Since 2012, the Skytree is not only the new television tower, but also the new landmark of the Japanese capital Tokyo. The Japanese are proud to be able to call the highest television tower in the world their own and the Skytree is accordingly well visited.
With a height of 634 metres, the Skytree in the Japanese capital Tokyo is the tallest television tower and the second tallest building in the world after the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. It towers far above the sea of houses in Tokyo's Oshiage district and is almost twice as high as the 333m Tokyo Tower, Tokyo's previous landmark in the Minato district. The elegant tower is one of our top 10 sights in Japan.
The Skytree opened on 22 May 2012, displacing the Canton Tower in the Chinese city of Guangzhou from the position of the world's tallest tower, much to the delight of the Japanese.
Construction of the Tokyo Skytree
The Skytree was built as Tokyo's new television tower because the old Tokyo Tower, which is now surrounded by several skyscrapers, could no longer provide full signal coverage of the city.
The design of the Skytree was entrusted to Nekken Sekkei Ltd, Japan's oldest architectural firm. Construction began on 14 July 2008, just over a month after the name of the tower was announced, which was chosen through a survey. After less than four years of construction, the Skytree was completed on 29 February 2012.
Earthquake-proofing methods inspired by Japan's Buddhist pagoda architecture were used, as no pagoda has ever collapsed due to an earthquake in the entire history of Japan. With this technology, the force of earthquakes can be reduced by 50%.
Incidentally, the height of the Skytree was not chosen at random. The numbers 6, 3 and 4 are "mu-sa-shi" in Japanese, the name of a former province that once enclosed Tokyo, Saitama and parts of Kanagawa Prefecture. The Skytree is therefore a real landmark of the region.
The Tobu railway company, on whose former marshalling yard the massive tower was built, provided the bulk of the 800 million US dollars in financing. Also involved were six television and radio stations that use the Skytree.
At night, the Skytree is illuminated by thousands of LEDs in changing colours. The lights, which move like mini meteors above the viewing platforms, stand for the passage of time and the connection between past and future. The lights at the top seem to shine out into space and symbolise dreams and hopes.
Visit to the Tokyo Skytree
When the Skytree opened, tickets for a visit were immediately booked up in the first two months. In the first week alone there were an incredible 1.6 million! People were already queuing for tickets a week before the opening.
The number of visitors is now not quite as high, but waiting times must always be expected. The glass ceilings in the high-speed lifts in the Skytree allow a view upwards during the rapid ride.
The Skytree is equipped with two viewing platforms at 350m (for 2,000 visitors) and at 450m (for 900 visitors). In a glass spiral staircase, the last 5 metres can be climbed to the highest point of the viewing platform. You can hardly imagine the fantastic view from up there. On clear winter days, even Mount Fuji, a good 100km away, can be seen in the distance.
Through the glass floor, the view falls onto the streets - several hundred metres into the dizzying depths. For emergencies, the Skytree is also equipped with a staircase - 2,523 steps lead to the top.
While waiting for a ride to the top, there is a large shopping mall at the foot of the Skytree.