Tokyo Tower is a communications and observation tower located in Shiba Park, Minato, Tokyo, Japan. At 332.5 metres (1,091 ft), it is the second tallest artificial structure in Japan.The structure is an Eiffel Tower-inspired lattice tower that is painted white and international orange to comply with air safety regulations.
Built in 1958, the tower’s main sources of revenue are tourism and antenna leasing. Over 150 million people have visited the tower since its opening
The tower acts as a support structure for an antenna. Originally intended for television broadcasting, radio antennas were installed in 1961 and the tower is now used to broadcast signals for Japanese media outlets such as NHK, TBS and Fuji TV.
Hisakichi Maeda, founder and president of Nippon Denpatō, the tower’s owner and operator, originally planned for the tower to be taller than the Empire State Building, which at 381 meters was the highest structure in the world. However, the plan fell through because of the lack of both funds and materials. The tower’s height was eventually determined by the distance the TV stations needed to transmit throughout the Kantō region, a distance of about 150 kilometers (93 mi). Tachū Naitō, renowned designer of tall buildings in Japan, was chosen to design the newly proposed tower. Looking to the Western world for inspiration, Naitō based his design on the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. With the help of engineering company Nikken Sekkei Ltd., Naitō claimed his design could withstand earthquakes with twice the intensity of the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake or typhoons with wind speeds of up to 220 kilometres per hour (140 mph).
The new construction project attracted hundreds of tobi, traditional Japanese construction workers who specialized in the construction of high-rise structures. The Takenaka Corporation broke ground in June 1957 and each day at least 400 laborers worked on the tower. It was constructed of steel, a third of which was scrap metal taken from US tanks damaged in the Korean War. When the 90-meter antenna was bolted into place on October 14, 1958, Tokyo Tower was the tallest freestanding tower in the world, taking the title from the Eiffel Tower by 13 meters. Despite being taller than the Eiffel Tower, Tokyo Tower only weighs about 4,000 tons, 3,300 tons less than the Eiffel Tower. While other towers have since surpassed Tokyo Tower’s height, the structure is still the tallest self-supporting steel structure in the world and was the tallest artificial structure in Japan until April 2010, when the new Tokyo Sky Tree became the tallest building of Japan.
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