Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Tower! It is the second-tallest artificial structure in Japan, measuring over 1,000 feet in height! Tokyo Tower! Located in the beautiful region of Shiba Park, Minato, Tokyo, Japan! Tokyo Tower! It's obsolete!

Sadly, on July 24, 2011 Japan made the switch from analog to digital television. Tokyo Tower isn't just for show--it broadcasts signals for such high-profile companies as: Fuji TV, NHK, and TV Asahi. In May of 2012, digital broadcasting will be handled by the Tokyo Sky Tree, currently the tallest artifical structure in Japan. Its digital broadcasting will sync with its public opening, expected to be on May 22nd, 2012.

Though Tokyo Tower lobbied to keep the big television stations, it simply does not have the height to broadcast the frequency of waves for digital television to heavily forested areas or areas surrounded by high-rises. All of the big players have already decided to move their terrestrial broadcasts to Tokyo Sky Tree, leaving Tokyo Tower with slim pickings, mostly FM radio stations.

It's really too bad, because this means Tokyo Tower will not carry the cultural weight that it used to. The tower has appeared in media of all sorts since its inception and construction. It exists as an iconic structure, much like the Eiffel Tower in France. It is a frequent staple in Japanese Kaiju films and also the "subject" of the Japanese Academy Award-winning film Always Sanchome no Yuhi (ALWAYS 三丁目の夕日), which takes place during its original construction.

One thing that Tokyo Sky Tree will be lacking is Tokyo Tower's cool attractions, located at its base. The four-story FootTown includes an aquarium, a wax museum, and the Guiness Book of World Records museum. Pictured below: The Last Supper (of Wax).

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