May 22nd, 2012
02:07 PM ET

World's tallest tower opens to thousands of visitors in Tokyo

Tens of thousands of visitors flocked to the Tokyo Skytree on Tuesday, trying to be among the first people to get a view of the Japanese capital from the world's tallest tower.

The Skytree rises 634 meters (2,080 feet) above Tokyo. It was certified as the world's tallest tower by Guinness World Records on November 17, according to the Skytree's website.

Guinness lists the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, at 828 meters (2,716 feet 6 inches), as the world's tallest building.

The distinction is that Burj Khalifa is an occupied building. The Skytree is a broadcast structure, with digital transmissions for Tokyo media beamed from it. Its towering height doubles the coverage that was previously available, as it enables signals to get past the countless other skyscrapers in the Japanese capital, according to the Skytree website.

People showing up for trips up the Skytree were beaming with pride and excitement Tuesday, according to local news reports.

Michihiko Katsuragi, 27, has watched construction of the tower since moving to the area in 2009, according to a report in the Mainichi Daily News.

"I felt like I was growing up at the same time," he was quoted as saying.

Kazutaka Hasegawa got in line on May 16 and was the first visitor to the Skytree on Tuesday, according to the Mainichi Daily News.

"As a resident of Sumida Ward, I feel a sense of satisfaction in being the first person to ascend the tower," Hasegawa was quoted as saying.

The Skytree has two observation decks, at 350 meters (1,148 feet) and at 450 meters (1,476 feet).

The upper deck can hold 900 people at a time and the lower deck 2,000, according to a report from the Japan Daily Press. Only 6,000 tickets to the decks will be sold daily and they are sold online through a lottery system, the report said.
louisiana lottery
The Skytree complex, which also includes a shopping area, was expected to draw about 200,000 visitors on Tuesday, according to the Daily Press.

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Filed under: Architecture • Japan
soundoff (130 Responses)
  1. Steve

    To quote a popular TV show...one of these things is not like the other.

    Holy smokes, can you say "out of place"?

    May 22, 2012 at 7:55 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Clay

      Think of it as Tokyo's Space Needle. Only much taller.

      May 22, 2012 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom D

      Have a look at the building in Dubai and tell me which is more out of place.

      May 22, 2012 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  2. aztlanshark

    Well that won't last long. Earthquake, nuclear disaster, godzilla...you name it.

    May 22, 2012 at 8:02 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Steve

    Hope it's earth quake proof.

    May 22, 2012 at 8:04 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Chris

    It's an eye sore... totally out of place.

    May 22, 2012 at 8:15 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • escher7

      Name one needle (communications tower) that isn't put of place. That's the idea – to be taller than everything else.

      May 22, 2012 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
  5. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    They must be very proud.
    As a citizen of the USA, I remember how I felt when we had the tallest building in the world.
    I hear that humility is a virtue.
    Perhaps we should consider working a little more.

    May 22, 2012 at 8:15 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. sweet_dreams828

    That is so cool! Don't be all jellyfish about it!

    May 22, 2012 at 8:22 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Folsch

    I hope Godzilla doesnt come down...

    May 22, 2012 at 8:25 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jim

      Geesh – get your facts straight! Godzilla lives at the bottom of the ocean. So he would come "up", not "down". Don't they teach this in schools these days?

      May 22, 2012 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Godzilla

      Thanks for the kind wishes, Folsch. I wish I could be high all the time too.

      May 22, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  8. yoyo martnez

    It will crumble in the next earthquake!

    May 22, 2012 at 8:38 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    "Out of place," you say? An "eyesore?"
    Marx and Lenin would love you.
    Everything important is different from the mediocrity surrounding it.

    May 22, 2012 at 8:50 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Roberto c

    Wow i wish,i could be there and enjoy to see by my naked ayes.

    May 22, 2012 at 8:53 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Folsch

    Jim – Godzilla lives on Monster Island which is due north of Tokyo.

    May 22, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jim

      Folsch – Well, okay. But in any event, Mothra and the shōbijin twins will protect Tokyo.

      May 22, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Godzilla

      Actually, I only stay there when my lumbago gets real bad or my left side starts hurting again where Mothra blasted me real good.

      May 22, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  12. Marvs257

    AH, that's what that thing is. I was in Tokyo to celebrate New Year's there, and on New Year's day we went to Asakusa Temple. Near there we saw this huge tower and was wondering what that was; we knew it wasn't the Tokyo tower.

    May 22, 2012 at 9:03 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Hadenuffyet

    That's gonna clear a lot of real estate when it comes down .

    May 22, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. tez07

    and sometimes a tower is just a tower

    May 22, 2012 at 9:10 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Pete

    It's said that The CN Tower in Toronto would actually be the last place standing if there was an earthquake as it has sway bars and it can actually bend and withstand and natural disaster.

    May 22, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kathy

      Yes, I've been up the CN tower, and you can feel the sway. It can be a bit disorienting to feel the building actually moving under feet, but it's a great safety feature.

      May 22, 2012 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
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