I was writing a month ago about the Tokyo skyscraper history, mentioning the Building Standard Law, a law which was in effect in Tokyo until 1963, forbidding the construction of commercial buildings taller than 31 meters. A similar law is still effective in Kyoto, enacted to preserve the scenery of the old city. What’s more, recently this law became even more restrictive, the maximum height allowed for buildings being reduced from 45 to 31 meters…
So, with its height of 131 meters, the Kyoto Tower will remain for the foreseeable future the tallest construction in Kyoto. The fact is, the public opinion was divided since the construction was approved (in 1963), some people feeling that the modern design of the tower will adversely affect the city’s traditional feeling… But the the majority of the locals felt that a bit of modernity would actually help the city and its economy, so the tower was built.
My feeling? I disagree with the tower’s detractors. Firstly, I like this tower. Secondly, Kyoto is a large city and this area isn’t a traditional one. And with the new Kyoto Station next to it, the place looks and feels modern, in touch with the rest of the country…
Sometimes, in days like the one when I took this photo, the tower itself seems to be disappearing in thin air, shying away from this controversy…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: