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. Loopman

    Now that makes a lot of sense to me. Build a structure almost a half mile tall in a densely populate area that just so happens to be in the heart of one of the most geologically unstable parts of the world. Guess what the major headline is going to read the next time an earthquake hits that part of the world. Hope the owner has deep pockets to pay for the rebuilding of their architectural marvel.

    May 22, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Houstonian

      It'll be standing when everything else around it has been knocked over. The 9.8 quake happened while it was being built, and the Tokyo building codes require amazing amounts of designed-in capability to survive a shake. You'd almost certainly be safer in its elevators than anywhere else in the city in a really bad quake.

      May 22, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  2. RadioactiveTokyo

    Give it ten years... this broadcast tower will make Hiroshima radiation burns look like a casual tan.

    May 22, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
    • docame

      That was so stupid it doesn't warrant a reply. But I gave you one anyway.

      May 22, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      That makes no sense at all. What are you even trying to say?

      May 22, 2012 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Johan S

      Alright fake physicist. Would you care to put money or stake your reputation on it? This tower actually reduces the amount of EMF flooding the city since now u don't need multiple antennas all over the city. Second radio waves are non-ionizing radiation (google the term and flush your ignorance). They lack the energy to easily knock an electron from its orbit, which is how radiation causes damage. Sunlight is more likely to cause an ill effect than radio waves (and it does - skin cancer).

      May 22, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  3. onestarman

    There is something SAD to me about a Half Mile Tall Cell Phone Tower

    May 22, 2012 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  4. littleWeenies

    lol The tallest building in the foreground is just 13 stories high. Looks like they are over-compensating for something else...

    May 22, 2012 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
  5. Lars Babaganoosh

    And Godzilla loves it.

    May 22, 2012 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Godzilla

      It's true. I love it.
      [picks up Lars and gulps him down]
      And I love people too!

      May 22, 2012 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  6. littleWeenies

    lol... The tallest building in the foreground is just 13 stories high. So it looks like someone is over-compensating for something else...

    May 22, 2012 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jerry

    Name it Bable

    May 22, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jonathon

    Where were you, when they built that ladder to heaven? / Did you feel like crying / or did you think it was kinda g-ay?

    May 22, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  9. lolita

    im happy for them, but the next earthquake will tumble it down

    May 22, 2012 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  10. saywhat

    What's with this obsession?
    The tallest towers, buildings. These claims keep on coming up. Whos next?

    May 22, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  11. Elperro

    Man, that thing is pretty ugly. Looks like an oversized cell tower, which I guess it is!

    May 22, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  12. feralcandian

    A giant tower in Tokyo and nobody has a Godzilla joke? C'mon people

    May 22, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Justa

      Oh, they're there, unless they've been deleted already....

      May 22, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  13. G. Zeus™

    I love how it looks like it is built to shoot down giant UFOs. Kudos to the architects!

    May 22, 2012 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Justa

      Aliens? Or GODZILLA? Bwa ha ha ha ha!

      May 22, 2012 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Commie Kazzie

      When does Godzilla get to climb it or spit fire on it? Our aid money at work!

      May 22, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • snowdogg

      Great comment... second that opinion.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jack Skellington

    Now they can see the next Tsunami coming.

    May 22, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  15. so what

    Nice..put a tower that size with people in it in the middle of earthquake central

    May 22, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • hop

      FTA – " The distinction is that Burj Khalifa is an occupied building. "

      May 22, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Duke

      Not just earthquake central, but home to some of the largest earthquakes ever known. This thing might snap like a pencil given the perfect, but unlikely, seismic wave.

      May 22, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
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