Tokyo Tower: Is It A Copy Of The Eiffel Tower?

The Tokyo Tower is one of the city’s most famous landmarks. Standing at 333m tall, it is one of the world’s tallest self-standing towers. When you first look at the tower, however, your instant first thought is “that looks an awful lot like the Eiffel Tower.” I thought exactly the same, so I decided to research Tokyo Tower to find out if it is actually a copy of the Eiffel Tower.

Is the Tokyo Tower a copy of the Eiffel Tower? Tokyo Tower is not a direct copy of the Eiffel Tower. The Eiffel Tower did provide a lot of aesthetic inspiration due to it being built 69 years before. However, Tokyo Tower was built as an antenna for TV stations, while the Eiffel Tower was originally built for its looks and observation decks.

While Tokyo Tower and the Eiffel Tower look very similar, there are actually quite a lot of differences. To really understand why Tokyo Tower isn’t a copy of the Eiffel Tower, we need to look into the history of the tower before we can identify how they are truly different.

Why Was The Tokyo Tower Built 

In the 1950s, TV was starting to become really popular in Japan, especially in Tokyo. The days of war were finally over and this new technology helped families relax and just forget, even if just temporarily. 

As TV became more popular, more and more broadcasting TV stations and channels were popping up in and around Tokyo. In order for these stations to actually premier their content onto people’s TVs, they needed to have a fairly tall antenna tower. 

With so many stations popping up, a group of people realised that the huge number of these antenna towers would cause eyesores for the city and its public. They came up with a solution, and that was to build one single tower that was so tall, that there wouldn’t be a need for any others.

This is where Tokyo Tower was created. The tower was designed by architect ‘Tachū Naitō’, a man with great knowledge of designing and building broadcast towers. 

While Tokyo Tower was built to serve as a TV antenna, it was also meant for the people. After the war, Japan needed something to bring everyone back together. Something that could spark the next step and the next generation.

In fact, a percentage of the steel used on Tokyo Tower is actually scrapped from damaged Japanese tanks used in World War 2. This shows how monumental and special this tower is to the city.

As of today, Tokyo Tower has different uses and attracts tourists for its amazing views. I have an article about seeing Mt Fuji From Tokyo Tower that you should definitely check out.

Why Tokyo Tower Is Different To Eiffel Tower

If you were asked to label the differences between Tokyo Tower and Eiffel Tower, you’d probably struggle for answers. The red and white paint on Tokyo Tower is probably the only main difference you can spot straight away.

However, there are a few differences when you look more closely. Let’s take a look at them!

The Height

The first difference between the two towers is the height, even if there is not much between them. Tokyo Tower measures about 333m, while the Eiffel Tower stands at 330m. Yeah… There really isn’t a huge difference in height between the two.

However, at the time of the Tokyo Tower construction, the Eiffel Tower stood only 300m tall. It is taller today due to the antenna that was added to it many years later.

This leads us to our next point…

The Original Purpose Of The Towers

Despite both of the towers having antennas today, their original purposes were different. Tokyo Tower’s original purpose was to be the sole important TV station antenna tower in Tokyo. On the other side of the world, the Eiffel Tower was built to show how far French engineering has come, by using the tower as an archway for the 1889 Paris exhibition.

Quite ironically, the tower’s purposes have switched purposes somewhat. Tokyo Tower is no longer being used as an antenna due to the Tokyo Skytree’s creation. This means Tokyo Tower’s main purpose is to attract tourists. While the Eiffel Tower is now used as an antenna.

Crazy how things can change over an amount of time.

The Number Of Things To Do

Both towers have things that are on offer apart from the observation decks themself. They both have restaurants and official merchandise shops that you can go to. However, that is pretty much where the options stop for the Eiffel Tower.

Tokyo Tower has so much on offer when compared to the Eiffel Tower. So much so, that they have a whole 4 story building underneath the tower itself with many different activities to take part in. 

I have an in-depth article talking about everything that’s inside Tokyo Tower that you should read.

The Similarities Of Tokyo Tower & The Eifell Tower

Despite this whole article being about how the two towers are different, there are still some obvious, and not-so-obvious similarities

Let’s get into them now.

The Looks

Let’s start with the most obvious similarity of them both, the looks and structure of the towers themselves. Anyone can see straight away that these two towers look extremely similar, if not identical

The only thing separating the looks from each other is the colour. Tokyo Tower was painted red and white to prevent itself from being a flight path hazard, while the Eiffel Tower stuck with the traditional colours used in French architecture. 

The Views

If you have been lucky enough to go to any of these towers, then you would know first-hand how amazing the views are. Both towers provide jaw-dropping views of their country’s capital city.

These towers provide views of the most famous cities in the world that wouldn’t have been possible to see before their existence. 

The Success

Most importantly, the final similarity of these two towers is the success they have brought to their city; and even their country. These two landmarks together bring in a total number of around 11 million tourists each year.


Tokyo Tower and Eiffel Tower are two of the most famous man-made landmarks on our planet and for good reason. At first glance, they can both look identical. However, when you look deeper into them, they really are quite different.

Each of the towers has its own purpose, its own history and its own story. 

Recent Posts