When the tower called “Tokyo Sky Tree” is completed, it will be 634 meters tall and become the tallest among antenna towers in the world. http://www.tokyo-skytree.jp/english/
● Why 634 meters?
That’s partly because they want to build a higher tower than the TV tower, which is scheduled for completion at the end of this year in Guangzhou, China. It will be 610 meters tall.
The other reason is how to read the number “634”.
6 can be pronounced as “mu”, 3 can be pronounced as “sa”, 4 can be pronounced as “shi” in Japanese. So 634 can be pronounced “Musashi”, which means the area extending from Saitama, to Tokyo, to Kanagawa. And the Sky Tree will be stood in the area where is formerly known as Musashi.
You’ll be able to command a panoramic view of Musashi from the tower. As soon as you visit its observatory, the scene of Edo period streets will come out in front of you. And your heart will go out to the Tokyo’s history… They put that much ardor in the number of “634”.
● Tourism department will launch.
Sumida-ku, a factory town which is located at the foot of the Sky Tree. Its local block associations, business entities and those who are in charge of political affairs have been having a monthly meeting. They discuss the tower-centered regional revitalization project. The construction of the Sky Tree began in July 2008. Sumida-ku expects that the annual number of visitors will be 552 million and it will generate 88 billion yen (approximately US$880 million).
Sumida-ku carried out a questionnaire survey through internet last year and As many as 80% of respondents answered that they would like to visit the tower at least once.
Then the regional government became serious about attracting tourists. Sumida-ku will establish the tourism department in its city office this coming April. Also they are planning to build a memorial hall which commemorates Katsushika Hokusai. Hokusai is an internationally-respected Edo Period ukiyo-e master who was born in that region.
● A map for construction workers.
The chamber of regional revitalization made maps for tower construction workers. Those maps contain information about local restaurants and are put in a corner of a building office. Workers can go home with copies. What a good arrangement it is!
● Fanzine “Sky Tree Report”
A magazine with pictures of a construction site has been published.
You can enjoy seeing the tower’s “growth record” by reading it. There are pictures that was photographed the site from a number of angles. Also it tells you good photo spots to film the tower under construction.
That magazine is edited by a man who used to live another area in Tokyo. He moved to Sumida-ku because he wanted to see whole process of the tower construction. He’s going to sell some copies at Tokyo Anime Fair at the end of this March.
● The mascot character of Sky Tree
A tourism information center was set up near the tower site. It’s called “Oshinari-kun No Ie” (“Oshinari’s House”).
What’s Oshinari? It’s a Mascot character of the Sky Tree. It promotes the tower district called Oshiage and Narihira-bashi.
Local volunteer staff are stationed in Oshinari’s House and they serve you free green tea and cold water, paid coffee, beer and refreshments. You can see progress situation there and they give out local restaurant maps and free information magazines. You can take a rest and gather informations about local shopping areas at Oshinari’s House.
*** Oshinari’s profile ****
“Oshinari” represents “Oshiage” and “Narihira-bashi”, the tower district. Its name consists of the initial Chinese characters of those place-names (Oshi: 押, Nari; 業).
<Concept of this character>
Oshinari is designed to look like Ariwarano Narihira, which is responsible for its name. Narihira is a poet from the Heian period, about a thousand years ago. It wears an ancient style hat inspired by the tower.
Born at Oshinari’s House and raised in the tower district.
Cheerful, vital and genuine.
Writing Japanese poems (waka), Playing with cats in a shopping area
Inari-zushi (a type of sushi), dango (Japanese dumpling), shijimi (basket clam… a kind of shellfish)
Tokyo Sky Tree is very accessible from both Narita and Haneda Airport. Local residents, so called “Edokko” (true-born Tokyoites or people who were born in downtown Tokyo) welcome you with their sophisticated hospitality. We Japanese treasure conformity (和; wa) and a circle of people (輪; wa). We take a great deal of “wa” (conformity and a circle of people) so we respect cultural diversity.
Welcome to the Tokyo Sky Tree!
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