Tokyo Sky Tree takes root as world's second-tallest structure

Kyodo via Reuters

The Tokyo Sky Tree, the world's tallest broadcasting tower, opened to the public on Tuesday.

TOKYO -- The world's second-tallest structure opened to the public on Tuesday.

The Tokyo Sky Tree is now the world's tallest broadcasting tower. It is expected to draw in 32 million visitors a year, more than Tokyo Disneyland.

Featuring two observation decks and an adjacent shopping arcade which includes a planetarium and an aquarium, it stands 2,080-feet high on the eastern side of city, away from the glitzy Shibuya and the Ginza districts.

Sky Tree overlooks Sumida and Arakawa rivers, the symbols of Old Tokyo area, and on a clear day provides a panoramic view beyond the capital including Mount Fuji.

As its name suggests, the tower employs branch-like joints made of high-strength steel tubes and is anchored with triangular, walled spikes 330 feet underground like a root of a tree to withstand strong earthquake and typhoons.

Panoramic views of Tokyo can be seen from atop the Tokyo Sky Tree, the second tallest tower in the world and the tallest freestanding broadcasting tower that opens to the public next month.'s Dara Brown reports.

An inner column that's separated from the outer frame, an idea borrowed from traditional five-story pagoda temples, was incorporated to reduce the impact of tremors by 40 percent.

PhotoBlog: More images of the Sky Tree

During last year's March 11 earthquake, workers were putting in place the tallest section of the tower. Although it swayed almost 20 feet, the structure wasn't damaged.

Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters

A man with a hairstyle featuring the Tokyo Sky Tree, waits to enter the structure.

Only 8000 people with advance reservations were able to access the tower's observation deck on Tuesday. But tickets will be made available again in July.

Dubai's Burj Khalifa, which stands 2720-feet high, is the world's tallest structure. China's Canton Tower was previously the world's tallest broadcasting tower.

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Discuss this post

Just where I want to be during an earthquake !

  • 4 votes
Reply#1 - Tue May 22, 2012 11:03 AM EDT

Especially if it sways 20 feet back and forth. It would beat the heck out of any ride at Disneyland!

  • 3 votes
#1.1 - Tue May 22, 2012 11:55 AM EDT

I am so underwhelmed..... very slow news day... and it might attract Godzilla...

  • 1 vote
#1.2 - Tue May 22, 2012 12:30 PM EDT

"During last year's March 11 earthquake, workers were putting in place the tallest section of the tower. Although it swayed almost 20 feet, the structure wasn't damaged."---Yeah...well if I was working up top and that thing started swaying over a 20' arc my underwear would be badly damaged.

  • 8 votes
#1.3 - Tue May 22, 2012 12:47 PM EDT

Once in a while this tower can rank No. 1 when a bird occasionally sits on top making it taller.

  • 5 votes
#1.4 - Tue May 22, 2012 1:13 PM EDT

Twenty feet is no big deal for that structure.

But why did putting in town made more sense then further out towards the mountains?

    #1.5 - Tue May 22, 2012 2:31 PM EDT

    Seeing as how the Japanese island chain forms, I believe, part of the Pacific Ring of Fire and is one of the most earthquake prone areas in the world, It does not seem a very good place to erect such a structure. Hope this is not a case pf Japanese ego overriding common sense.

    • 1 vote
    #1.6 - Tue May 22, 2012 2:49 PM EDT


    they built it inside tokyo because it's needed to broadcast signals. the previous tower, Tokyo Tower, which was built in an age where no buildings exceeded 31m, is now surrounded by high rise hotels and office buildings and can no longer broadcast to the greater tokyo area. Thus a new tower was needed in the city.

    • 1 vote
    #1.7 - Tue May 22, 2012 4:08 PM EDT

    Beautiful lights, are they powered by the naturally occuring radiation?

    • 5 votes
    Reply#2 - Tue May 22, 2012 11:38 AM EDT

    Its in Tokyo. Get a map.

