Tokyo Skytree (東京スカイツリー, Tōkyō Sukaitsurī), [toːkʲoː sɯ̥kaitsɯriː] is a broadcasting and observation tower in Sumida, Tokyo. It became the tallest structure in Japan in 2010[3] and reached its full height of 634 meters (2,080 ft) in March 2011, making it the tallest tower in the world, displacing the Canton Tower,[4][5] and the third tallest structure in the world after the Merdeka 118 (678.9 m or 2,227 ft) and the Burj Khalifa (829.8 m or 2,722 ft).[6][a] It is also the tallest freestanding structure in the OECD, the G20 and G7 countries.

Tokyo Skytree
Tokyo Skytree in December 2019
General information
Architectural styleNeo-futurism
LocationSumida, Tokyo, Japan
Coordinates35°42′36″N 139°48′39″E / 35.7101°N 139.8107°E / 35.7101; 139.8107
Construction started14 July 2008; 15 years ago (2008-07-14)
Completed29 February 2012; 11 years ago (2012-02-29)
Opened22 May 2012; 11 years ago (2012-05-22)
Cost65 billion JPY[2]
OwnerTobu Railway
through the Tobu Tower Skytree Co., Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary
Antenna spire634 m (2,080 ft)
Roof495 m (1,624 ft)
Top floor451.2 m (1,480 ft)
Technical details
Floor count32 above ground[1]
3 below ground[1]
Design and construction
Architect(s)Nikken Sekkei
DeveloperTobu Railway
Main contractorObayashi Corporation

The tower is the primary television and radio broadcast site for the Kantō region; the older Tokyo Tower no longer gives complete digital terrestrial television broadcasting coverage because it is surrounded by high-rise buildings. Skytree was completed on Leap Day, 29 February 2012, with the tower opening to the public on 22 May 2012.[7] The tower is the centrepiece of a large commercial development funded by Tobu Railway (which owns the complex) and a group of six terrestrial broadcasters headed by NHK. Trains stop at the adjacent Tokyo Skytree Station and nearby Oshiage Station. The complex is seven kilometres (4.3 miles) northeast of Tokyo Station. In addition, there is the Sumida Aquarium in the "Tokyo Solamachi" complex.

Design Edit

The tower's design was published on 24 November 2006,[8] based on the following three concepts:

  • Fusion of neofuturistic[9][10] design and the traditional beauty of Japan
  • Catalyst for revitalization of the city
  • Contribution to disaster prevention – "Safety and Security"

The base of the tower has a structure similar to a tripod; from a height of about 350 m (1,150 ft) and above, the tower's structure is cylindrical to offer panoramic views of the river and the city.[11] There are observatories at 350 m (1,150 ft), with a capacity of up to 2,000 people, and 450 m (1,480 ft), with a capacity of 900 people.[12] The upper observatory features a spiral, glass-covered skywalk in which visitors ascend the last 5 metres to the highest point at the upper platform. A section of glass flooring gives visitors a direct downward view of the streets below.[13]

Earthquake resistance Edit

The tower has seismic proofing, including a central shaft made of reinforced concrete. The main internal pillar is attached to the outer tower structure for the first 125 metres above ground. From there until 375 metres the pillar is attached to the tower frame with oil dampers, which act as cushions during an earthquake. Additional resilience is achieved through an "added mass control mechanism" (or tuned mass damper) – a damping system which, in the event of an earthquake, moves out of step with the building's structure, to keep the centre of gravity as central as possible to the tower's base.[14] According to the designers, the dampers can absorb 50 percent of the energy from an earthquake.[15][16]


Colour Edit

The exterior lattice is painted a colour officially called "Skytree White". This is an original colour based on a bluish-white traditional Japanese colour called aijiro (藍白).[17]

Illumination Edit

The illumination design was published on 16 October 2009. Two illumination patterns alternate daily. One is the sky blue Iki (chic, stylish), and the other is the purple Miyabi (elegance, refinement). The tower is illuminated using LEDs.[18]

Naming and height Edit

The cross-section of the tower forms an equilateral triangle on the ground, gradually rounding to become circular at 320 m elevation.

