Tuesday, 10th June 2014
In Events In Japan,
Tokyo Tower to illuminate for Tanabata
Tokyo Tower may no longer be the tallest structure in Japan's capital city - that title is now held by the awe-inspiring Tokyo Skytree, which stole the accolade in 2012 - but you can still recapture some of the romance from days gone by when you visit this spectacular building on July 7th, when it will be illuminated by thousands of LED lights for the Tanabata festival.
Honouring an ancient Chinese folktale about a pair of tragic lovers - represented in the cosmos by the Vega and Altair stars - the story goes that these two people were destined only to be with each other on one day of the year.
For this is when the two heavenly bodies in question appear to cross the Milky Way and be united once more, on July 7th.
In order to commemorate the tale, the locals celebrate by holding the Tanabata Festival, which sees Tokyo Tower take on a vibrant shade of blue in honour of the ancient story.
Around 27,000 individual LEDs are hung from its steel struts to recreate the splendour of our galaxy, and the two lovers will be seen crossing the Milky Way in the middle, in accordance with the legend.
If you're planning to use July 7th as an excuse to visit one of Tokyo's most iconic landmarks, be sure to explore the quiet and sophisticated Shiba-koen district in which it stands. Among the traditional restaurants and bars that characterise the area, you will also discover the stunning Shiba Park, which is home to the gorgeous temple of Zojo-ji.
However, if it's a great view of Tokyo you're after, be sure to climb the Tokyo Skytree, which pierces the skyline at a height of 634 metres and holds the record as the tallest tower structure in the entire world.
Written by Mark Smith
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Tokyo Skytree gets fast-track ticket (27th February 2015)