[From May Issue 2011]
A new transmission tower is currently under construction in Tokyo’s Sumida Ward. The TOKYO SKYTREE®, as it is known, is the world’s tallest freestanding tower with a total height of 634 meters. Though it is scheduled for completion this winter, and due to open to the public next spring, it has already become a very popular tourist attraction.
One of the more popular things to do when visiting it is taking photos. Visitors can photograph themselves with the tower in the background using several parabolic, street-level mirrors, or capture its reflection in the river while standing on a nearby bridge. There are even special photo opportunities listed on both internet sites and through magazines, while some professional photographers are advising people through their blogs about when the best times and what the best angles are to take great photos.
On March 18, 2011, The TOKYO SKYTREE reached its apex of 634 meters and on hand to witness and record this great event were many fans and members of the media. Some people were so excited that they celebrated the day by carrying handmade signs reading “634 Meters.”
The Hato Bus Co., Ltd. has prepared a variety of tours, including a bus ride around the TOKYO SKYTREE area, a TOKYO SKYTREE river boat excursion and a 600 meter-above-the-ground TOKYO SKYTREE helicopter ride. “The entire Japanese population is looking forward to the completion of the TOKYO SKYTREE,” says NAGAI-MONROE Mari, from the Hato Bus’s PR office. “The sight of the tower getting taller and taller was something that you could only witness during that time. I think people enjoyed gathering to watch the process.”
Tokyo already has the famous, 333-meter high Tokyo Tower located in Minato Ward. With construction started in 1957 and completed the following year, it has since become a very popular tourist attraction, receiving approximately 3 million visitors annually. Now, tourists can enjoy them both, either visiting each of them on the same day, taking photos of them from particularly good vantage points or looking out on TOKYO SKYTREE from Tokyo Tower.
“I think people are already reminiscing about Tokyo Tower,” says IGARASHI Kengo, a member of the Nippon Television City Corporation’s Planning Division. “It has been more than 50 years since Tokyo Tower first opened, and each generation has its own memories. Older people have memories of Tokyo Tower being a symbolic image of hope and encouragement while younger people remember the excitement of being on its observation deck and sharing the view of Tokyo with their parents. I think seeing the new TOKYO SKYTREE brings back many of those wonderful memories.”
For Japanese people, especially now, the TOKYO SKYTREE is a new marvel of architectural ingenuity and hope, one that will create everlasting memories while also strengthening family bonds.
Text: SAZAKI Ryo