From October to November 2007, suggestions were collected from the general public for the name to be given to the tower. On 19 March 2008, a committee chose six final candidate names: Tōkyō Sukaitsurī (東京スカイツリー, "Tokyo sky tree"), Tōkyō Edo Tawā (東京EDOタワー, "Tokyo Edo tower"), Raijingu Tawā (ライジングタワー, "Rising tower"), Mirai Tawā (みらいタワー, "Tower of the future"), Yumemi Yagura (ゆめみやぐら, "Dream lookout"), Raijingu Īsuto Tawā (ライジングイーストタワー, "Rising east tower"). 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".[19]

The height of 634 m (2,080 ft) 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.[20]

Broadcasting use Edit

Tokyo Skytree is used as a radio/television broadcast and communications tower.

Television broadcasters Edit

Channel Channel name Callsign Signal power ERP Broadcast area
NHK General TV JOAK-DTV 10 kW 68 kW Kantō region
NHK Educational TV JOAB-DTV
tvk JOKM-DTV ? 1 kW Kanagawa and Tokyo
Nippon Television JOAX-DTV 10 kW 68 kW Kantō region
TBS Television JORX-DTV
Fuji Television JOCX-DTV
Tokyo MX JOMX-DTV 3 kW 11.5 kW Tokyo

Radio broadcasters Edit

Frequency Station name Callsign Power ERP Broadcast area
81.3 MHz J-Wave Tokyo JOAV-FM 7 kW 57 kW Tokyo
82.5 MHz NHK FM Broadcast Tokyo JOAK-FM
90.5 MHz TBS Radio Tokyo JOKR-FM Kantō region
91.6 MHz Nippon Cultural Broadcasting Sumida  
93.0 MHz Nippon Broadcasting System Sumida  
Comparison of the Tokyo Skytree with the world's seven tallest towers
Main pod
Worm's-eye view of Tokyo Skytree, a sunny day
Mount Fuji and the tower, seen from Chiba
Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival
Tokyo Skytree Observation Deck

Timeline Edit

2008 Edit

  • 14 July 2008: A ceremony was held at the site to mark the start of construction.[21]

2009 Edit

  • 6 April 2009: The foundations for the three main legs were completed.[22]
  • 7 August 2009: The tower reached a height of 100 m.[23]
  • 16 October 2009: The projected height was increased from 610 m to 634 m to make it the highest self-supporting[further explanation needed] steel tower. Also, 6-3-4 is Mu-sa-shi in Japanese wordplay goroawase.[24]
  • 10 November 2009: The tower reached a height of 200 m.[25]

2010 Edit

  • 16 February 2010: The tower reached a height of 300 m (980 ft).[26]
  • 29 March 2010: The tower reached a height of 338 m (1,109 ft), becoming the tallest structure in Japan.[3]
  • 24 April 2010: A 1:25 scale model of the Tokyo Skytree was unveiled at the Tobu World Square theme park in Nikkō, Tochigi.[27]
  • 30 July 2010: The tower topped 400 m, reaching a height of 408 m (1,339 ft).[28]
  • 11 September 2010: The tower reached 461 m, becoming the tallest structure ever built in Japan, surpassing the dismantled Tsushima Omega tower of 455 m.[citation needed]
  • 23 October 2010: The tower reached a height of 497 m (1,631 ft), and assembly of the main tower section was completed.
  • 20 November 2010: Two tuned mass dampers with a total weight of 100 tons were temporarily placed on the tower tip at 497 m.[29][30]
  • 1 December 2010: The tower topped the 500 m (1,600 ft) mark and reached a height of 511 m (1,677 ft), beating Taipei 101 (509 m (1,670 ft)). A lightning conductor and two tuned mass dampers were docked to the gain tower, which was gradually lifted within the central shaft.[31]
  • 16 December 2010: Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications approved NHK and five TV key stations in Tokyo's plans to install their broadcasting facilities on the tower.[32]
  • 18 December 2010: The transmitting antenna for digital terrestrial television began to be installed.

