Fukuoka City
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LastUpDate: June 1, 2010

Hakata Culture vol.41

Fukuoka Tower: Easy as 123, 234

Fukuoka Tower Picture

The Fukuoka Tower in the Seaside Momochi district of Sawara Ward has become the symbol of Fukuoka City and its most famous landmark. All a photographer has to do is fit the tower, the nearby dome, and the seashore into the same shot and natives and out-of-towners alike will instantly recognize the site as Fukuoka.

The tower was built in 1989 for that year’s Asia-Pacific Exposition, commonly referred to as Yokatopia, to commemorate Fukuoka City’s 100th anniversary as a municipality. The idea of moving the broadcast tower for NHK and the commercial television stations there had been long discussed, and the plans were finalized when the discussion of building the tower arose. The Fukuoka Tower has thus become a unique structure in Japan, combining the roles of a television broadcast tower, a symbol of the Exposition and a tourist destination with panoramic views of the area.

At 234 meters high, it is Japan’s highest seaside tower. There’s a five-story observation deck 123 meters above the ground. It has a perfect triangular shape, and its exterior surface is covered by 8,000 half-mirrors. The municipal symbol is perched at the top.

Some people might wonder why such a tall structure was built in the city. After all, the airport is very close to the downtown area, just a 5-minute subway ride from Hakata Station and 11 minutes from the Tenjin district. It might seem that according to the height restrictions in aviation law it would be an obstacle to aircraft takeoffs and landings, but the tower was considered an exception back then. Because the Fukuoka Tower does not stand in the airport approach corridor, and it also serves the practical function of a television broadcast tower.
The tower is always beautiful when lit up at night, but the illumination is especially enchanting during the special displays in February for Valentine’s Day, in July for Tanabata, and in December for Christmas. Futa, a special cartoon character to represent the tower, was created in 2009 for the 20th anniversary of the tower’s opening. There’s a café and gift shop on the first floor, and the Lover’s Sanctuary at the top. How can you pass up a visit when there’s so much to see?

Fukuoka Tower Web site

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123、234 覚えやすい福岡タワー




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