My wife said that it was the first time in her life that she has ever visited Tokyo Tower. I told her that I had been there at least three times and it was pretty boring. Little kids seem to like it. That's why we went.
One visit to Tokyo Tower if definitely enough. My wife said, "Yeah, you are a foreigner so you've been to Tokyo Tower. Japanese people don't go to Tokyo Tower."
Come to think of it, she's right.
Inside of Tokyo Tower was basically just foreigners; mostly westerners and Chinese folks. As well as a handful of students. The parking lot was basically empty and there was no line to get in...
But that's not why I am writing about Tokyo Tower... It is boring and way over-priced. Including parking, for the three of us, it cost over $70 (US) for less than an hour.... Tokyo Tower has the feel of a place that is going bankrupt.
Next year, the TV stations will all stop renting space on Tokyo Tower for broadcasting antennas. That is hurting their income....
It is also rumored that Tokyo Tower management lost a hundred million dollars on investing in golf club memberships in the late 1980's.
Today the management of Tokyo Tower is trying to do something to breathe life back into that place, but it just isn't happening. The place feels dusty and is dirty. It definitely has the feel of being rundown.
The shops and restaurants inside of Tokyo Tower were pretty second rate and, judging from the list of stores and restaurants, I gathered that their flagship shops were a Family-Mart convenience store and McDonald's... The McDonald's, I might add, was empty.
But the worst sign that Tokyo Tower is in desperate straits were two things that just shocked me:
They had a flea market inside the building on the very first floor, in front of the entrance selling junk! A flea market!? Are you kidding me? What would you think if you went into Disneyland and saw a flea market? You'd think the place was on their last legs! And, on the wall, there was a sign that said, "Shop and tenant space available. Tenants wanted."
You know, that's pretty bad.
When a tourist trap has no customers, no Starbucks, no quality dining, is advertising for tenants and actually allows a flea market on their first floor in prime space, then they are heading down the toilet really fast.
When Tokyo Sky-Tree opens up next year (Sky Tree is about twice as tall as Tokyo Tower) and it captures the people's imagination and becomes the symbol for Tokyo, then Tokyo Tower is done... Especially when it becomes Sky Tree and not Tokyo Tower being kicked over by Godzilla in the movies, then it probably will be time to rip Tokyo Tower down and sell it for scrap to China.
Go visit Tokyo Tower, while you still can.... Nah, on second thought, don't bother.
Sky Tree's Observation floor is more than four times higher than Tokyo Tower's