If you’re going to Tokyo Tower anytime soon, you probably won’t be able to go up to the 250-meter (820-foot) Special Observatory, which stands high above the 150-meter (492-foot) Main Observatory. Why? The one-and-only elevator providing service to the higher level has been temporarily closed after a piece of flying metal broke one of the glass walls!

On Tuesday, at roughly 2:30 in the afternoon, a group of twelve people, including one employee, were riding the elevator down from Tokyo Tower’s Special Observatory when they got what was surely the fright of a lifetime.

It was a normal ride on a normal day when a piece of metal burst through the glass out of nowhere, striking a six-year-old passenger on the back of the hand. Following the chunk of metal’s rude entrance, the elevator was stopped for two hours with the passengers essentially trapped inside. Once they were safely on the ground, the boy was taken to the hospital, though it appears that his injury was not serious.

As there is only one elevator providing service to the Special Observatory, the 40 or so patrons on the top level were escorted down a flight of stairs by staff members. Not exactly how you want to spend your leisurely trip to one of Japan’s premier sightseeing destinations, is it?


Though the origin of the metallic object is still unclear, one expert interviewed by FNN, a Japanese news network, speculated that it might have been a piece of scaffolding from around the tower or something that had fallen off of a plane.

Tokyo Tower management plans to keep the elevator closed until they’ve ascertained where exactly the piece of metal came from, though you’ll still be able to visit the Main Observatory.

This is not the first strange thing to appear at Tokyo Tower. In 2012, a ball (pictured below), now dubbed the “Mystery Baseball,” was discovered on the top of the tower, 306 meters (1,003 feet) up, just at the base of the antenna. How it got there is still a mystery, though our bet is that Godzilla was playing baseball with his son and hit one out of the park.


Hopefully they’ll be able to figure out what caused the elevator accident…and make sure it never happens again!

Source: Yahoo! News Japan, YouTube, Baseball K
Image sources: Top and bottom images by RocketNews24, middle image from Wikipedia with editing by RocketNews24