A view from the top: Tokyo Tower – Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo Tower – Tokyo, Japan

Continuing on from A view from the top: Campanile di San Marco, another tall attraction in another fantastic city, is Tokyo Tower.

A view from the top - Tokyo Tower in Japan.

Although not the world’s most famous tower, at 333m tall the Tokyo Tower is the world’s tallest, self-supporting steel tower. Not as iconic as the Eiffel Tower, Tokyoites are pretty proud of the fact that it is both taller and lighter than the famous Parisian landmark. While by day it may look like the love child of the Eiffel Tower and a candy cane, the Tokyo Tower does serve a function other than amusing tourists – it is used to broadcast signals for Japanese television and radio.

Pros – There’s live music up there. Also, in true Japanese fashion, the tower has its own mascots known as the Noppon Brothers. The Noppon Brothers look a bit like big pink tear drops and have their own interesting mottos

“Look at things with a hot heart with the cool touch”
and
“Start with small things and keep going on steady”.

Cons – Like all good attractions, you have to pay to enter (around ¥820 or roughly £6 at time of writing). I hear that there is another building in Tokyo where you can take in a decent view of the city for free (sorry not sure where!)

A view from the Tokyo Tower in Japan - part 2 of my A View From The Top series.

Surprises – I guess the Noppon Brothers are a bit of surprise – until you remember you are in Japan and that characters aren’t just for children in a land where even businessmen have kawaii phone charms.

Verdict – It’s worth a look if you’re into your cities and landmarks, makes a change from the countless photos taken of the New York skyline, although if I get back to Japan I will seek out new heights – perhaps if I’m rich enough I’ll go stay at the Park Hyatt and have my own ‘Lost in Translation‘ moment!

A view from the Tokyo Tower in Japan - part 2 of my A View From The Top series.

A view from the top: Campanile di San Marco – Venice, Italy

Campanile di San Marco – Venice, Italy

Like the tourist masses, when I visit a new city I enjoy ascending a tall, famous landmark and absorbing the view. Cities are always trying to out-do each other with the world’s tallest building titles so there are plenty of these attractions on offer. So with this in mind I write my first proper travel blog post – A view from the top (just like that film where Gwyneth Paltrow plays an air hostess).

First on the list is Campanile di San Marco in Venice, Italy!

Campanile di San Marco in Venice, Italy. Read my travel series - A View From The Top.

Situated in St Mark’s Square and standing over 300ft tall, The Campanile di San Marco is one of Venice’s most well-known attractions. It offers fantastic views of the square and beyond, over the terracotta roof tops and across the lagoon to the neighbouring islands. An ideal time to visit would be as soon as it opens (9am at the time of writing), when the queues are relatively small. Costing around €8 per person, you travel up and down via elevator, ideal for those with walking difficulties. It does get a bit squashy at the top but the view is decent whichever spot you stand in.

Pros – There’s a pleasant breeze at the top which is particularly welcoming on a hot summers day in June.

Cons – Other people. The queue on the way up wasn’t too bad for us but the queue coming back down was a bit of a nuisance.

The view from the Campanile di San Marco in Venice, Italy. Read my travel series - A View From The Top.

Surprises – There is a small shop at the top. This may not surprise some people, but given that it isn’t that spacious up there I didn’t think a tacky little tourist shop was that necessary!

Verdict – Definitely worth a look, Venice is one of the more picturesque and unique cities to view from above.

The view over St Mark's Square from the Campanile di San Marco in Venice, Italy. Read my travel series - A View From The Top.