The Tokyo Tower is Japan's answer to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. It soars above the Tokyo metropolis, a symbol of Japan's reemergence as a major economic power after the devastation of World War II. At night, the tower casts a bright glow that beckons and invites, making it one of Japan's most popular tourist attractions.

The Tokyo Tower is located at Minato-ku, Tokyo, and serves two purposes – landmark and broadcasting antenna. Thus, it is painted white and international orange in compliance with aviation safety regulations. It is a candid copy of the Eiffel Tower, but at 333 meters, the Tokyo Tower is higher than its European counterpart. It also makes it the highest self-supporting iron tower in the world. However, it is lighter, weighing only around 4,000 tons. The advances in steel manufacturing have made it some 3,000 tons lighter than the Eiffel Tower.

The tower, a member of the World Federation of Great Towers, also has its own attractions. It is home to an aquarium and a wax museum (where the Beatles and other rock stars plus the Last Supper appear frozen in time). Also, on the third floor, you will find the Walking Zone of Hologram Technology. You can have fun with the Trick Art Gallery with its fascinating 3D images of world-famous paintings and sculptures on the fourth floor. Realize and experience how your eyes can play tricks on you with the help of some highly advanced reproductive technology. There are also shops, cafes and a small amusement park.

Tokyo City Tower PictureThe Tokyo Tower within the city.

You can take the elevator to either one of the tower's two observation decks: the 'main' one at 149 meters and the second 'special' observation deck at 248 meters. Now, if you feel up to it, you can also use the outside stairwell up to the main observatory. The decks' view provides 360 views of the city, and on clear days, you can even view Mount Fuji, Ginza, Yokohama and Tokyo Bay. At night, the view is even spectacular, as you get to see Tokyo bedecked in dazzling lights and signs.

The tower is dazzling. With 176 floodlights positioned in various parts of the tower, you can imagine how it shimmers at night. During spring and winter, it is lit a bright orange. Come summer and fall, and the lights are changed to silver. The lights are set aglow every night from dusk to 11 in the evening. The best places to view the Tokyo Tower would be from the east gardens of the Imperial Palace, the terrace of Roppongi Hills, and the Shinjuku Station southern promenade. You can also try the Metropolitan Government Building observatory in Shinjuku.

The Takenaka Corporation built the tower at a whopping ¥2.8 billion in 1958. It was a direct copy of the Eiffel Tower, only a bit taller. At the time, it was the highest man-made structure in Japan. Of course, after decades of progress, that distinction has long since been claimed by other taller buildings. Currently, the Tower serves as a radio and television broadcasting antenna, handling some 20 or so broadcast waves. The Tokyo Tower also figures in much of Japanese pop culture, especially in their manga, anime and monster films.