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This Skyscraper in Japan Has a Highway Running Through it

This Skyscraper in Japan Has a Highway Running Through it

An image that has circulated on social media for several years shows a skyscraper in Japan with a highway passing through it. Is this image real or fake?

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The Photo is Real.

The Gate Tower Building (reportedly known locally as “The Beehive”) is a 16-floor office building located in Fukushima-ku, Osaka, Japan. Construction was completed in 1992. As the photo shows, the Umeda Exit of the Hanshin Expressway passes through the fifth, sixth, and seventh floors. Elevators reach the upper floors by moving along the sides of the building. Besides the elevators and stairways, there do not appear to be any office spaces on floors 5 through 7.

The highway never actually touches the building, thus they are two completely separate structures. A structure covers the highway which supposedly blocks out noises and vibrations from effecting the rest of the tower.

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This unusual construction is the result of a compromise which was reached during the 1980’s, when redevelopment of the area hit an impasse. A freeway was in the planning stages, but difficulties arose when negotiating with property rights’ holders. Finally in 1989, building codes were revised to include a “Multi-Level Road System” which allowed for this unusual structure to be built.

Highway through Skyscraper Video

The brief 23 second video below shows some traffic moving through the Gate Tower Building on the Hanshin Expressway:

Bottom Line

The picture of a highway passing through a skyscraper in Japan is real. An exit off the Hanshin Expressway passes through the 5th-7th floors of the Gate Tower Building in Fukushima-ku, Osaka, Japan.


Updated June 5, 2016
Originally published July 2013

  • Wilson the Turtle

    Wow, that is so cool! I wish I had the money to go Japan just to drive through a building and not be arrested!

  • L. Barth

    Not so strange, the old main post office in Chicago has the expressway running through it.

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