Take our user survey and make your voice heard.

Tokyo Sky Tree opens


Tokyo Sky Tree, the world's tallest communications tower and second-highest building, opened on Tuesday morning.

Tourism officials hope the 634-meter tower will be a big draw for visitors. There are two observation decks -- at 350 meters and 450 meters above ground -- as well as restaurants, office space and a vertigo-inducing glass floor that allows visitors to look straight down.

The surrounding area, known as Tokyo Sky Tree Town, features an open air market lined with cherry blossom and red pine trees. The rest of the Sky Tree Town include office buildings and an aquarium -- some 300 tenants, in all.

Tobu Railway Co, which operates Tokyo Sky Tree, is expecting hundreds of thousands of visitors per week. To control numbers, it said that admission will be by reserved ticket only until July 11.

Construction of the tower, near the popular Asakusa traditional district on Tokyo's eastern side, began in July 2008. Tokyo Sky Tree tops the 600-meter Canton Tower in China's Guangzhou and the 553-meter CN Tower in downtown Toronto.

It is the world's second-tallest manmade structure, beaten only by the 828-meter Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

Some 580,000 workers were engaged in the construction, which cost 65 billion yen for the tower alone, a spokeswoman said.

Tokyo Sky Tree is expected to overshadow landmarks in the capital's upscale western parts, including the 333-meter Tokyo Tower, which was built in 1958 and became a byword in Japan for the country's rapid post-war growth.

© Japan Today/AFP

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

long term liability.

-16 ( +3 / -18 )

kind scary if ur on the very top of this tower then suddenly an earthquake will occur...

-14 ( +4 / -15 )

Copycat! This will shatter someday. Japan must not create such tall building. How many earquake in a month do we have?

-26 ( +3 / -24 )

Saw a documentary on NHK about the design and architecture and have to say I was impressed. The base is triangular for stability and evolves into a circular shape as it rises, which presented techinical problems. And there is a central cement pillar from bottom to top that counter-balances earthquakes by moving back and forth. This design element was taken from the Yakushi-ji East Pagoda in Nara which has a central wooden pillar for the same purpose. Yakushi-ji Pagoda has been standing for 1300 years.

14 ( +14 / -2 )

Should read until July 11.

I got lottery lucky on line for tickets, and my date is July 10th.

7 ( +8 / -2 )

It's a bad design with absolutely no character.

-23 ( +3 / -23 )

I hope the rain stops so we can all see the Tokyo Sky Tree in a bit of sunshine today!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Tokyo Sky Tree was open yesterday. You guys didn't know that? You forgot where you are. This is Japan. Yesterday was a solar eclipse. Where's the best place to see it? Why would they open THE DAY AFTER? What if they had opened on the weekend so it could be a media event that everybody could enjoy?

Deep Pockets. They were there YESTERDAY. If it had been open to the public everybody who might be considered a common citizen would have been there. Where would the super rich go to enjoy it? Stay on the ground like common people?

Never forget where you are. Everything here is done and controlled by deep pockets.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

Tokyo Tower is happy that Gojira will finaly leave it alone :p

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Looks like you won't see much if you go up there today due to the poor weather.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nice view I am sure, if you are into concrete jungles.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Then, perhaps for a while we can be spared the TokyoSkyTree "press-vertisements", at least until the one, three and six month celebration and the anniversary?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

...and the Tonyo Tower may be put to decommissioning

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Tokyo Sky Tree Opens.... so?

-10 ( +2 / -11 )

Meh - in this day and age it seems like a vanity project. Still much more impressed by the Empire State Building at 443.2 m, with 102 floors of actual offices with people working there. It was finished during the height of the Great Depression in 1931 - over 80 yrs ago! The most amazing thing is that it was completed in 15 months. It is still the 15th tallest building in the world.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

The only good thing is that while all the senseless tourists will flood the sky tree, more interesting spots around tokyo will be less crowded and more accessible. personally, i think that this project was waste of time and money. broadcasting via air is so 1950's! couldn't they utilize the fiber optic infrastructure or use satelite? For money spent on this idiotic thing, they could have layed more fiberoptic or equipped every household with satelite tv receivers! And to enhance property value in the surrounding areas? well they could have invested in something more useful... like a shopping mall... or a river-side park, or school or college... out of all the ideas to spend the money they don't have, this one was the worst!

