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From Value One, Winter 2004-2005 No. 07  

The Tokyo Tower, measuring 333 meters to the top of its lightning rod, is a steel-frame structure weighing about 3,700 tonnes. Completed on December 23, 1958, the Tokyo Tower is still the tallest self-supporting steel tower in the world. It stands on a site of approximately 22,500 sq. meters in a corner of Shiba Park in Minato Ward.
The massive project of erecting the tower was successfully accomplished in only 19 months at a time when no large construction machines were available. Supporting this amazing feat were highly skilled scaffolding men known as tobi . Once the foundation work was finished and the steel frame was ready to be constructed, it was time for the tobi to play the central role.

 
Installing the antenna, the final major feature of the Tokyo Tower construction project. (1958)
Proud tobi , confident of their skills, were mobilized from all over Japan and teamed up under the management of Seita Kurosaki, founder of Kurosaki Construction Co., Ltd. (located in Taito Ward, Tokyo), and his son Saburo Kurosaki, now president of the company. "One of the most difficult jobs on the project was assembling the tower legs. At a height of 40 meters above the ground, we found 1.5-cm gaps between the steel bars, which wouldn't fit well. We overcame this difficulty by making precise adjustments to the holes in the steel bars," recalls Saburo Kurosaki. The huge structure tolerated no error, not even of 1.5 cm. But there were no further deviations during the rest of the steel frame assembling. "Today, we would use cranes, but I don't think they would have dramatically shortened the period of construction. Tobi in those days were so highly skilled and proud of themselves."

About half a century has passed since the Tokyo Tower was opened to the public, and 135 million people have visited the tower. Today, mini-sessions of live music are held every Wednesday evening in the observatory to attract commuters on their way home from downtown Tokyo. Opening hours have been extended to 10:00 p.m. so that dating couples can enjoy an extended night view of Tokyo.


Live music in "Club 333".


[Tokyo Tower]
http://www.tokyotower.co.jp/
4-2-8 Shiba Koen, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Tel: +81-3-3433-5111
Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., open year-round
Admission (for the Main Observatory): ¥820 for adults, ¥460 for elementary school and junior high school students and ¥310 for infants.
A five-minute walk from Akabanebashi Station on the Toei Oedo Line or a seven-minute walk from either Onarimon Station on the Toei Mita Line or Kamiyacho Station on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line (and an approximately 15-minute walk from Metal One's headquarters).

There is a proposal to build a new tower in the 600-meter class, far surpassing the Tokyo Tower. NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) and five commercial TV stations in Tokyo have launched the New Tower Promotion Project in preparation for the start of full-scale terrestrial digital broadcasts scheduled for 2011, while the wards of Taito, Toshima and Adachi in Tokyo , as well as Saitama City , have declared themselves as candidates to host the new tower. If realized, the new tower will become the world's tallest structure, surpassing the CN Tower (553 meters) in Toronto, Canada. On the other hand, there is also a proposal to continue using the Tokyo Tower after increasing its height by 27 meters to 360 meters.

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