Japan is filled with buildings—many of them are impressive. One Osaka building, however, stands apart. It's not because it's particularly tall or even that beautiful. It has a highway passing through it.
This is the TKP Gate Tower Building, and it's a structure that blew my mind well over a decade ago when I saw it for the first time after moving to Japan. This isn't a new building, and it's quite well known inside Japan and even abroad.
Recently, though, the building has once again become a topic on 2ch, Japan's largest internet forum. A couple 2ch commenters remarked how they'd neither seen or visited it. Others wondered if it was safe during an earthquake or worse, a terrorist attack.
Today, the 16-story building houses conference rooms for business meetings and presentations, save for the 5th to the 7th floors, which are occupied by the Hanshin Expressway Company.
Elevators, however, pass up the side of the building to the upper floors, and the highway doesn't make contact with the building itself. Instead, it passes through the building via a bridge.
The building's original owners decided to create the structure as the Hanshin Expressway was being planned, and ultimately negotiated to erect this unusual building, which is the first of its kind in Japan. And yes, that's a helipad on the roof.
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