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

I know one of the ideas of placing this building in Sumida-ku is the hope that it might revitalize the area but I am skeptical. Tokyo Tower was built in a different age - a time when tall buildings was something spectacular. It was also a time when Japan propered and the outlook for the future was very bright. Right now, it seems to me Shanghai is the city with most interesting tall buildings being created.

For me, TST is no motivation to head over there. Let's be honest: there are more inviting areas in Tokyo than this part of Shitamachi. Besides, what else is there to do? Shop? Nah, not for me. I guess the main interest group will be obasan and ojisan from out of town. The 50-75 year-olds still believe in Japan as a great nation, capable of doing anything.

If you're a family of four, just going up to the top of the Tree will set you back something like ¥10000. Don't think it's worth it.

On a final note, I find the design somewhat... Uninspiring. While I usually like tall buildings, there is something missing. Maybe not bold enough. More interesting buildings (design wise) in Tokyo are the Mori Tower and the Nomura building in Shinjuku.

-8 ( +1 / -8 )


Agree completely. Skyscrapers built back in the days seem like a much bigger accomplishment.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Oh, goodness, the commercialism went into overdrive right now. Apparentely, TST is 634m tall. Therefore, of course, everything that can be associated wit this number can and will be sold: 634mm bread, some inaka place 63.4km away from TST, all kinds of junk with prices ranging from ¥634 to ¥63400. Also, expect anything with the name Musashi (MU=6 SA=3 SHI=4) to be marketed until the end of time... Japan feels More out of touch with times than ever (guess I should stop watching daytime TV).

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

wow, wanna come back Tokyo and try it

0 ( +1 / -1 )


0 ( +1 / -1 )

complete ripoff of other towers that came before it (such as the CN tower in canada). To be expected from a country that ripped off the eifell tower with the tokyo tower. This is just another horizon-obstructing tower in a city already suffocating with skyscrapers.

-9 ( +2 / -10 )

All these naysayers ought to hold off until you get the opportunity to come.

My wife and I have gone daily since Saturday. Almost everything but the Tower itself was open on Saturday and Sunday with all-day festivities including marching bands and taiko drummers. Everything was closed Monday, and it was absolutely JAMMED this morning (Tuesday) despite the rain.

The "print" news accounts, like this one, barely hint at what you'll see there. There IS a quite nice riverside park fronting the complex, the locals were given a free tour of the Tower two weeks ago (so it's not just the rich folks), and there is huge excitement in the surrounding community, as well as on the face of every person you see.

To me the commercial complex is a big, big part of the attraction, with a mix of Japanese and Western-style goods and foods and fashion like nothing I think I've ever seen. (Think of the food courts in basements of the major depatos, then multiply by 10. Then there are the Western packaged and canned foods that put the old Kinokuniya in Omotesando to shame.)

To you jaded types who love to nitpick everything about Japan, there's something for you as well... virtually every boutique and shop has absolutely gorgeous women enough to give you a bad case of whiplash, and on the 7th floor is the World Museum of Beer -- hundreds and hundreds of different beers from every country, and draft in huge steins that are reminiscent of the Munich Oktoberfest.

You'll likely reconsider once you do visit.

Oh, there are also the Tower, the aquarium, and the planetarium.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

they could have invested in something more useful... like a shopping mall

What do you think sora-machi is? Just down the road there is another nice, fairly new shopping complex in Kinshicho called "orinas"

2 ( +3 / -1 )


The 50-75 year-olds still believe in Japan as a great nation, capable of doing anything.

I'm only half that age, and I believe the same.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I really struggle to understand the Japanese obsession with towers and sky gardens and whatever else they call them. Really they are pointless as 95% of the time Japan is shrouded in that much smog and pollution that it is impossible to see anything from these towers. Not to mention the earthquake threat, l would not like to be in one in any type of quake would be extremely unpleasant.

-9 ( +1 / -9 )

THIRD tallest, not second, though the second tallest collapsed. (Warsaw Radio tower, at 646m before collapsing).

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Like it or not, it's here finally. Personally, I think it is quite an interesting looking structure and I am thrilled to have this huge shopping complex in bicycle distance. My only concern is for the fate of the formerly obscure shitamachi neighborhood that I felt was my secretly held discovery.

