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Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

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The , also referred to as Tokyo City Hall or Tochō (都庁) for short, houses the headquarters of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government
Politics of Tokyo
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is headed by a publicly elected governor and metropolitan assembly. Its administrative structure is similar to that of Japan's other prefectures. The headquarters building is in the ward of Shinjuku...

, which governs not only the 23 wards, but also the cities, towns and villages that make up Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

 as a whole.

Located in Shinjuku
Shinjuku, Tokyo
is one of the 23 special wards of Tokyo, Japan. It is a major commercial and administrative center, housing the busiest train station in the world and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, the administration center for the government of Tokyo.As of 2008, the ward has an estimated population...

, it held the title of the tallest building (by roof height) in Tokyo, at 243 meters (799 feet), from 1991 to late 2006, when it surrendered its title upon the completion of Midtown Tower. The two panoramic observation deck
Observation deck
__FORCETOC__ An observation deck, observation platform or viewing platform is an elevated sightseeing platform usually situated upon a tall architectural structure such as a skyscraper or observation tower...

s, one in each tower on floor 45 (202 meters high), are free of charge to the public and contain gift shops and cafe
Café
A café , also spelled cafe, in most countries refers to an establishment which focuses on serving coffee, like an American coffeehouse. In the United States, it may refer to an informal restaurant, offering a range of hot meals and made-to-order sandwiches...

s. They are open till 23:00 on weekdays. Use of cameras is permitted, but tripods are forbidden.

The building consists of a complex of three structures, each taking up a city block. The tallest and most prominent of the three is Tokyo Metropolitan Main building No.1, a tower 48 stories tall that splits into two sections at the 33rd floor. The building also has three levels below ground. The design of the building (which was meant to resemble a computer chip), by architect Kenzo Tange
Kenzo Tange
was a Japanese architect, and winner of the 1987 Pritzker Prize for architecture. He was one of the most significant architects of the 20th century, combining traditional Japanese styles with modernism, and designed major buildings on five continents. Tange was also an influential protagonist of...

 (and associates), has many symbolic touches, most notably the aforementioned split which re-creates the look of a Gothic
Gothic architecture
Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

 cathedral
Cathedral
A cathedral is a Christian church that contains the seat of a bishop...

.

The building was finished in 1991 at the expense of ¥
Japanese yen
The is the official currency of Japan. It is the third most traded currency in the foreign exchange market after the United States dollar and the euro. It is also widely used as a reserve currency after the U.S. dollar, the euro and the pound sterling...

157 billion (about US$
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

 1 billion) of public money.

The other two buildings in the complex are the eight-story Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly
Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly
The is the prefectural parliament of Tokyo.Its 127 members are elected every four years in 42 districts by single non-transferable vote. 23 electoral districts equal the Special wards of Tokyo, another 18 districts are made up by the cities, towns and villages in the Western part of the...

 Building (including one underground floor) and Tokyo Metropolitan Main Building No.2, which has 37 stories including three below ground.

In popular culture


Though it has not gained the same degree of worldwide recognition as Tokyo Tower
Tokyo Tower
is a communications and observation tower located in Shiba Park, Minato, Tokyo, Japan. At , it is the second tallest artificial structure in Japan. The structure is an Eiffel Tower-inspired lattice tower that is painted white and international orange to comply with air safety regulations.Built in...

, the Metropolitan Government Building has come to represent the city in its own right. It frequently appears in Japanese science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

 as a symbol of authority or, often, serving as the basis of type scene
Type scene
A type scene is a literary convention employed by a narrator across a set of scenes, or related to scenes already familiar to the audience. The similarities with, and differences from, the established type are used to illuminate developments in plot and character...

s depicting a futuristic or post-apocalyptic Shinjuku.
  • In the 1991 OAV Message of the Yoroiden Samurai Troopers anime TV series, the rooftop is where the spirit of Suzunagi first manifests itself.
  • In The 1991 Godzilla
    Godzilla
    is a daikaijū, a Japanese movie monster, first appearing in Ishirō Honda's 1954 film Godzilla. Since then, Godzilla has gone on to become a worldwide pop culture icon starring in 28 films produced by Toho Co., Ltd. The monster has appeared in numerous other media incarnations including video games,...

     film, Godzilla vs King Ghidorah, The Metropolitan government building is destroyed by Godzilla in a fight with Mecha-King Ghidorah.
  • The Tokyo metropolitan government building is the last remaining Tokyo landmark after the city is in ruins in the anime series, Mobile Fighter G Gundam
    Mobile Fighter G Gundam
    Mobile Fighter G Gundam, known in Japan as , is a Japanese animated television series directed by Yasuhiro Imagawa . Created to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the franchise in 1994, it is the first of the Gundam series to be set in an alternate continuity from the original "Universal Century"...

    .
  • In the movie and TV series versions of the anime X
    X (manga)
    , also known as X/1999, is a Japanese shōjo manga series created by Clamp, a creative team made up by Satsuki Igarashi, Nanase Ohkawa, Tsubaki Nekoi, and Mokona. It premiered in Monthly Asukas May 1992 issue and ran there until the magazine's editors showed concern with the increasingly violent...

     by CLAMP
    CLAMP
    , is an all-female Japanese manga artist group that formed in the mid 1980s. Many of the group's manga series are often adapted into anime after release. It consists of their leader , who provides much of the storyline and screenplay for all their works and adaptations of those works respectively ,...

    , the headquarters of the Dragons of Earth is located underneath the building complex.
  • In Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG
    Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG
    is the second season of the anime series Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, based on Masamune Shirow's manga Ghost in the Shell. It was written and directed by Kenji Kamiyama, with original character design by Hajime Shimomura and a soundtrack by Yoko Kanno...

    , the complex sits, half underwater, atop the "Shinjuku Underground Nuclear Installation"; a notable location within a recurring subplot.

External links



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