Compared to other large cities, the vertical development of Tokyo begun relatively recently: while in New York the first building over 200 meters was built in 1909 (the Metropolitan Life Tower), up until the beginning of 1960’s in Tokyo there was a law in effect (the Building Standard Law) that was forbidding the development of commercial buildings taller than 31 meters and residential building over… 20 meters.
After Tokyo Tower was inaugurated in 1958, it became clear that the citizens of Tokyo wanted taller buildings, so in 1963 the law was abolished and, only one year later, the New Otani Hotel was inaugurated: it was 72 meters tall and the tallest building in Japan, but it wasn’t a skyscraper… The first skyscraper in Tokyo (and in Japan) appeared in 1968, with the completion of the 156 meters-tall Kasumigaseki Building. Today, the tallest skyscraper in Tokyo is the Tokyo Midtown which, with a height of 248 meters, was inaugurated in 2007.
Here they are, both these landmark buildings, photographed from the World Trade Center Building, a building that is in itself part of Tokyo’s skyscraper history because it is the skyscraper that, with a height of 162 meters, surpassed the Kasumigaseki Building in 1970…
The Kasumigaseki Building is the wide building on the upper-right part of the photo, while the Tokyo Midtown is the blue-brown skyscraper on the upper left.
View from World Trade Center Building, Minato, Tokyo
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: Itsukushima Shrine Taka-Butai