I'll go later when it is clear enough to see Fujisan. Maybe once more for the night view.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I don't care. I don't care that SMAP went. I don't care that Lady Gaga went. I don't care about the whole damn thing and wish it would stop being talked about on every damn TV program. Sky tree, sky tree! And they have it written as "Sky Tree." on it. Who the hell okay'ed the period???? Gah!

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Why so much hate? I love modern architecture and this city is one of the best places in the world for it. Sky Tree is another addition to the marvel that is Tokyo.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

It's not bad looking, but quite expensive to go up. I'd rather go up the Sky Building in Osaka.

0 ( +0 / -0 )


Why so much hate? I love modern architecture and this city is one of the best places in the world for it. Sky Tree is another addition to the marvel that is Tokyo

Some people just like to moan about things, I suppose.

I first saw it when it was half built and it was incredible at that point. Last year I could see it on the horizon from Nagareyama... when I look at my photos from there I'm shocked at how I could see something from that distance. I love it... though I prefer Tokyo Tower.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Methinks if the big one ever hit Tokyo the huge monstrosities like the Sky Tree, Roppongi Hills and other behemoths would be the most likely to survive unscathed.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Some of the elevators had to be shut down tonight due to high winds, and it's not even a typhoon. Gotta wonder about all the pledges of the tower's promoters, who assured us it was designed to withstand the most extreme weather and disaster conditions.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Sky Tree reached its height about a year ago, why didn't it open much sooner? If I was in charge , I'd have had everything else finished so it would open right after putting the top on...

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I love the way everyone has been coned into thinking its fluffy and nice by giving it the name SKY TREE. It's not a tree and hardly in the sky. Any way would any one like to buy some Sky Tree seeds? ¥1000 each or 12 for ¥10000. Hurry limited supply.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Some people just like to moan about things, I suppose.

Some people have better things to do than talk about or think about another man made structure that was more of a certain kind of measuring contest than actually built for a much needed function. The price of going to the top is crazy and is nothing but pure greed and consumerism. The sky tree, IMO, is nothing more than a symbol of needless waste and spending.

And it isn't anywhere close to the tallest building, I mean really, if you're going to have such a contest, can you at least make sure you're going to be the best at least a for a short while?

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Let`s see if she can hold on to the top spot for more than 35 years like the CN Tower.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Well, today would have been my Mom's 93rd birthday. And in speaking moments ago by phone, Yoko-chan tells me a lot of people who's birthday is (also) today (05/22) went to Sky Tree's opening day to co-celebrate. So. On one hand I mark an ending and yet today there is a new beginning. This is the way of the world. Now every year I can celebrate the new life of a great new structure in one of my most favorite cities in the whole world. Congratulations and enjoy! I can't wait to visit the place myself when its not so crowded.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Totally agree with you, tmarie! The modern world have lost its mind. Simple things are close to distinction. On Sunday I actually went to Gunma and enjoyed real trees and beautiful sky! Had to pay few thousand yen for the road and long hours drive but can not compare the experience to the concrete jungle. Baking your own pizza in real fire, chatting with nature loving and local community conscious people, playing with the kids on the green grass - priceless!!!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I'd be more inclined to go if it was actually reasonably priced, and if half of Tokyo wasn't following me up the tower. In all these years, I have never been up Tokyo Tower (I only went to the base last year - neither I nor my folks who came to visit Japan were inclined to spend the money to go up even the old tower). However, I've been up the governmental buildings in Bunkyo and Shinjuku wards - they were free!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

So does it have radiation sensors on it? That would be useful.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

more of a certain kind of measuring contest than actually built for a much needed function

Oh dear, can someone please remind tmarie exactly why this COMMUNICATIONS tower was built?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

95% of the time Japan is shrouded in that much smog and pollution that it is impossible to see anything from these towers

Funny. 95% of the time I have a clear view of the tower from my office in Tokyo, located 10km away. But what do I know.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Oh dear, can someone please remind tmarie exactly why this COMMUNICATIONS tower was built?

Perhaps you need to realise that a tower this large and this expensive was NOT needed...

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

tmarie, it had to be tall because the Tokyo Tower was not tall enough to do the job anymore.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

INdeed, taller than Tokyo Tower, not the monstrosity they built.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites