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Virginia Beach, VA, United States
This blog (or 日記 if you will) is intended to chronicle my experience in Japan at the Yamasa Institute in Okazaki, Japan from July to August, 2012. I have always wanted to have a journal, though, so I will try to get into a habit of writing frequently about the things important to me in my life. Besides, I plan on returning to Yamasa to participate in the AIJP after I get out of the Navy! These are the Espelancer Chronicles. Erica is also blogging about the trip, and you should totally check it out. It is The Marvelous Misadventures of Schneewittchen link over on the sidebar.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tokyo Tower

      Today we are skipping to Saturday afternoon to talk about our visit to Tokyo Tower.  I would love to talk about our Saturday morning adventures in Tama Town, but you will have to wait since I am preparing a different kind of post for that.  Tokyo Tower is the tall orange Eiffel Tower look-a-like structure that until recently was the tallest structure in Japan.  It was built in 1958 to support the television antenna at its center and enabled Japan to broadcast analog television signals throughout the nation.  The Tokyo Skytree, completed last year, overtook Tokyo Tower for the spot of the tallest structure in Japan and went on to take the record for the world's tallest tower and the world's 2nd-tallest structure (after Dubai's Burj Khalifa), and ironically was also built for television -- since Tokyo Tower is surrounded by many high-rise buildings it is not adequate for Japan's transition to digital broadcasting.  Tokyo Tower is still one of the most recognized landmarks in Tokyo, though,  and as expected is a huge tourist destination.

   At the base of Tokyo Tower is a place called Foot Town.  We did not spend too much time here, though, since we needed to return to the hotel by a certain time to change into our yukata for the fireworks festival.  Foot Town is a pretty cool place, though, although the attractions are pretty expensive.  Obviously the main attraction is the observation tower, as well as the second observation tower that you can pay more to go up into.  The first floor features a Detective Conan museum (sorry, I forgot to snap a picture), although tickets were 2200円 so we didn't do that.  There is also a small aquarium on the first floor.  The second floor has a gift shop that surprisingly sells novelties at an acceptable price.  I managed to score a Tokyo mug for 300円 to give to my grandmother and a wall scroll featuring a map of Japan for 550円 to hang at my house, which is really bad at all.  There is also a food court with various Japanese and American (i.e. McDonald's, KFC, and Krispy Kreme) fast food restaurants.  The 3rd floor houses the Tokyo Guiness Museum, on the fourth floor there is a wax museum, and the roof of Foot Town features a small amusement park.  All we did was the main observatory and the gift shop, though.

  At 1100円 a ticket, we decided to only go to the main observatory, however even though we only went halfway up he tower, the view was still spectacular.  If we wanted to go to the special observatory at the top of the tower, we would have had to pay another 900円.  It is actually possible to climb the outside staircase rather than using the elevator on weekends and holidays (weather permitting), and you get a certificate for accomplishing that feat, but I don't think Erica would have been terrible happy about climbing 660 steps after scaling the hills of Tama Town all morning in the scorching Japanese summer heat.  There are also a few lookdown glasses at the top of the tower, and that picture above was taken through one of the lookdown glasses.  Tokyo Tower was an enjoyable experience, although next time I think I will go to the Tokyo Skytree in Sumida (which was ironically where we went for the fireworks festival...).  Anyways, that is all for today, but I will leave you with more pictures from Tokyo Tower.

1 comment:

  1. "The first floor features a Detective Conan museum (sorry, I forgot to snap a picture), although tickets were 2200円 so we didn't do that." That's so awesome!!

    That one picture looking down makes me feel nauseous.