“Ryounkaku (Asakusa Twelve-Stories)”/ On Collection at the Edo-Tokyo Museum
- The Ryounkaku in Asakusa and the History of High-Rise Views
- A working-class area since antiquity, the ward of Asakusa was divided into six wards during the Meiji era, with Asakusa Park built around Senso-ji Temple. Among these, the sixth ward, with its playhouses and moving picture theaters, turned into a festive entertainment area. In 1890, a twelve-story brick building with an octagonal observation deck called the Ryounkaku (also known as the Asakusa Twelve-Stories) was built outside the sixth ward. In One Day Outings Around Tokyo, literary master Katai Tayama writes, “In fact, the observatory deck on the twelfth floor offers a natural panorama. It is definitely worth visiting at least once,” extolling the view from the observatory deck. Also famous for having the first electric elevator in Japan, this building delighted many until its collapse in the Great Kanto Earthquake.