Japan has a number of unique towers which can accommodate your desire to enjoy a bird’s eye view of some the most famous cities in Japan. Let’s take at look at four of these.
The most recently completed tower is the TOKYO SKYTREE®. Reaching a height of 2,080 feet, it is the world's tallest broadcast tower, with observation decks at 1,148 and 1,476 feet above ground. It is also the second tallest structure in the world. Commercial facilities are contained within the TOKYO SKYTREE® network, including a shopping mall, exhibit hall and restaurants, some of which have dishes named in honor of the tower, such as Tower Chicken and Tower Parfait! The base is structured as a tripod, and the tower itself is cylindrical, which allows it to withstand strong winds. The anti seismic system of the TOKYO SKYTREE® utilizes the architecture of the five-story pagoda in Horyuji which is the oldest wooden structure in the world. While the exterior color is similar to a bluish-white, there are special external LED illuminations that alternate daily. Its proximity to several stations, including Tokyo Station, makes it extremely convenient for visitors. More than one million people have visited the TOKYO SKYTREE® since its grand opening.
Tsutenkaku Tower is a 328-foot high observation tower which is a well-known Osaka landmark. So loved by the locals, that when the original tower, which was built in 1912 (and just celebrated its 100th anniversary) was destroyed by fire, funds were raised to build a new tower, and this tower was registered as a tangible cultural asset of Japan in 2007. A statue of Billiken, a favorite foreign deity, and a popular symbol of good luck, was placed in the newly constructed tower about 1980.
Fukuoka Tower, on the southernmost island of Kyushu, was built in 1989 as part of the Asian Pacific Expo. This interestingly triangular shaped 768-foot high tower is the tallest tower on a seaside location in Japan. It's covered with 8000 mirrored panels and is affectionately called the "mirror sail" due to its shape and reflective quality. At Christmas time, it boasts the largest Christmas tree illumination in Japan, which is lit for about one month, from November to December each year.
Did you know that one of the oldest existing wooden tower structures in the world makes its home in Nara? This is Horyuji, originally built in the seventh century, and named a UNESCO World Heritage site. Within the large temple complex is a striking 5-story pagoda whose central wooden pillar has been dated around the end of the sixth century. 122 feet in height, the pagoda is different than other towers in that it offers an inspiring view from the outside, rather than permitting people to climb up inside, and look out.
Wherever your travels lead you in Japan, make sure that you spend some time enjoying a different perspective by visiting these one-of-a-kind towers!
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