Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Tokyo Tower Day and Night

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.

Related posts:
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.


  1. Those are great photos but I've heard mixed reviews of Tokyo Tower. Since I only have 3 days in Tokyo do you think this should be high on our list?

    1. It's a nice view, but there are other cheaper (free!)and newer observatories around Tokyo. Our hotel was only 1 block away from Tokyo Tower, so it was convenient to visit and also hard to ignore, especially at night. I wouldn't necessarily travel across town just to go up it. If you're in the area, especially at night when the other tourist attractions are closed, and you still have some energy, it might be fun.

    2. Perfect! That's exactly what I was looking for. We're planning to try the hop on hop off bus and I'm sure it'll stop there. We'll hop off if the kids are in the right mood. Thanks!

  2. What an interesting post. And what a city!!

  3. Great photos, Tokyo Tower is one of may favorite places :)

  4. The view is beautiful! Funny how kids will do almost anything to get ice cream, isn't it??

  5. Kinda looks like a rocket in that first photo and short, until I looked at the height of the other buildings.
    I didn't realize it was higher than the Eiffel Tower.

  6. Such a beautiful view.
    The city lights are just so jaw-dropping.
    I love that pink character too.

  7. It certainly does look like an orange Eiffel Tower. And like the Eiffel Tower it has a magnificent view to go with it!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog today and for your comments. I understand exactly what you mean, I feel the pressure sometimes of having people wait for me while I take yet another photo.
    have a great week.

  8. What an amazing night time view! My daughter would love to see the Tokyo Tower- mainly because of her love for the Eiffel Tower.

  9. Love the photos! Emma and I have started reading the 39 Clues book series and they have just left Tokyo so it has jumped up her list of places she would like to visit! She loved the Eiffel Tower so I'm pretty sure that she would love the Tokyo Tower as well and she would definitely go crazy for that mascot!

  10. My kids called this the orange Eiffel Tower too. They make for some great fun shots. We didn't get to go up or see it at night. The kids would have liked to see the Noppons. Love the views at night. It was too bad we were on the other side of the city.

  11. Great photos of the Tokyo Tower - looks like a fun place to check out with kids!

    Thanks for linking up this week!

  12. I am going to be there at the end of April, and my hotel is very close to the Tokyo Tower. I am not sure if I'll pay to go all the way up though. I'll probably enjoy looking at it from below.

  13. Love the photo of her holding the tower at night. Precious!


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