2011 Edit

  • 1 March 2011: The tower topped the 600 m (1,969 ft) mark and reached a height of 604 m (1,982 ft), surpassing Canton Tower (596 m (1,955 ft)) and becoming the world's tallest tower.[33][34]
  • 12 March 2011: The tower reached a height of 625 m (2,051 ft). A full inspection was made, looking for possible damage by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and its aftershocks.
  • 18 March 2011: The tower reached its final height of 634 m (2,080 ft) at 1:34 pm JST.[35]
  • 23 May 2011: Dismantling four tower cranes continues until mid-July.[36]
  • 7 June 2011: Announced public opening date of Tokyo Skytree Town and entrance fee (Adults: 2,000 yen to 350 m (1,150 ft) level; extra 1,000 yen to 450 m (1,480 ft) level) to observation floors.[37]
  • 17 November 2011: Guinness World Records certified the Tokyo Skytree as the tallest free-standing tower.[38]

2012 Edit

  • 16 February 2012: The roofs of warehouses close to the tower were damaged by falling snow and ice from the tower.[39][40]
  • 29 February 2012: Tower construction was finished. Completion was delayed two months from the original schedule because of a shortage of supplies due to the effects of the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami.[41][failed verification]
  • 2 March 2012: A ceremony was held to celebrate the completion with a kannushi priest and 70 people from Tobu Group, construction, broadcasting and other companies.[42][43]
  • 6 March 2012: First Light-up during the Tokyo Hotaru Festival
  • 26 April 2012: Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan inspected the Tokyo Skytree Tembo Galleria.[44]
  • 22 May 2012: Public opening
  • 1 October 2012: Channel 9 Tokyo MX start transmission from Tokyo Skytree with continuing transmission from Tokyo Tower in simulcast manner.[45]

2013 Edit

  • 16 January 2013: Snow falling from the tower knocked a hole in the roof of a nearby house. No one was reported injured.[46]
  • 13 May 2013: Tokyo MX continued transmission from Tokyo Skytree and stopped transmission from Tokyo Tower with a gradual decrease in power since 12 November 2012.[47]
  • 31 May 2013: On 9:00 a.m., formal transmission of broadcast in channel 1 to 8, except 3, start from Tokyo Skytree after number of test transmission with off for minutes to hours from Tokyo Tower since 22 December 2012.

2022 Edit

  • 22 May 2022: the 10th anniversary of the opening of Tokyo Skytree was celebrated with Kabuki by Ichikawa Ebizo XI who performed a signature technique called the "nirami" glare on a special stage atop of the tower.[48]

Opening Edit

As the Skytree's opening approached, people reportedly waited in line for a week to get tickets. By the opening, trips up the tower were fully booked for the first two months of operation.[49] The opening day drew a crowd of tens of thousands, despite rainy conditions which blocked the view from the tower's observation deck. Strong winds also forced two elevators to be shut down, leaving some visitors briefly stranded on the observation deck.[50]

According to Tobu, 1.6 million people visited Skytree in its first week. Local residents reported that the influx of visitors disturbed the peace of their community and had, so far, generated little economic benefit for the local area.[51]

Gallery Edit

Panoramic view of Tokyo from Tokyo Skytree

See also Edit

Notes Edit

  1. ^ It was previously the second tallest structure in the world before the completion of Merdeka 118.[6]

