The first time I went to Tokyo Tower was for New Year with my brother. We were staying at a nearby hotel and figured that Tokyo Tower would be a cool place for the countdown. We assumed that since Tokyo Tower was one of the major landmarks of the city, there would be fireworks and festivities.
It looked promising when we arrived as there was a fairly large crowd. So we sat in the cold looking up at the tower, waiting for something to happen. Then, when midnight approached the lights displaying the current year shut off. We joined the crowd in the countdown.
“Five, four, three, two, one.”
Then nothing. The lights displaying the new year switched on and that was it. People cheered, waited for something more, and then kind of wandered off when it became clear that nothing else would happen. That was the boring conclusion of my first Tokyo Tower experience.
The second time I went to Tokyo Tower it was much more exciting. I went with a friend who was visiting from her teaching job in Korea. Since it was summer, we ended up going in the late afternoon to avoid the midday heat.
We took the elevator up to the upper balcony and looked around at the little rides for children and food booths until we came to the ticket stand that sold tickets to the top.
“How do we get to the top?” I asked the ticket salesman.
He pointed to some stairs. We started up the stairs. Along the way, there were signs with squid-like creatures that turned out the be Tokyo Tower’s mascot. The signs told us how many stairs we had climbed and how many calories we had burned.
It took us quite some time to climb all of the stairs especially since we stopped every so often to take pictures. When we reached the top, there was a woman handing out little laminated success cards so that we could prove we had walked all of those stairs.
We stepped out on the viewing platform. There was a cafe, photo-booth, and room with an informational film. There were windows with view of the surrounding city and there were windows you could stand on built into the floor so that you could see what was happening directly below you.
Coming in the late afternoon worked out perfectly since we got to see the city in day and night time. Sunset on the viewing platform was the best. We got to see the lights go own as the sky got darker. After that, we went back down to the bottom to see the souvenir shop which had Tokyo Towers of every kind for sale. It also had a room of booths were you could get a variety of cheap Tokyo and Japan souvenirs. After buying some fun souvenirs, we decided to go back to the hotel since our sore legs weren’t going to take us very far after that adventure.Photo: motoyen