A couple of days ago, I was reading through old June 2nd entries in Triumphs & Tribulations. The entry from Triumphs & Tribulations VII was one of significance. It was the day I ventured into Downtown Tokyo for the 1st time…and for a specific purpose. That brings me to this week’s moment in the Flashback Friday series: my Tokyo Tower debut.
How I first came across this moment? It all started when I arrived at Yokota Air Base a couple of weeks earlier on the Friday before Memorial Day. In my first week in Japan, I acclimated to the time difference and adjusted to life in the Far East. One of the things I did was research local attractions and places to visit in the Yujo Community Center. Tokyo Tower was one of those places. The Yujo provided very specific directions on how to get there. I set aside June 2, 2007 as the day I would make the trip down into the city and visit Tokyo Tower. And that’s what I did.
What it meant to me then? As I got off the Tokyo Metro’s Hibiya Line at Kamiyacho Station and walked towards the tower, I could see it and it was certainly both impressive and imposing. That first visit was certainly eye-opening. I got a chance to see Tokyo from high up and I was absolutely stunned by what I saw. It was such a big city…buildings everywhere for miles upon miles. It was during that visit that I resolved myself that I’d be doing a lot of venturing around the city over my 2 years (which ended up being 3 years).
What it means to me now? I haven’t been to Tokyo Tower since 2010 and it’s probably unlikely I’ll revisit since most observation of the city can be done via the massive Tokyo Skytree. That doesn’t mean that Tokyo Tower isn’t special to me. One of my favorite photos from my time in Tokyo features Tokyo Tower. Whenever I tweet about Tokyo on Twitter or post about it on Facebook and Instagram, I always use the 🗼 emoji. Of course, in my visits to Tokyo, I’m always able to orient myself based on where the iconic landmark is.