When Eiffel Tower started its construction in year 1887, the design of this colossal behemoth in the middle of the romantic City of Love was a subject of huge controversy. A “Committee of Three Hundred” was formed to protest the construction of this “ridiculous” tower. The design of the tower was being unkindly criticized by this team of established architects and artists as a “hateful column of bolted sheet metal”, “dominating Paris like a gigantic black smokestack, crushing under its barbaric bulk Notre Dome, the Tour Saint-Jacques, the Louvre, the Dome of les Invalides, the Arc de Triomphe”.
Yet despite the harsh comments, Eiffel Tower distinguishes itself as the major cultural icon of France, attracting over millions of eager visitors every year.
60 years after the Eiffel Tower saga, Tokyo completed the construction of its first TV broadcasting tower in year 1958. Standing 13 metres taller than its model Eiffel Tower, how are we going to compare this orange-and-white prefabricated steel tower to its origin of inspiration? Is Tokyo Tower an eyesore or a beauty? If I may boldly give my comments, I think Tokyo Tower is a piece of uncreative and unexciting copycat structure. Yet behind the face of this boring lattice tower, there are hidden surprises.
During daytime, this uninteresting Plain Jane faithfully runs her chores and performs her monotonous duty as a TV and radio broadcast antenna. Her unattractive white and orange uniform was made partly of scrapped US army tanks’ materials, and the colours were chosen to comply with the air-safety regulations.
Yet when evening comes, the characterless lady transforms herself into a tempestuous and unpredictable socialite butterfly. On the nights of all weekdays, she dresses herself in warm inviting orange of 180 rhinestones during winter, and a cool sweet white outfit during summer.
On the nights of Fridays and Saturdays (and some designated national holidays and memorial days), the lady drapes herself in her stunning diamond veil in 17 layers of 7 striking colours. Standing at the height of 333 metres, the proud woman sparkles like a queen in her multicolour jewels, dwarfing the other ultramodern developments of Tokyo with her prominent and fascinating presence. Facing her new rival in town- the Tokyo Skytree, this marvellous lady in her gorgeous glittering gown, still holds her head up high with uncompromising dignity and pride.
So tell me, can anyone resist a woman like this?
500 meters (11 minutes walk) from Onarimon Station (Mita Subway Line)
400 metres (9 minutes walk) from Akabanebashi Station (Oedo subway Line)
Main observatory at 150 meters (820 yen per ticket). Special observatory at 250 metres (additional 600 yen per ticket).
Both open from 9.00 a.m. to 9.45 p.m., no closing days.