situated in the Minato ward of Tokyo.

“Tokyo Tower, Japan’s Tallest Structure until the Advent of Tokyo Skytree”

Tokyo Tower shares a similar history with Namsan Tower in Korea. While Namsan Tower was once the tallest structure for a time until Lotte World Tower in Jamsil surpassed it, Tokyo Tower held the title of Japan’s tallest structure until the construction of Tokyo Skytree in Sumida, Tokyo, in 2011.

“Symbolic Structure of Tokyo, Tokyo Tower”

Nevertheless, Tokyo Tower remains an iconic structure in Tokyo, akin to how Namsan Tower symbolizes Seoul for its residents. Just as the Eiffel Tower is to Paris, Tokyo Tower retains its significance even as its role evolved in the digital age with the emergence of Tokyo Skytree.

With the rise of Tokyo Skytree, digital broadcasting shifted to be primarily transmitted from there. Only a few broadcasting stations continue to transmit FM signals from Tokyo Tower. It has now become a tower used for emergency broadcasting in case of malfunctions in Tokyo Skytree. Although Tokyo Tower may have deviated from its original purpose, it still stands as a landmark symbolizing Tokyo.

“Observation Decks of Tokyo Tower”

Tokyo Tower features two observation decks—one at 150m and a special deck at 250m. There is an admission fee to access these decks, approximately 900 yen for the main observation deck (around 9,000 won) and an additional 700 yen to ascend to the special observation deck.

On weekends or holidays, visitors can ascend from the 1st floor to the observation decks on foot starting from 11 a.m., receiving a certification for their efforts. However, climbing the stairs of a tower of considerable height like Tokyo Tower might not be an easy task.

“Ticket Booth for the Observation Decks”

A booth selling tickets to the observation decks is located outdoors on the 1st floor. Initially, upon arriving at Tokyo Tower, I struggled to find the ticket booth since the entrance was connected to the 2nd floor. Also, considering my relatively late visit, all the shops on the 2nd floor were closed, leading to a momentary concern that I might have arrived too late. Fortunately, the operation was ongoing.

“Under Construction: Eastern Side and Special Observation Deck”

However, at the time of my visit, parts of the observation decks were under construction. Both the eastern side of the main observation deck and the special observation deck were undergoing renovations. Unfortunately, I couldn’t enjoy the view from the eastern side of the main deck, and access to the special observation deck was entirely restricted. While it was disappointing not to fully appreciate the observation decks, I hope that on my next visit, after the remodeling is complete, I can enjoy the panoramic views.

“Café on the Main Observation Deck”

As with any observation deck, Tokyo Tower also houses a café where visitors can enjoy a cup of tea against the backdrop of Tokyo’s cityscape. Unfortunately, during my visit, it was already past operating hours, so I couldn’t spend time at the café.

“Birthday Discounts on Admission”

Visitors can enjoy various benefits when visiting Japan on their birthdays. Tokyo Tower offers a discount of 120 yen on admission if you visit one day before or after your birthday. Additionally, they provide a birthday card along with a cake if you visit with proper documentation.

“Souvenir Shop”

Like other tourist attractions, Tokyo Tower has a souvenir shop on the 3rd floor, selling memorabilia related to the tower. Purchasing a souvenir related to Tokyo Tower could be a good idea, but I didn’t buy anything separately. I received a Tokyo Tower-related souvenir from a friend who had visited Tokyo Tower in the past, so I didn’t feel the need to make a purchase.

“Tokyo Tower Complex”

Similar to other towers, Tokyo Tower houses various stores within its complex. Exhibitions, such as those based on the One Piece anime, are also held here, providing tourists with diverse attractions. Additionally, there is a modern science museum and an aquarium within the Tokyo Tower complex.

“Tokyo, Tokyo Tower”

  • Address: 4 Chome-2-8 Shibakoen, Minato, Tokyo 105-0011, Japan
  • Operating Hours: 9:00 – 23:00
  • Phone Number: +81 3-3433-5111
  • Website: https://www.tokyotower.co.jp