Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Tokyo Tower versus the Eiffel Tower ... Our Experiences

If you have ever visited the Eiffel Tower in Paris, you will have been struck by its enormous dimensions. We have walked up the Eiffel Tower and can say with some qualification that its a long way up. So on our holiday to Tokyo we had to go and see the Tokyo Tower, which is built in homage to its French cousin. We had read that it was even taller than the Eiffel Tower, so we were waiting to be knocked over by it.

What we noticed, as we approached the Tokyo Tower through winding streets from the direction of the Emporer's Palace, was that it was going to be challenged by the scale of the surroundings. In Paris, The Eiffel Tower stands in a beautifully open approach, with tailored gardens and radiating roads. In Tokyo, the Tokyo Tower stands within surrounding tower blocks in a mish-mash of roads and as a result seems to be far smaller than the Eiffel Tower. I think that not being able to climb up the Tokyo Tower helps to convince the brain that you are dealing with a smaller structure, but as the following figures will show the Japanese have it :-)

The Tokyo Tower stands 1,091 ft tall, compared to the Eiffel Tower at only 1,063 ft. The Weight of the towers are surprisingly different also, with the Eiffel Tower maxing at 7,300 tonnes and the Tokyo Tower weighs far less at just 4,000 tonnes ... Showing the difference in modern construction techniques and materials.

I have to mention the difference in the visitor experience. In my opinion the Eiffel Tower beats Tokyo hands down, with all of the historic grandeur that is presented on each level. Tokyo leans towards modernity, with a visitor lounge effect. The top layer of the Tokyo Tower was horrid and we walked around once and joined the queue to return to the more spacious lower level. The windows were smeared by greasy noses, rendering them impossible to photograph through. I would say don't bother paying the extra to go to the top.

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