Beppu Tower

The Beppu Tower at night as seen in 2007. The neon Asahi Beer sign is clearly visible.

The Beppu Tower has been one of the top tourist attractions of the city of Beppu in Japan’s Ōita prefecture since 1957.

Beppu Tower was originally designed to be a radio station tower, but it became home to some of the local TV stations instead. In addition, it became a popular tourist attraction due to its observation deck, which gives visitors an excellent bird’s eye view of the city.

The tower has been home to a number of famous neon signs over the past six decades. When the tower first opened, a Sapporo Beer sign was installed on its side. A year later, that sign was replaced by a gigantic neon National billboard which advertised Matsushita Electric’s National (better known to the West as Panasonic) brand. However, in 1987, the advertising deal with National was cancelled and the National sign was promptly torn down.

A year later, Beppu Tower itself was almost torn down, but was narrowly saved by a purchase from the Taiho Leisure Group, who still own the tower to this very day. After the purchase by Taiho, a neon sign advertising Asahi Solar went up where the National sign once stood.

In 2002, eight signs advertising Asahi Beer (see above) went up on the sides of the tower. Four of those signs are in English and the other four are in Japanese.

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(Image copyright: User:Willbarker25 Image used per Section 46 of the Copyright Law of Japan, which permits reproduction of buildings in photographic form. Asahi Beer is a trademarked copyright of Asahi Breweries, Ltd., who are not affiliated with nor endorse this website in any way, shape, or form.)

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