Move over Tokyo Tower, there’s a new, bigger brother dominating the capital’s skyline now. Welcome to the Tokyo Skytree. When it was officially opened to the public on May 22, the Tokyo Skytree became the world’s tallest broadcast tower. Its primary purpose is to broadcast clear television and radio signals without interference from skyscrapers.
The Skytree’s numbers are mind-numbing. At 634 metres, it casts a shadow that is almost twice that of Tokyo Tower (333 metres), while it tips the scales at over 40,000 tonnes. Construction involved a total of 580,000 workers who worked on it for 3 years at a cost of 65 billion JPY. When you consider that the 37,000 steel frames it consists of are mostly differently shaped, it is not surprising that the costs were so high. But perhaps the most incredible statistic is that the allowable error in the frames was 3mm for every 10 metres!
Visitors to the Skytree talk enthusiastically about the breathtaking views from the observatories at 350 metres and 450 metres. Those 32 million people who are expected to visit in the first year will also be enjoy the Tokyo Skytree Town complex that has been built at the base of the tower. This includes an aquarium, a planetarium and Tokyo Solamachi (solar town) with its 312 shops.
So when you visit Tokyo, be sure to add the Skytree to your list of must-see sights. It is sure to give you a ‘high’ unlike anything that you have experienced before.