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Why Is Tokyo Tower Famous? The Recurrent Setting from Anime Explained!

I know you see this gigantic orange-and-white structure frequently in anime. But why?

Tokyo Tower at night as seen in Tokyo Mew Mew New
Tokyo Mew Mew New, Season 1, Episode 1 || Credits: Tokyo Mew Mew New IMDb

Even if you only watch anime with fantasy or space settings, you’ve likely gotten a glimpse of Tokyo Tower or an imposing structure inspired by it. This tower is often present regardless of the anime genre and frequently in impactful moments.

I used to wonder why the big events always happened there. But now that I know more about Tokyo Tower, I understand why creators use it so much!

Today I’ll give you a brief explanation about it because all otakus deserve to know.

Why Is Tokyo Tower Famous?

Tokyo Tower during the day
redlegsfan21, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Japanese Radio Tower, widely known as Tokyo Tower, was built in 1958. At the time, it was the country’s leading broadcasting solution to the growing demand for transmission towers. So it became a symbol of Japan’s postwar economic boom.

Located in the center of Tokyo, the structure stands 333 meters (around 1092 ft) high and is painted in white and international orange for air safety regulations.

The tower is a famous Japanese landmark for its historical meaning, dimensions, and beautiful view. It was considered the tallest tower in the world for decades.

It also attracts millions of travelers annually, helping the economy as tourism is another important income source for Japan.

View of Tokyo Tower from the main deck
ブルーノ・プラス, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The tower has two observatory decks. The first one is at 150 meters (490 ft), with a glass floor that allows you to see the city under your feet. The second is at the top, from which you can even see Mt. Fuji on clear days!

But don’t worry if heights aren’t your thing.

You can still enjoy the museums, restaurants, and stores and see the tower from the safety of firm land at Foot Town. This is the complex built under the tower with a few floors.

Why Does Tokyo Tower Look Like the Eiffel Tower?

Instead of having several TV towers across Tokyo, the government decided to build one massive tower in the center with a strong signal covering the entire city.

The designer sought inspiration from other landmarks, especially Western ones — since the tower would inevitably stand out in the skyline.

The Eiffel Tower, the highest lattice tower in the world until then, was chosen as the model for the project. That’s why Tokyo Tower carries a considerable resemblance to the Parisian monument!

However, the Japanese tower surpassed the other in height by nine meters (almost 30 ft). It would have been even taller were it not for the lack of resources.

Tokyo Tower in Anime!

Tokyo Tower as seen in the anime movie Weathering with You
Weathering with You (2019), Movie || Credits: Weathering with You IMDb

Tokyo Tower is famous for being the set of iconic scenes in anime for otakus like me.

For example, Hikaru, Umi, and Fuu, from Magic Knight Rayearth, were with their classmates in Tokyo Tower when they got isekai’d to Cephiro.

Many curious scenes occurred on the tower (or fictional buildings resembling it).

It has played host to decisive battles and was even destroyed a few times. Even when it only briefly appears in the background, Tokyo Tower connects fantasy and the real world.

Anime in Tokyo Tower!

Fleet of km Kanko Bus for JTB Sunrise Tour, with
Bus with "Tokyo One Piece Tower" advertise || Comyu, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Tokyo One Piece Tower indoor theme park offered several incredible attractions across most floors of Foot Town from 2015 to 2020. It was among the top ten amusement parks in Japan.

Unfortunately, the park closed permanently due to the pandemic, but otakus can still enjoy the collaboration events held to promote other anime. They involve games and merchandise for sale.

Amazing, Isn’t It?

Given its importance to Japanese history and otaku culture, I recommend you go to Tokyo Tower and see it for yourself if visiting Japan. Imagine seeing the place where your favorite characters fought with your own eyes.

Oh, and several other real-life locations in Japan often appear in anime aside from Tokyo Tower. Would you like to learn more about them?

My friends in the Otaku Community often share their stories. You can also tell me what places I should cover next while there.

Images from IMDB and Wikimedia Commons

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