With the dynamic in visitors’ trend and motives shifting in an unprecedented manner, the need for a routine revision of visitor management plans and study of visitors’ diversity and behavior with regards to any particular destination is more so than ever. The following report looks into Tokyo Tower, an observation tower located in Tokyo, the capital city of Japan, and its various aspects which are crucial in luring visitors from all around the world. It will further expand into brief discernment of its strengths and weaknesses as compared to its likely competitor in tourism; Tokyo Skytree. The report concludes with key recommendations on what the destination can manage to do in the near future, to attract more visitors, deliver high end visitor experience, with due consideration on preserving the destination’s landscape and authenticity.
Helmed as the symbol of Tokyo as an international city, Tokyo Tower has been in existence since 1958 and stands tall at 333 meters (1092 feet). Led under construction by architect Tachu Naito which took 18 months and 220,000 people in manpower, the Tokyo Tower was primarily built as an observation and broadcasting tower
Tokyo Tower has two observation decks at 145 and 250 meters respectively. Online reservation is only available for the upper deck and tourists have to purchase a ticket by getting on queue to gain access to the lower deck, which can be a hassle during high peak business hours. Regardless, the site is kept very clean despite heavy visitors and provides terrific scenery through the 360 view of the city, and tourists can see the Rainbow Bridge and even Mt Fuji on perfect weather conditions, providing a peaceful experience. The tower also houses restaurants and souvenir shops from where tourists can buy souvenirs in the Tokyo Tower theme.
The site has been visited by more than 150 million visitors since its opening in 1958 and has been a major site of attraction for tourists visiting the city of Tokyo. The unique selling points of Tokyo Tower can be narrowed down to the following:
Attractions: The site houses many attractions at the Foot Town located below the tower. One of the largest aquariums in the world, Tokyo Tower Aquarium and a theme park after a popular anime series “One Piece” to name a few.
Build: Tokyo Tower was designed after the Eiffel Tower and despite being 13 meters taller; it is almost half its weight at 4000 metric tons.
Visitor Experiential Motives
Epistemic Curiosity: There is a huge curiosity over Tokyo Tower among many tourists, as the tower was heavily inspired and built in resemblance to the world famous Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. Tokyo Tower not only surpasses the Eiffel tower in height, but it also weighs 4000 tons which is 3,300 tons less than the Eiffel Tower
Romantic Getaway: As mentioned earlier, Tokyo tower was inspired by the design of the Eiffel Tower, which is an emblem of romance and attracts mostly honeymooners and couples
· Social Affiliation: Tokyo Tower might have been growing popular amongst couples, but the tower has always been a great destination for social affiliations; whether it be with family or work colleagues. Thanks to the observation decks, coupled with the Foot Town attractions and refreshment lounges inside the tower, Tokyo Tower has been a great choice for visitors looking for social gatherings and family bonding.
factors Affecting tokyo Tower
Broadcasting: Tokyo Tower depends on the tourist fare and broadcasting services for its income. However, as the need for higher frequency waves became more uncompromising, many stations switched to Tokyo Skytree
· Name Value: After the construction of Tokyo Sky Tree which stands at 634 meters, Tokyo Tower officially lost its place as the tallest structure in Japan, and with it the name value it had associating to a record which had a certain appeal to some visitors
· Location: The Tokyo tower doesn’t have any railway line providing direct access to the site
In search for competition, Tokyo Tower doesn’t have to go too far. After opening its gates to the public in 2012, Tokyo Skytree officially surpassed Tokyo Tower as the tallest structure in Japan with a whopping 301 meters difference in height. Moreover, Tokyo Skytree also took over broadcasting services from Tokyo Tower for some stations, taking away some revenue with it.
· Tokyo Tower has its place in the popular culture as the structure has been fictionally demolished several times in movies by King Kong and Godzilla.
· With a history dating back to 1958 and signifying the start of modern era Japan, the structure holds a significant place in the history of Japan and its people.
One Piece Franchise:
Tokyo Tower officially partnered with the popular manga and anime series One Piece in 2015, the same year a large scale One Piece theme park opened at Foot Town, Tokyo Tower with the name Tokyo One Piece Tower
Despite Tokyo Skytree deeming fit to broadcast higher frequency waves for modern digital and radio stations, Tokyo Tower still has affiliation with many organizations. Tokyo FM and TV Tokyo are some of the few organizations who depend on the tower’s sustainability as moving to Tokyo Skytree would increase competition along with broadcasting prices.
Many visitors of Tokyo Tower have mentioned that the walk to the tower to be very peaceful and not at all a waste of time, as the tower is surrounded by parks and temples. These surrounding monuments provide a great view of the tower itself and have largely benefited from the massive amount of visitors the tower attracts.
With Japan hosting the 2020 Olympics, Tokyo Tower has a great opportunity in its hand in terms of increasing its visitors and gaining worldwide attention. With that in mind, it is sure to face stiff competition from Tokyo Sky Tree and needs to up its game in time for the Olympics. Though the Tokyo Tower holds a historic significance in Japanese culture and society, the following recommendations can prove beneficial in attracting more visitors and further enhance its identity in the world:
1. Tokyo Tower has been featured numerous times in several kaiju (giant monster) films where the structure is destroyed by pop culture fictional giants like Godzilla and King Kong
2. Tokyo tower provides online reservation only for visitors opting for the main deck observation. It means the main deck visitors do not have to wait in long queues to buy tickets for the observation, in comparison to the lower deck observation, where the visitors have the option of buying tickets on site only. Thus, Tokyo tower can minimize visitor’s hassle and help save them time by providing online reservation for both lower and main deck observation.
Tokyo tower may have been seconded in terms of its place as the highest tower in Japan by the Tokyo Sky Tree, but is still holds a place in people’s hearts, given its rich history and emotional attachment. Despite losing the name value, the site still provides numerous attractions for visitors that can help provide exceptional tourist experiences and has not lost its significance in the Japanese culture. Nevertheless, there are places for improvement to be made by Tokyo Tower management to boost visitors. With the upcoming 2020 Olympics and the surge of foreign visitors it is about to bring, Tokyo tower should promote it using the pop culture reference it has with kaiju films and provide online reservation and details to improve visitor quantity and experience management.
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