    • 6 votes
    #2.1 - Tue May 22, 2012 11:44 AM EDT

    Does the wind blow there?

    • 3 votes
    #2.2 - Tue May 22, 2012 1:03 PM EDT

    or maybe just the longest Pigtail!

    • 1 vote
    #2.3 - Tue May 22, 2012 1:15 PM EDT

    Go Japan!!

    • 4 votes
    Reply#3 - Tue May 22, 2012 11:50 AM EDT

    Don't you just the Japanese?...They spend all of their time trying to figure out how not to be Japanese.

      Reply#4 - Tue May 22, 2012 11:54 AM EDT

      no, they're being Japanese, they like showing off their capabilities just like anyother country, the problem I see here or the inevitability of things to come is; ' do ya really want to build a tall tower in a place that had sooo many natural disasters?" honestly now. Show me the logic in that decision??

      but hey, I dont have to live there.

      • 5 votes
      #4.1 - Tue May 22, 2012 12:13 PM EDT

      My thoughts exactly! What's it gonna take for people to realize they are not birds and will not fly should tragedy strike? An area known for quakes is not where a structure like this should be built. 'Nuff said!

        #4.2 - Tue May 22, 2012 1:44 PM EDT

        @all-that-is: yeah, and why do they keep building cities and towns and especially trailer parks all through the southeast's Tornado Alley, when they know they'll be hit eventually?

        • 1 vote
        #4.3 - Tue May 22, 2012 2:00 PM EDT

        CK, the Japanese make the structures much more earthquake proof then we do for that very reason. During the March 11th quake this building swayed 20-feet in each direction but was not structurally damaged. True that a large enough earthquake will knock it down but how many quakes higher then 7.0 (in-land) will Japan really have? Chances are if they get a 8.0 centered in mainland Japan they are going to have way more problems then just one building falling over.

        • 2 votes
        #4.4 - Tue May 22, 2012 2:01 PM EDT

        I wonder how long it will be until someone base jumps off of it.

        • 3 votes
        Reply#5 - Tue May 22, 2012 12:02 PM EDT

        Well, if the thought hadn't occured to the idiots we know are out there before your comment just now, stay tuned!!

        • 1 vote
        #5.1 - Tue May 22, 2012 1:45 PM EDT

        Enjoy the beauty while it last. At the rate humans are continuing to harm our planet and at the rate that she, mother Earth will continue to shift and purge herself, I see this tower crumbled in the future. LOVE YOUR MOTHER!

        • 5 votes
        Reply#6 - Tue May 22, 2012 12:07 PM EDT

        Do mother earth and humanity a favor. Go drown yourself. Today.

        • 8 votes
        #6.1 - Tue May 22, 2012 1:22 PM EDT

        What are you doing on a computer? Lemme guess: contributing to global warming, pollution, and the depletion of resources. STFU Hypocrite! Shouldn't you be out in what's left of the woods hugging a tree or something? Get off-line quick or Mother Earth will purge you.

        • 1 vote
        #6.2 - Tue May 22, 2012 2:26 PM EDT

        Looking at the outside construction of this structure; I cannot help but think birds will agree it lives up to its name (Sky) Tree, and is an inviting home to scores of bird nest!

        • 3 votes
        Reply#7 - Tue May 22, 2012 12:30 PM EDT

        Its an exact copy of the CN tower in Toronto only a hair taller.

          Reply#8 - Tue May 22, 2012 12:47 PM EDT

          And CN Tower looked like replica of Ostankino Tower in Russia by that logic. Its a tower with an observation deck, Its kind of hard to not make it look like a tower with an observation deck. But those are where the similarities end. CN has a concrete base, Skytree has a woven steel tube base. CN has one observation deck and a "pod", Skytree has two multi-floor observation decks.

          • 1 vote
          #8.1 - Tue May 22, 2012 1:15 PM EDT


          You are of course right regardless of what nneelix says. Both use a 3 legged base, and the decks all but align perfectly, with the work area above, both, and below the large deck. I saw the likeness the first time I saw a picture of this tower.

