Japan

Tokyo Tower: The rebirth of Japan

Following the end of World War II, Japan was completely devastated economically especially after Allied bombings of major cities had virtually flattened the landscape. Yet from the 1950s onward, the country saw a massive economic boom (since the only way was up). With an inflow of Western technologies and homegrown innovation paving the way for the Japanese Miracle, the country saw a need for a symbol to represent the rebirth of the devastated nation. That symbol came to be the 333 meter tall Tokyo Tower when it was completed in 1958.

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The new and the old

The tower was inspired by the Eiffel Tower in France, though Tokyo Tower is taller but is not as tall as it was once planned. A lack of resources made plans for a taller tower to be scrapped; in fact about a third of the building material for Tokyo Tower came from broken and damaged tanks from the Korean War. At the time of its final completion, it towered over  every other building in the country and still remains the second tallest structure in Japan though many other skyscrapers are close in height.

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On one of my many outings to Tokyo, my friends and I stopped at the Tokugawa funded Zojo-ji temple. The contrast between the ancient architecture of Japan and the symbol of a revitalized Japan in the background made for some exceptional photos. After this we went up Tokyo Tower to see the panoramic view of Tokyo though visibility was not great due to the cloudy weather at the time. Even though the tower has been surpassed in height by Tokyo Skytree, being on the top floors still gives an incredible panoramic view of the massive expanse that makes up Tokyo. Add to that parts of the floor that are made of glass where you can see how small people and cars look from above and you have a thrilling experience.

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See-through floors
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