Standing 634 meters (2,080 feet) tall, the Tokyo SkyTree is the tallest structure in Japan.
It is also the tallest tower in the world and the second tallest structure in the world after the Burj Khalifa (829.8 m/2,722 ft).
The height of 634 meters (2,080 feet) was selected to be easily remembered. The figures 6 (mu), 3 (sa), 4 (shi) stand for “Musashi”, an old name of the region where the Tokyo Skytree stands.
Tokyo Sky Tree was designed by the Japanese architectural firm Nikken Sekkei.
The design of this amazing tower is based on three concepts:
1 – Fusion of neofuturistic and the traditional beauty of Japan
2 – Catalyst for revitalization of the city
3 – Contribution to disaster prevention – “Safety and Security”
The construction of Tokyo Skytree was started on 14 July 2008.
The Skytree was completed on 29 February 2012, with the tower opening to the public on 22 May 2012.
The Tokyo Skytree is a private ownership of Tobu Railway Corporation. The tower is the centrepiece of a large commercial development funded by Tobu Railway and a group of six terrestrial broadcasters headed by NHK.
The total cost of the Tokyo Skytree is reported to be about 65 billion JPY (806 million USD).
The Sky Tree has been built to stand firm even if a magnitude 7 quake were to strike beneath the building, said Sho Toyoshima, a spokesman for Tobu Tower.
The tower was constructed with extremely strong steel tubes surrounding a central concrete column that are structurally separate from each other in the tower’s mid-section. In the event of an earthquake, the concrete core and steel frame are designed to offset each other to reduce the building’s overall motion.
The exterior lattice is painted a color officially called “Skytree White“. This is an original colour based on a bluish white traditional Japanese color called aijiro.
The base of Tokyo Skytree has a structure similar to a tripod; from a height of about 350 meters (1,150 feet) and above, the tower’s structure is cylindrical to offer panoramic views of the river and the city.
The Skytree has the two highest observation decks in Japan.
Both offer spectacular, unobstructed views out over much of the Kanto Region.
The spacious, 350 meter (1,150 feet) high lower deck with a capacity of up to 2000 people features wide windows, a restaurant, cafe and shops.
The 450 meter (1,480 feet) high upper deck with a capacity of 900 people is notable for a spiral, glass-covered skywalk in which visitors ascend the last 5 meters (16 feet) to the highest point at the upper platform. A section of glass flooring gives visitors a direct downward view of the streets below.
A visitor experiences the Sorakara Point, that uses LED lights and glass walls, to create a space in which the visitors feels they are floating, at the top of Tokyo Sky.
Tokyo Skytree is not just the tower, but includes the huge, multi-story, split-level shopping, dining and
entertainment complex called Tokyo Skytree Town that the tower presides over. Most of Tokyo Skytree Town is taken up by the Solamachi shopping and dining mall, and which also includes museums, an aquarium and souvenir shops.
On the fifth and sixth floor of the West Yard of Skytree Town in Tokyo Skytree you will find the Sumida Aquarium. There are multiple exhibits with artfully arranged and lit tanks in dimly lit corridors and rooms. There is no specific course; instead, visitors are encouraged to roam and explore freely. A highlight is the “Animals Enjoying Water” exhibit of penguins and fur seals, large pools which you can walk around and enjoy from many angles.
There are 13 elevators. It takes just 50 seconds in a high-speed elevator to arrive at the lower observation deck and another 30 seconds to the top deck.
A trip down the emergency staircase, however, involves 2,523 steps.
The illumination patterns of Tokyo Skytree are already well known with special lighting the Miyabi and Iki being the basic illumination styles. That’s not all though, the Skytree supports over 16 million lighting styles!!! An all LED system, very detailed color expressions are supported by Skytree one example being the detailed Valentine’s Day illumination.
The official name was decided in a nationwide vote, and was announced on 10 June 2008 as “Tokyo Skytree”. The name received around 33,000 votes (30%) out of 110,000 cast, with the second most popular name being “Tokyo Edo Tower”.
Since the name was decided in Japanese, which has no spaces between words, it is not possible to say whether it was intended to be “Tokyo Skytree” or “Tokyo Sky Tree“.