On final completion in 2012, Skytree became the world’s tallest tower, and second tallest structure after Dubai’s Burj Khalifa skyscraper. It is a digital broadcasting tower and observation platform complete with restaurants and attractions and officially known as Tokyo Skytree. Completed February 29, 2012, and open to the public from May 2012, the Skytree stands 634 meters over Tokyo.
The height is also a pun on the area it watches over. As Tokyo is built on the Musashi Plain, another reading of the tower’s height, 634 meters, can also be read Mu(6) Sa(3) Shi(4) in Japanese.
The tower was constructed as the previous broadcast tower, Tokyo Tower at just 333m and surrounded by many newer high rise buildings, failed to provide adequate coverage for the nine television stations and two FM radio stations using the facilities.
The cross section shape of the tower is interesting, starting at ground level triangular, becoming rounded like a guitar pick about a third the way up, and becoming cylindrical by the 320 m point. Illuminated at night by LED lighting, Tokyo Skytree alternates daily between a chic, stylish blue and and elegant, refined purple. The actual colour of the tower is officially called “Skytree White” and is an original color based on traditional Japanese ceramics. The tower was designed to withstand typhoon force winds and earthquakes.
The lower floors feature the Skytree Shop, selling various souvenirs and items. Other Skytree Shops can be found on the fifth and in the Tembo Deck observation area at 350m. The same Tembo Deck offers light meals and snacks in the Skytree Cafe, or for something more substantial, the gourmet Skytree Restaurant 634 provides a fine meal with a fine view. Talking of views, on a fine day, visitors are treated to a 70 km visibility range from the 350m high Tembo Deck. A glass walkway tube takes you to the highest vantage point at 450 and the Skytree Galleria.
Access is via Tokyo Skytree Station on the Tobu Line, or via Oshiage Station on the Tobu, Hanzomon, Narita Sky Access Keisei Line or Toei Asakusa Line, or a 15 minute walk from Asakusa Station on the Ginza line.