Thursday, November 08, 2007

Tokyo Tower

Last Sunday, I went to see the Tokyo Tower. Getting there took me about an hour and half, as I decided to cycle along the river, which is definitely the best way to see Tokyo.

The Tokyo Tower was opened in 1958 and is the world's tallest supporting steel tower at 333 metres. It's very similar to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, but is 13 metres taller.

Here are some more Tokyo Tower facts:

The Tokyo Tower weighs about 4000 tons.

28,000 litres of paint were used to paint the tower. It's painted red and white because of aviation safety regulations.

Fourteen broadcasting signals for nine TV stations and five FM radio stations are transmitted from the Tower.

There are 164 floodlights installed in various parts of the Tower. The Tower is illuminated with an orange light in winter and white incandescent light in summer.

From the Tokyo Tower you can see the whole of Tokyo, which is pretty amazing and on a clear day you can see as far as Mount Fuji. Unfortunately, although it was a clear day, it was very hazy, making it impossible to see too far.

There are lots of different things to do there, for example there is an aquarium, a wax museum and a mysterious walking zone where you can experience a 'marvellous three dimensional world created by hologram technology.'

It looks very pretty at night as well.

While I was taking photographs, the police decided to question me. Why? I don't know. I mean, I was taking photographs and I had my mamachari(a bike with basket and bell). Did they think I was a terrorist or drug dealer doing a bit of sightseeing on a push bike?

I didn't argue as they had guns.

They asked me for identification, so I happily obliged with my geijan card. Then they started asking questions about my name,age, and where I lived. At this point the worry of having a cavity search crossed my mind. After they realised I wasn't a member of a terrorist organisation, they apologised profusely, which was combined with bowing (far politer than British police). This is the first time someone in the police has ever apologised to me for anything.

Afterwards, I went to the Zojo-ji temple which is right next to the Tokyo Tower and is the family temple of the Tokugawa clan. It dates from 1393 and was moved to this sight in 1598 by Tokugawa Ieyasu, who was the first Tokugawa shogun.

The gate to the temple is the oldest wooden structure in Tokyo and dates from 1612. It is called the Sangadetsu-mon and is 21 metres high. The name translates as 'Three Deliverences Gate', as Buddhism is supposed to save believers from the evils of anger, greed and stupidity.

You can see the photographs