References Edit

  1. ^ a b "Tokyo Sky Tree". Skyscraper Source Media. Archived from the original on 23 May 2007. Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  2. ^ "Japan finishes Tokyo Sky Tree". Archived from the original on 3 February 2014. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  3. ^ a b Tokyo Sky Tree beats Tokyo Tower, now tallest building in Japan Archived 5 December 2012 at, The Mainichi Daily News, 29 March 2010
  4. ^ "Japan Finishes World's Tallest Communications Tower". Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. 1 March 2012. Archived from the original on 19 June 2016. Retrieved 2 March 2012.
  5. ^ "Tokyo Sky Tree". Emporis. Archived from the original on 3 June 2012. Retrieved 2 March 2012.
  6. ^ a b Arata Yamamoto (22 May 2012). "Tokyo Sky Tree takes root as world's second-tallest structure". NBC News. Archived from the original on 25 May 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  7. ^ 事業概要. Tokyo Skytree Home (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2 September 2011. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
  8. ^ "The Tallest Tower in the World: Tokyo Skytree". Archived from the original on 7 December 2013. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  9. ^ Tokyo Sky Tree: the world's tallest broadcasting tower Archived 1 December 2017 at the Wayback Machine. megalopolisnow (8 August 2012). Retrieved on 23 June 2014.
  10. ^ Japan | ArchDaily – Part 33 Archived 22 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine. ArchDaily. Retrieved on 23 June 2014.
  11. ^ "Tokyo Sky Tree, Japan". designbuild-network. Archived from the original on 29 November 2017. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
  12. ^ "World's tallest broadcasting tower Tokyo Skytree opens". BBC News. 22 May 2012. Archived from the original on 22 May 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  13. ^ Kyodo News, "Skytree reaches for hearts and minds Archived 25 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine", Japan Times, 25 May 2012, p. 3
  14. ^ "Secrets of the Sky Tree: Quake-proofing the world's second tallest structure". 2 March 2012. Archived from the original on 23 April 2016. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  15. ^ Nakata, Hiroko, "Tokyo Sky Tree opener looms large Archived 30 December 2012 at the Wayback Machine", Japan Times, 21 February 2012, p. 3.
  16. ^ Bull, Brett, "The sky's the limit Archived 21 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine", Japan Times, 20 May 2012, p. 7
  17. ^ "Color Design". Tokyo Skytree. Japan: Tobu Railway Co. 2008. Archived from the original on 29 April 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  18. ^ "Lighting Design". Tobu Tower Skytree Co., Ltd. Archived from the original on 16 November 2012.
  19. ^ Name of New Tower Decided Archived 4 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine (in Japanese)
  20. ^ Kyodo News, "Tower's developers considered several figures before finally settling on 634 Archived 23 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine", Japan Times, 23 May 2012, p. 2
  21. ^ "Tokyo Sky Tree construction starts" Archived 15 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine. The Japan Times (15 July 2008). Retrieved 15 July 2008.
  22. ^ 高さ610メートル電波塔「スカイツリー」本体が地上に姿 [The height of 610 meter radio wave tower, "Skytree", the main body of tower appeared on the ground]. Sankei Shimbun (in Japanese). Tokyo. Archived from the original on 9 April 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  23. ^ "Tokyo Skytree is the height of the body beyond the 100m tower. Tree is growing steadily" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 October 2009. Retrieved 13 January 2010.
  24. ^ "東京スカイーツリーの最高高さを634mに決定しました。" [Maximum height of Tokyo Skytree to be 634 m] (PDF) (in Japanese). Tokyo: Tobu Railway and Tobu Tower Skytree. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 October 2009. Retrieved 16 October 2009.
  25. ^ [1] Archived 13 November 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ "Tokyo Skytree's height of the tower body exceeds 300m" (PDF) (in Japanese). Rising East project. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 March 2010. Retrieved 18 February 2010.
  27. ^ "Nothing very little about this miniature". Asahi Shimbun. Japan. Archived from the original on 29 March 2010. Retrieved 25 March 2010.
