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. WheresTheLuv?

    All the pictures of these amaxing structures and none of the CN Tower which was the record holder for 34 years at 1815.4 ft until this one was completed. Guess Canada doesn't count.

    May 22, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      I wondered the same thing. Apparently the CN Tower doesn't qualify as a "building"?? It's considered a free standing structure, I know. But I would have thought it's still considered a building.

      May 22, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Cindy

    I hope the tower is safe!!!

    May 22, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Burbank

    Why would they want to build a tower that high in the earthquake capital of the wortd? Didn't they get into enough trouble last year with the nuclear meltdown due to the same arrogance of man thinking he can conquer nature? If the lesson isn't learned it has to be repeated louder and louder. I don't think it can get much louder than last year, so why do they keep repeating the same arrogance? What's next, a quake that just sinks the whole blinkin' island?

    May 22, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • jax

      There is no end of nay-sayers in the world. Aren 't you one of them? Tokyo areas need a newer taller modern tower for up-to-date electronics-wireless services, such as TV, internet, other communication systems. Since it's made very strong & tall, why not offer views to tourists? Earn some money for the city(tax)? Get a new traffic to the area that vitalize the commerce? Testing the new technology, products applied to this tower? Lots of benefits there, realizing already. You must be living in 20th, no 19th century just looking for something negative all the time, like some sad in-laws? Have a nice day.

      May 22, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill Clay

      Such a pessimist! Should we have stayed in caves because Nature scares you?

      May 22, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bladepolisher

      Burbank, you nailed it. Jax, you sound like a complete fool.... "a new traffic, commerce. city (tax)" You are hilarious Jax. Sure!! What a great idea, lets go 2000 feet in to the air and breathe that irradiated dust that gets blown over Tokyo every minute of every day.

      May 22, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tactile cacti

      You must be pretty stupid. The tower DID go through the earthquake, and ended with minimal damage. It was supposed to open earlier, but they wanted to run checks on it to make sure it was safe, which it was.
      The march of the future will constantly be hindered by the ignorant.
      Also, you kinda sund like a stupid hippie

      May 23, 2012 at 4:51 am | Report abuse |
  4. Ryan

    I was looking out my window at the CN tower as I clicked through....thinking.....wait what?

    May 22, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  5. leah

    wasnt the building in Dubai was the tallest as well?

    May 22, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justa

      Dubai is the tallest building. This is the tallest tower, as in communications tower.

      May 22, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Delmar Knudson

    We Americans of Norwegian ancestry are going to build the tallest building in the world. We will bring it in faster than the other tall buildings and under budget. It will be resistant to earthquakes and high winds. We can do this in Minneapolis-St. Paul, because we'll build it on its side and leave it that way.

    May 22, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Delmar Knudson

    Seems like every country wants to have the tallest erection.

    May 22, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. anon

    No they are just preoccupied with size. They are compensating for something.

    May 22, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. chinese

    i'm chinese and i live in hongkong. but i say, who cares about the tallest building, why not go for the best looking, best designed building? the tallest building is for losers that know nothing of architecture and have NO TASTE. i like architecture that, you know, actually tries to be innovative and inventive, and tries to achieve some good design. you can have the best looking city composed of all buildings under 8 stories and it can look freaking awesome. unlike these huge cities that look ugly and are filled with pollution, trash, and traffic and heaps of metal aka derivative architecture.

    May 22, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Nyarlathotep

    Indeed, our tower is a thing of beauty.

    May 22, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |

    The CN Tower in Toronto is missing from the list... come on CNN get the correct info!!

    May 22, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ready

    That is in canada right? I dont think anyone cares.

    May 22, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      There's always a lineup and at least an hour wait so many do care, idiot.

      May 23, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Justa

    Except this is in JAPAN!

    May 22, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  14. nick

    maybe the didnt list it because all of those listed besides the Skytree are occupied buildings? they should have listed towers instead of buildings though >.>

    May 22, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • blue raja

      I see it`s tower envey

      May 23, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jamie

    Wouldn't want to be up there in one of Tokyo's frequent earthquakes! Bad enough on ground level.

    May 22, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
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