            #8.2 - Tue May 22, 2012 2:05 PM EDT

            Just something else for Godzilla vs Gamarah to knock down...LMAO!!!

            • 2 votes
            Reply#9 - Tue May 22, 2012 12:55 PM EDT

            (Hey, someone had to do this..)

            With a purposeful grimace and a terrible sound
            He pulls the spitting high-tension wires down

            Helpless people on subway trains
            Scream, bug-eyed, as he looks in on them

            He picks up a bus and he throws it back down
            As he wades through the buildings toward the center of town

            Oh, no, they say he's got to go
            Go go Godzilla
            Oh, no, there goes Tokyo
            Go go Godzilla

              #9.1 - Tue May 22, 2012 10:00 PM EDT

              cool, I would love to go to the top... cant afford a trip to Japan though... :(

              • 1 vote
              Reply#10 - Tue May 22, 2012 12:58 PM EDT

              Just Fredd: Perhaps you wouldn't be able to afford going to the top even if you were here: tickets cost more than the equivalent of US$25 each. Tokyo's city hall (in the Shinjuku district) affords views of from the sea to Mount Fuji as well but is free.

              (Almost any place in Tokyo at sea level or above allows viewing of Mount Fuji if there are no other buildings blocking the way. A third-story window facing west in Tokyo is fine in many places.)

                #10.1 - Tue May 22, 2012 3:54 PM EDT

                Wow. Asians have been putting up some big erections lately.

                • 5 votes
                Reply#11 - Tue May 22, 2012 1:00 PM EDT

                awsome, another expensive shopping mail no one can afford.

                • 1 vote
                Reply#12 - Tue May 22, 2012 1:06 PM EDT

                Another piece of human idiotry.

                  Reply#13 - Tue May 22, 2012 1:31 PM EDT

                  no one is happier than Tokyo Tower: "Now another building can keep getting destroyed by giant mutant monsters and alien mecha, I've had enough!"

                  • 3 votes
                  Reply#14 - Tue May 22, 2012 1:56 PM EDT

                  I love it, the world now has a new first place, and second place for tallest contruction, several new bridges have taken the longest and tallest in the past 10 years, and in NYC, they are still a few years away from the finish of one single building, that is only half as high.

                    Reply#15 - Tue May 22, 2012 2:09 PM EDT

                    Seattle Space Needle baby...the original! Best view in the world..views of Mt. Ranier, Puget Sound, The Cascade Range, Seattle and Vancouver BC.

                      Reply#16 - Tue May 22, 2012 2:11 PM EDT

                      This tower's construction will attract nutjobs with climbing equipment, I can see it already.

                      • 1 vote
                      Reply#17 - Tue May 22, 2012 4:02 PM EDT

                      Heights of structures need to be quoted in meters with optional feet in parenthesis. The United States is really behind the times in sticking with the use of the old fashioned U.S. Customary Units instead of using SI ("metric") units the rest of the world uses.


                        Reply#18 - Tue May 22, 2012 6:26 PM EDT

                        Or the rest of the world is behind in the transition back to our standard measures. I know what the differences are, but I have learned that it's not important.

                        Now, if we could change our language to be phonetic instead of the crazy language we have now, then we could have some real educational advances, instead of wasting years on spelling education.

                          #18.1 - Tue May 22, 2012 9:37 PM EDT

                          Man's arrogance will eventually be brought down.....remember the tower of babel ???

                            Reply#19 - Tue May 22, 2012 11:24 PM EDT

                            wow that's higher than the SPISHKUDNIK TOWER IN TAMPA FLA-UNBELIEVEABLE

                              Reply#21 - Wed May 23, 2012 6:42 PM EDT

                              Lucky for them they don't have millions of muslims there

                              • 1 vote
                              Reply#22 - Thu May 24, 2012 9:39 PM EDT
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