  28. ^ Tokyo Skytree, already tallest building in Japan, tops 400 meters, Kyodo News, 30 July 2010
  29. ^ 東京スカイツリー のつくり方「制振装置のあるゲイン塔頂部をつくる」 ["To make the tower tip with TMD installed", how to make Tokyo Skytree] (in Japanese). Obayashi Corporation. 25 November 2010. Archived from the original on 8 December 2010. Retrieved 20 December 2010.
  30. ^ 総重量は約100トン。制振装置が塔体の最頂部へ [Total weight 100 ton, TMD placed on tower tip.] (in Japanese). Blog from construction site, Obayashi Corporation. 25 November 2010. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 25 November 2010.
  31. ^ "Tokyo Sky Tree tops 500 meters during construction". Japan Today. 1 December 2010.[dead link]
  32. ^ 東京スカイツリーへの放送局の無線設備の設置に向けた変更許可について [Approval of alteration to install the radio wave facility of broadcasting stations to Tokyo Skytree] (in Japanese). Kanto Bureau of Telecommunications of Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. 16 December 2010. Archived from the original on 12 September 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2010.
  33. ^ "Tokyo Sky Tree tops 600 meters, becoming world's tallest tower". Japan Today. 1 March 2011. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011.
  34. ^ 世界一ツリー604メートル到達 東京スカイツリー [Tokyo Skytree reaches 604 m] (in Japanese). Nikkei Inc. 2 March 2011. Archived from the original on 6 March 2011. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  35. ^ スカイツリー、634メートルに到達 完成時の高さに [Skytree reaches final height of 634 m]. Asahi Shimbun (in Japanese). Tokyo. Archived from the original on 21 March 2011. Retrieved 18 March 2011.
  36. ^ Yomiuri-online movie: Dismantling cranes Archived 26 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine on 23 May 2011 (Japanese)
  37. ^ 東京スカイツリータウンの事業概要が決定しました [Decided the business outline of Tokyo Sky Tree Town] (PDF) (in Japanese). Tokyo Skytree Town. 7 June 2011. Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 June 2011. Retrieved 8 June 2011.
  38. ^ Mirai (19 November 2011). "Tokyo Sky Tree officially tallest free-standing tower in the world". Archived from the original on 27 January 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2012.
  39. ^ Company warehouses damaged by ice falling from Tokyo Sky Tree 17 February 2012 Archived 5 October 2015 at the Wayback Machine Japan Today Retrieved 5 October 2015
  40. ^ Koh, Yoree Look Up at Your Peril: Tokyo Skytree's Falling Ice 15 January 2013 Archived 12 January 2016 at the Wayback Machine Wall Street Journal Retrieved 5 October 2015
  41. ^ Japan finishes Tokyo Sky Tree Archived 19 March 2013 at the Wayback Machine, YAHOO!7 NEWS, AFP 29 February 2012, 4:07 pm
  42. ^ Tokyo Sky Tree completion ceremony, 2 March 2012 Archived 17 March 2023 at the Wayback Machine, Kyodo News
  43. ^ 東京スカイツリーで竣工式 [Completion ceremony for Tokyo Skytree] (in Japanese). Tokyo. NHK TV. Archived from the original on 2 March 2012. Retrieved 2 March 2012.
  44. ^ ご視察(東京スカイツリー)(墨田区) – 宮内庁 (in Japanese). Imperial Household Agency. 26 April 2012. Archived from the original on 25 April 2016. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
  45. ^ 10月1日、東京スカイツリーから放送開始 [Start broadcasting from Tokyo Skytree on 1 October 2012] (PDF) (in Japanese). Tokyo MX. 27 September 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 2 June 2013.
  46. ^ Snow from world's tallest tower pierces Tokyo roof 16 January 2013 Archived 17 November 2015 at the Wayback Machine Terra Daily Retrieved 5 October 2015
  47. ^ "2013年5月13日18:00東京タワーの電波を中止" [Radio wave stopped from Tokyo Tower on 13 May 2–13 18:00]. Tokyo MX. 13 May 2013. Archived from the original on 11 June 2013. Retrieved 2 June 2013.
  48. ^ Noriyasu Nukui (23 May 2022). "Kabuki actor's glare marks 10th anniversary of Tokyo Skytree". Asahi. Archived from the original on 24 May 2022.
  49. ^ Tim Newcomb (22 May 2012). "Tokyo Skytree: The World's Tallest Tower, By the Numbers". Time. Archived from the original on 24 May 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  50. ^ "High winds mar opening of Tokyo's Skytree tower". BBC News. 22 May 2012. Archived from the original on 22 May 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  51. ^ Aoki, Mizuho, "Skytree a mixed blessing for locals Archived 5 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine", Japan Times, 22 June 2012, p. 3


External links Edit

Preceded by World's tallest tower
Succeeded by