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Historic Tokyo Tower A Symbol Of Japan’s Growing Olympic Excitement

By Todd Kortemeier | Nov. 13, 2018, 10:40 a.m. (ET)


The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 run July 24-Aug. 9, 2020, and while they may be nearly 20 months away there’s a lot to learn on your quest to becoming the ultimate fan. Each Tuesday leading up to the Games, TeamUSA.org will present a nugget you should read about – from athletes to watch to storylines to follow to Japanese culture and landmarks – as part of “Tokyo 2020 Tuesday.” Follow along on social media with the hashtag #Tokyo2020Tuesday.

With its brilliant orange-and-white color scheme and strong resemblance to the Eiffel Tower, Tokyo Tower is an international attraction that is hard to mistake.

Expect to see many stunning shots of it — and from it — during the broadcast of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

The tower has played a role in the buildup to the Games, taking on the colors of the Olympic rings on the night of July 24, 2018, marking exactly two years to go until the Opening Ceremony. And back when Tokyo was just a candidate city, the tower displayed a hopeful “2020” message across the windows of its observation deck.



But Tokyo Tower is more than just a pretty sight. It is a functional radio and television transmission tower, though the taller Tokyo Skytree now handles most of Japan’s digital transmissions. Tokyo Tower was built in 1958 to be the transmitter for NHK, the public broadcast system of Japan. At 1,092 feet tall, it is the second-tallest structure in Japan.

Visitors can’t go quite all the way to the top, but they can visit one of two observation decks, one at 490 feet and one at 819 feet. There is also a four-story mall located at the base of the tower called FootTown that houses shops, restaurants, and more.

As for Tokyo Tower’s signature color — international orange, same as the Golden Gate Bridge — the massive structure requires 7,400 gallons of paint to keep it looking good. It takes about a year to paint the entire structure, with the next coat due in 2019.

That will ensure that Tokyo Tower, and the city it oversees, will be looking its best come time for the Games.

Todd Kortemeier is a sportswriter, editor and children’s book author from Minneapolis. He is a contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.