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. Tim

    How are they calling this the tallest? Burj Khalifa in Dubai is 200 meters taller than this!

    May 22, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mikey Doodle

    Give it about a week before North Korea builds the "Dear Leader Tower of Power" at 2,081 tall.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Alex

    tall buildings are overrated. give me DC's low skyline and sunlight over NY's high skyline and dark streets any day.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Prediction

      The lack of sunlight is depressing

      May 22, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Russell Hammond, Hollywood

    Yeah, but look at the other buildings surrounding it. This might as well be Mexico City...or worse. The new tower doesn't reflect the architectural landscape but I don't think they much care.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheMovieFan

      Perhaps it should have been built in a location with other tall structures around it. I am pretty sure the land would have been cheaper, too.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. twospirit

    Godzilla is going to love that thing.

    All joking aside, it is huge. Would love to visit it.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. crookedarm

    I say build a porta potty at the top of Everest and make that the tallest building in the world. 😎

    May 22, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jimdog33

    Hope they invested in earthquake protection...

    May 22, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ronindavid

    Good. Give Godzilla something else to knock down. That poor Tokyo Tower needs a break.

    May 22, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mother Nature

    Wonder what those affected by the Tsunami think of opinion is worthless.

    May 22, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. JohnQInCrazyFL

    I cannot wait to visit this bad ole tower. I was at the Tokyo Tower and earlier that day there was a mild tremor. The glass in the floor is very scarey for lots of grown ups. The kids seems to be not bothered too much by looking down through it. This is definitely a MUST visit

    May 22, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ben

    Nothing special about this tower. The Canton Tower in China is much more beautiful and has lot better design.

    May 22, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Tom

    The CN Tower in Toronto is 1815ft.. surprised it was not mentioned..

    May 22, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      Absolutely – its 3rd on the list and qualifies as they include a tower at number 2. Very inaccurate reporting IMO

      May 22, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jerome Horowitz

    Next headline – "World's Tallest Tower Topples in Quake". (Apologies if someone has said this already)

    May 22, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mary

    Guangsho, China is Beautiful with it's lights on at night. phenomenal structure! 🙂

    May 22, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Roger

    Is it just me? China has 6 out of the top ten in the list!!

    May 22, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
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