If you visit Japan, how about going to visit tower structures where you can enjoy Japanese construction technology and views of the city?
1. Tokyo Skytree (Sumida-ku, Tokyo)
The tower structure that you shouldn’t miss is Tokyo Skytree (Sumida-ku, Tokyo), a familiar Tokyo tourist attraction that boasts the tallest stand-alone communication tower in the world (634 meters).
From the observation deck, just like the play on words that the numerical height implies (in Japanese 634 can be read as “musashi”), in one sweep you can see the historical Musashi region that covered modern Tokyo, Saitama, and eastern Kanagawa prefectures.
However, the height and the view are not the only points that can be made about this tower. You should also have a look at the construction technology. There is the base foundation that can withstand earthquakes and the strong forces of wind, and the central pillar that runs up from the ground to above the first observation deck that has the ability to reduce the sway of the tower as a counterweight. Because it is the “tallest in the world,” it is full of noteworthy construction that was in “uncharted territory,” such as the stacked steel technology. In particular, the stacked steel is a “special construction” that really met a “high level of precision,” and there are many things that can be learned, such as how they were prepared for changing weather conditions in the sky, and what kind of method they used to efficiently carry people and materials.
2. Abeno Harukas (Abeno-ku, Osaka)
If the Tokyo Skytree is representative of Tokyo, then the Abeno Harukas (Abeno-ku, Osaka), the tallest skyscraper in Japan, is representative of Osaka. It is a multi-purpose building that has such things as a department store with the largest sales area in Japan (the Abeno Harukas Kintestsu Main Store), the largest restaurant district in Japan (Abeno Harukas Dining), offices, a hotel (the Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel), and an art museum (the Abeno Harukas Art Museum). Right in the middle of a downtown area that has flourished there for a long time, and faced with the need to build something that completely used the site, there were a number of restraints on the construction work. For example, with just one gate to bring in 50,000 tons of steel and more than 80,000 cubic meters of concrete, how did they store it and in what order did they use it? With a short six-year construction period, how did they extend and reconstruct with a station facility still operating directly underneath, and without stopping the business of existing buildings? With the weight of each steel frame about 20 tons, how did they lift them in a place that is adjacent to roads with people and cars frequently coming and going, and just above a department store that was still open for business, etc.? These are topics that are full of much interest even if you are not a construction specialist.
3. the five-story pagoda at the Horyuji Temple (Ikaruga-cho, Ikoma-gun, Nara Prefecture)
If Tokyo Skytree and Abeno Harukas are buildings full of the “latest and best technology,” there is also a building that is full of the “ancient wisdom of the Japanese people.” It is the five-story pagoda at the Horyuji Temple (Ikaruga-cho, Ikoma-gun, Nara Prefecture), the oldest five-story pagoda in Japan, and the oldest existing wooden building in the world. It is also registered as a World Heritage Site.
It is 31.5 meters tall, and was built around the year 670. Since this pagoda contains remains of the Buddha, it is the most important building in this Buddhist temple. With a central pillar that runs up the entire structure, it has something in common with the Tokyo Skytree. The central pillar is supported by a large foundation stone that is at a depth of 1.5 meters underground. From the bottom, the five stories of the pagoda represent earth, water, fire, wind, and the sky, showing the Buddhist cosmic view with careful calculation. As for the sizes of the five overlapping roofs, they become gradually smaller going up each layer, and the highest roof is about half the size of the lowest roof. Going from the bottom to the top, the size of the pagoda also gradually becomes narrower.
This pagoda has both an elegant appearance, and is solid as a building, and after the passing of a thousand and several hundred years it is now known around the world as a building in active use. At the same time that it is the “oldest building technology,” it might be said that it is the “latest building technology.”
記事トップ画像出典：GO! GO! TOKYO SKY TREE
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