If you're visiting Shimonoseki in Yamaguchi Prefecture, there's no way to miss the dominant feature on the city's skyline - the Kaikyo Yume Tower. Completed in July of 1996, the tower reaches a height of 153 meters, with an observation deck ten meters below that.
The tower's appearance is quite unique - the top portion houses the spherical, glass-covered observatory, and there are a total of 8700 sheets of glass used in its design. The ride to the observation deck also takes place in a glass elevator, taking just over a minute to reach from the ground floor. Once you exit the elevator on the observation deck floor, you're treated to an impressive 360-degree view out over the city, the Kanmon Strait, the Kyushu Ranges and two seas - the Sea of Japan and the Seto Inland Sea. We visited the observation deck at night and got to enjoy the twinkling lights of boats on the water and the Kanmon Bridge. There was even an illuminated Ferris wheel off in the distance.
The entry to the observation deck is very reasonable - for local residents, it's ¥600 for adults, and ¥300 for children. If you're visiting from overseas, there's an added benefit for you: bring your passport along, and you'll receive a half-price reduction in the admission fee. A visit to Kaikyo Yume Tower is a great way to get your bearings and map out the sights you want to see across Shimonoseki, or simply to appreciate the beauty of the surrounding area.