|To what Parisian icon does this bear a resemblance?|
If you ask my daughter what's her favorite site in Tokyo, she will not hesitate before telling you it's the Tokyo Tower. A smidgen of its appeal may be the Baskin-Robbins ice cream treat at the end of the visit, but she was looking forward to seeing it long before we stepped foot inside. She first saw pictures of the tower when hubby visited it on a business trip a few years earlier. "It looks like the Eiffel Tower — except orange!" was her immediate response. She didn't guess that it's also 13 meters taller. Built in 1958, this 330 meter (1,028 foot) TV and radio relay tower has long been one of Tokyo's iconic tourist attractions. For decades, people have been riding up the elevators to its two observatories, one at 149 meters (489 feet) and the other at 248 meters (814 feet).
|Nearby Zojo-ji Temple was built more than 500 years before Tokyo Tower|
She really, really wanted to take the Tower home with us.
Instead, she had to make do with the miniature plush version of Noppon the mascot that her dad brought home a couple years beforehand.
|Noppon says "Konichiwa." |
He has a brother, also named Noppon, who is blue.
Tokyo may have newer places to view the city from high up like the SkyTree and the free Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office, but can those observatories match the adorable uniforms of the Tokyo Tower hostesses who take your ticket and escort you to the elevators? Think how lost you could get walking those few feet without them!
|Ready to serve you|
The tower changed its nighttime color scheme during the course of our stay. For the first few days, it was orange, much like its daytime look, but for the last days, it turned blue and red.
We headed up after dinner to see what Tokyo looks like at night. The observatory goes all the way around the tower so that you look out on the entire Kanto Region of Japan.
|The Rainbow Bridge is on the upper left of middle.|
Signs around the perimeter indicated distances to other sites such as Mount Fuji which was —surprise, surprise — impossible to see at night.
|The city glitters below us.|
|Roughly the same view in the daylight.|
Lookdown Windows in a few spots along the floor allowed us to see the ground directly below us.
|Looking directly downwards|
The interior of the tower at the observatory level houses a very tiny Shinto shrine, a cafe and a music venue.
Foot Town at the base of Tokyo Tower has lots of kitchsy tourist traps like a Wax Museum (separate admission) plus restaurants and souvenir shops. A small amusement park is on the roof. Luckily for me, the kids were tired at the end of a long day of sightseeing and didn't beg to do anything.
The kids are already asking to go back to Japan, and my girl especially wants to pay Tokyo Tower another visit.
For more information on hours and admission prices for Tokyo Tower, see its website.
Kid-friendly History at Tokyo's Fukagawa Edo Museum
Epic Day at Tokyo DisneySea
Tokyo's Meiji Jungu Shrine
Cherry Blossom Viewing in Tokyo's Ueno Park
This post is part of Travel Photo Thursday on Budget Travellers Sandbox, Photo Friday on Delicious Baby, and Friday Daydreamin' at R We There Yet Mom? Check them out for more around-the-world travel inspiration.