Friday, June 18, 2010

Kyōto Tower 京都タワー

Designed by Makoto Tanahashi, Kyōto tower is a steel observation tower which is also the tallest structure in Kyōto, with its observation deck at 100 meters (328 ft) and its spire at 131 meters (430 ft). The tower was completed to correspond with the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and features a unique interior structure that consists of many stacked steel rings covered with lightweight steel sheets, setting it apart from most towers which are lattice frames (such as Tokyo Tower). The tower was designed to resemble a Japanese candle, so the steel sheets were welded together and painted white to create this effect. The Tower has been the subject of controversy since it was in its planning phase, in part because of its hefty price tag but also because many believed the needle-shaped spire was too modern looking for the ancient capital. Some visit Kyōto seeking an elusive sense of old Japan and are surprised by the modern glass and steel station and the neighboring steel tower. Others, including myself, believe they add a touch of modernity to a city otherwise in danger of becoming foreign to the rest of contemporary Japan. View is from an observation deck in Kyōto station overlooking the tower.

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