During Japan’s Expo ’70 the otherworldly Tower of the Sun jutted out of the top of the giant tent surrounding it, and now, after decades of neglect, the multi-faceted, wide-winged art building has been refurbished and is finally ready to once again open its doors and allow visitors into its mysterious guts.
Finished in 1970, the 230-foot tall tower is not in fact a terrifying beast from beyond time and space, but was instead the work of artist Tarō Okamoto. The designer built the structure to represent the past, present, and future in one fluid construction, so the tower features three distinct faces. The golden face at the top of the structure represents the future and features light-up eyes. The segmented face jutting out of the tower’s "chest" is meant to represent the present while rather ominous face on the back of the tower is a sign of the past. In addition to the faces, the tower also features two 80 foot long wings on either side.
The spacious interior of the tower can be even more strange. During Expo ’70 the wide space inside of the tower featured a tall sculpture known as the "Tree of Life" which reached up into the heights of the structure. Smaller sculptures were hung from the tree’s branches creating a sort of psychedelic Christmas tree.
Once the world’s fair it was created for ended, the Tower of the Sun was locked up and simply left to the elements where the lights in its eyes died and the entire site began to fall apart. However in recent years restoration of the tower has brought the site back to life. New lights were installed and the interior Tree of Life was dusted off and limited groups of people were finally allowed back inside. After years of touching up the Tower of the Sun is finally set to open permanently in 2014.