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. New Gawker

    It's not a building doesn't count

    May 22, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • jim

      neither does the tokyo skytree

      May 23, 2012 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  2. Stu

    No, they didn't. If you would have noticed that the entire list was buildings, except for this one in the story.

    May 22, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bladepolisher

    Earthquakes and irradiated dust.... two great reasons to go 2000 feet in to the air.

    May 22, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Larry Silverstein

    Don't worry, guys. This tower is safe; I don't own it.

    May 22, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. samuraikatana1

    Can someone tell me what the point of this tower is? It doesn't seem to have any functioning use other than an observation desk... Am I missing something?

    May 22, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. krozar

    A spire shouldn't count. Occupied floors and an antenna are far different things.

    May 22, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Tanner

    Very impressive for a country plagued by earthquakes. I'd like to see how much it would wave back and forth without breaking during a quake.

    May 22, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Aristocles

    Trump International Hotel and Tower should also be on the list, if I'm not mistaken (Chicago).

    May 22, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jon

    Where is the CN Tower on this list? At 1815 feet it is the third tallest structure, just below the Tokyo Skytree.

    May 22, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      It's not considered a building

      May 23, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ellen Claire Kowit

    Wonderful looking builing, hope the foundation is strong enough to handle earthquakes.

    May 22, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jim

    Um CN Tower in Toronto?

    May 23, 2012 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
    • GMH

      At 1815 feet, it should be on this list.

      May 23, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  12. Ben

    I think it is funny that Hasegawa says he was the first to ascend the tower. Umm, maybe he doesn't understand how things are built.

    May 23, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  13. Nissim Levy

    This is all Obama's fault. I wish we could go back to the good times we had under Bush Jr. 😉

    May 23, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bush Idiot

      we can not have one, we are in debt because of two republicans wars and Bush tax cuts for the rich.....$14 trillion that our kids must pay...but racist greedy Republicans live tax free and are trying to take our social security checks to pay for the massive debt.....When Obama gets re-elected we will pass a law doing away with the Republican party...there will be law against being Republican and closing down Fox network...England is already running the Murdocks out of their country

      May 27, 2012 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
  14. blue raja

    ha tower envey

    May 23, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Juan Carlos

    I live near the shortest tower in the world. In fact, I'm standing on it right now.

    May 23, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
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