Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tokyo Tower

When you're supposed to name some typical Japanese things, you'd think of Mt. Fuji in the first place, and the next thing you might come up with would be this "Tokyo Tower". It has been so sunny and hot for the past few weeks that I came to this tower on Sunday. Its height is 332.6m FYI.

Tokyo Tower is in Minato Ward, Tokyo, and can be reached from Kamiyachou station on the Hibiya Line. There are some other ways to come here, but I took advantage of that line. This tower was built in 1958, and has been used to broadcast analogue terrestrial signals for TV and the radio. 

But as in the USA, Japan has phased in digital broadcasting. Tokyo Tower has played a role in broadcasting digital signals for TV for a few years, but it is a bit too short to send digital signals to every area in Shutoken, or the Tokyo metropolitan area.  

So the digital broadcasting for the Tokyo area is going to be taken over by Tokyo Sky Tree in 2011, which I introduced with this picture. Btw, you'd see how big this tower is by comparing those people with one of the four feet of Tokyo Tower. 

When I came here I saw so many foreign people who seemed to come here for the purpose of sightseeing. And you'd see this "Welcome" sign when you approach the entrance. The white mist under the gate was a bit cool, and would have been comfortable for those who walked in the strong sunshine. 

There were lots of souvenir shops on the first floor, and those T-shirts seemed to be for foreign people. As we Japanese like English words, so do foreign people our kanji. The T-shirts on the first shelf have the word "Matsuri", and it means "festival". You know Japanese people like festivals, and we have so many festivals all through the year. The kanji on the white T-shirt says, "God of the festivals".

Tokyo is renowned for this "Tokyo banana". Japan is a small island, but it takes at least half a day for people in, for example, the Tohoku district to reach the capital. So those people buy this "Tokyo banana" for their families and friends. But Tokyo has nothing to do with bananas as you know.

We Japanese don't associate our country with Hello Kitty, but foreign people would do. The black kanji on the red clothes of the kitty says "fortune". I had never seen so many kinds of Hello Kitty goods as these.

When I got out, an event called "Sarumawashi" was being held. It is basically done by a pair of a human and monkey, and he makes the monkey do many kinds of acting that is usually done by humans, like bowing, dancing and so on. Foreign people seemed to be so interested in this event, but I've seen this "Sarumawashi" so many times at tourist spots. "Saru" means "monkey" btw. 

On my way back from Tokyo Tower, I dropped in at this cafe called "First". There was a cafe on the first floor of Tokyo Tower as well, but I recommend you come here, as this cafe has been visited so many famous people like Katsunori Takahashi, Ryouko Shinohara

This cafe seemed to have been established a long time ago, and the taste of this coffee was in proportion to the history of this cafe. So good. 

And when I was looking out, I saw this tour bus, which suggested Tokyo Tower is a must-place for people who visit our capital for the first time. There are so many movies on this tower including ones called "Tokyo Tower".

Compared to Akihabara, Tokyo Tower is an old-fashioned tourist spot, but it's still worth visiting. You'd never regret coming here.  The official website of Tokyo Tower: click this.