Kyoto Toert:Candle Tower

April 13, 2009

by iwata yuki
2008uh0009 Yuki Iwata
2008uj0058 Shoma Horikawa

Kyoto is built on mostly level ground with a gradual incline forward the north. There are very few high-rise buildings in the city because building height is regulated strictly to preserve the landscape. Therefore, you can see Kyoto Tower from anywhere in the city when you climb a hill with an open view.

The shape of Kyoto Tower, made in imitation of a candle, stands out noticeably. It’s like a lighthouse. The height is 100 meters from the ground to the observation deck on the top floor. From the deck you can enjoy a 360° panoramic view of Kyoto. If the weather is fine, you can see Osaka. To the northwest you can see Mt. Hiei. On the left you can see a green park which is a villa for Hongan-ji Temple, called Shousei-en or Kikokutei.

History and Construction of Kyoto Tower

In 1961 it was decided to move the Central Post Office in Kyoto, and the idea took hold in the city to build a tower on the site of the old post office. The construction of Kyoto Tower was undertaken by Professor Ryo Takahashi of Kyoto University, who belonged to the Department of Engineering Architecture. The tower was designed by the architect Mamoru Yamada and has nine stories and three sub-floors which act as its foundation.

Unlike the Eiffel Tower and Tokyo Tower, Kyoto Tower does not use a steel frame. Professor Takahashi, in planning the tower and the tower building, decided to use a monocoque structure, often used in building ships and airplanes, where the chassis is integral with the body. This does not use a framework at all. The cylinder-shaped body of the tower is made up of special steel plates ranging in thickness from 12 to 22 millimeters. Kyoto Tower has survived typhoons and intense earthquakes so far because of this building method.

Trivia about Kyoto Tower

In the science fiction movie “Godzilla vs. Machine Godzilla,” a scene of Kyoto Tower being destroyed by the heat rays of Gozilla is included. In addition, Kyoto Tower collapses during an earthquake in the popular comic “Japan Sinks” (Nihon chinbotsu).

Kyoto Tower has its own mascot doll named “Tawawa-Chan.” The mascot was introducted in December 2004. Tawawa-chan is a girl and comes from the neighborhood in front of the JR Kyoto Station. She is fair-complexioned and smart and has a quiet personality. Her hobby is watching Kyoto’s view from the top of Kyoto Tower. Her favorite word is “sincerity” (magokoro). She loves taller boys and admires maiko-san, the young Japanese dancing girls of Kyoto. She is good at playing the koto, a Japanese zither with thirteen strings.

mpressions about Kyoto Tower

We talked to people who are working inside Kyoto Tower. One worker told us, “A lot foreigners come to Kyoto Tower, and they have a great time, and a lot of people have lunch or dinner.”

In our opinion, if you arrive at Kyoto Tower Station you can see Kyoto Tower first. If you go to the tower in the morning or afternoon, you can see Kyoto clearly. We recommend you go to Kyoto Tower after 7 p.m. because you can enjoy Kyoto’s night view, and can eat food inside the tower.

Individual Rates
Adult / 770, High school student /620, Elementary junior high school student /520
Child (over 3 years old)/ 150, Physically Disabled / 350

Group Rate
For groups of at least 10, each adult /600, high school student /450
Elementary junior high school student /350

Shichijo-sagaru Karasuma-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto city
For reservations and information contact Kyoto Tower (apply early for groups)

Telephone number 075-361-3215


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