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TOKYO TOWER
Tokyo Tower is a tower in Shiba Park, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan located at 3539'30?N, 13944'43?E. It is 333 m or 1093 ft tall, making it the world's highest self-supporting iron tower and the tallest structure in Tokyo. The design of the tower is based on the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. Despite being 9 meters taller than the Eiffel Tower, Tokyo Tower only weighs about 4000 tons, whereas the Eiffel Tower weighs about 10100 tons.

It is painted in white and international orange according to air safety regulations. From dusk to 12 PM, the tower is brilliantly illuminated in orange. The lighting is occasionally changed for special events, the Tower was lit in neon green. As it is mainly surrounded by low-rise buildings, Tokyo Tower can be seen from many points in the central wards of Tokyo, such as Roppongi Hills, Tokyo Bay, the east gardens of the Imperial Palace, and the southern promenade of Shinjuku Station. Tokyo Tower is a member of the World Federation of Great Towers.

The history of the tower began as follows. In the postwar boom of the 1950s, Japan was looking for a monument to symbolize its ascendancy as a global economic powerhouse. Looking to the Occident for inspiration, the Tokyo Government decided to erect its own Eiffel Tower. One of the tower's key early proponents was politician and Sankei Shimbun co-founder Hisakichi Maeda. The tower was completed by the Takenaka Corporation in 1958 at a total cost of 2.8 billion.

Maeda's son, Fukusaburo Maeda, later became president of Nihon Denpato, the tower's operating company. In 1988, at the height of the Japanese asset price bubble, he established a subsidiary to set up a golf course project in Chiba Prefecture. Although the golf course opened in 1995, it failed to make a return on its profits due to an economic recession in Japan, and the company ended up deeply in debt and losing money. As a result Tokyo Tower was mortgaged for 10 billion yen in 2000.

The planned opening of the taller Sumida Tower in 2011 is expected to further depress Tokyo Tower's profits as broadcasters move to the new tower. Although it chiefly functions as a radio and television broadcasting antenna, the Tower is best known as a tourist destination, though it is decried by some as overpriced and inconveniently located, and as having poor amenities. The first floor houses an aquarium, home to 50,000 fish, the third floor is a wax museum and an attraction called the Mysterious Walking Zone, and the fourth floor a Trick Art Gallery. There are also two observatory floors, the main observatory (at 150 m) and the so-called "special observatory" (at 250 m); both afford a spectacular 360 degree view of Tokyo and, if the weather is clear, Mt. Fuji.


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