Tokyo Skytree: The Tallest Building in Japan

The Tokyo Skytree is the tallest building in Japan. The Japanese name is Tōkyō Sukaitsurī (東京スカイツリ).

As the name suggests it is located in Tokyo, in the special ward of Sumida.

The name was announced in March 2008 after it won a nationwide vote.

The Tokyo Skytree height? 634 m.

Is Skytree the tallest tower in the world? Yes!

But how tall is the Tokyo Skytree in feet? It's exactly 2,080 ft tall.

The height is not casual. In Japanese the numbers 6 (mu), 3 (sa) and 4 (shi) form the word "Musashi", an old name used for the region where the tallest building in Tokyo is.

Let's find out more about the Tokyo Skytree:


Why is the Tokyo Skytree famous

It is a broadcasting and observation tower used for television and radio broadcasting in the Kantō region.

Before that, the Tokyo Tower was the highest radio tower in Japan and was used for broadcasting.

Unfortunately, because of the many tall buildings around it, the Tokyo Tower is no longer able to deliver complete digital terrestrial television broadcasting cover.

And if you're wondering which is taller, Tokyo Tower or Tokyo Skytree? The answer is the latter. The Tokyo Tower (332.9 m) was the highest tower in Japan until the Tokyo Skytree was built.


Design and structure of the Tokyo Skytree

Tokyo Skytree: The Tallest Building In Japan - LEDs blue lights

The Tokyo Skytree has 29 floors.

 

The design of the tower is based on three principles:

  • combining a neofuturistic design and the traditional Japanese beauty
  • reviving the city
  • focusing on preventing disasters

It was designed by the Japanese architecture firm Nikken Sekkei and commissioned by Tobu Railway.

The tower is part of a project by the company: a bigger commercial development plan with the Tokyo Skytree as the centerpiece

Regarding its structure, the tower has a tripod-like structure.

From 350 meters up it turns into a cylindrical structure to allow panoramic views of the river and the city.

The external structure of the tower is painted a particular shade of white, called Skytree white, because it reminds of the traditional Japanese color aijiro (藍白), a sort of bluish-white.

The external structure also has a LEDs illumination: there are two distinct patterns:

  • Iki
  • Miyabi

Iki translates to chic or stylish and lights up the tower of blue.

Miyabi translates to elegance or refinement and makes the tower look purple.

These two illumination patterns are used every day, but alternating between one and the other


History and construction process of the Tokyo Skytree

From the presentation of the design to the opening to the public, the tallest building in Japan took six years to be completed.

Let's see the important steps that led to how we see the tower is today:

  • On the 24th of November 2006, the design was published
  • On the 14th of July 2008, there was a ceremony to celebrate the beginning of construction
  • On 29th of February 2012, the construction of the tower finished
  • On 22nd of May 2012, it was officially opened to the public

What can you find inside the Tokyo Skytree?

Tokyo Skytree: The Tallest Building In Japan - view of the tower from afar

The Tokyo Skytree is located in the Sumida special ward of Tokyo. It is the tallest man-made structure in the world.

 

The tallest building in Tokyo has many shops, restaurants, and cafes inside, including the Tokyo Skytree shops.

Perhaps, one of the most interesting places to visit in the tower is the two observatories.

The first is at 350 m, the Tokyo Skytree Tembo Deck. It is 360 panoramic point, covered in glass that allows you to see a view of the city up to 70 kilometers away.

Can you imagine the pictures you could take from up there?

And you can get even higher up with the second observatory at 450 m, the Tokyo Skytree Tembo Galleria.

From here, which is floor 445, you get reach floor 450 thanks to a glass tube: a skywalk completely covered in glass.

The Tokyo skytree glass floor allows you to admire the city below you.

So far up from the ground, you'll feel like you are walking in the sky!


How can you reach the Tokyo Skytree?

The tallest building in Japan is quite easy to access via public transport, as it is close to several train stations in Tokyo.

There is the Tokyo Skytree Station, which is the closest, and in fact, shares the name with the tower.

However, you could get to the tower from the Oshiage Station and a little further away, you can find the Tokyo Station.


Is the Tokyo Skytree the tallest building?

Tokyo Skytree: The Tallest Building In Japan

The Tokyo Skytree is the tallest tower in Japan and in the world, but unfortunately, the title of the tallest building in Japan belongs to Abenobashi Terminal Building, in Abeno-ku, Osaka.

Does Japan have skyscrapers? Yes, this one is a multi-purpose commercial facility and it is 300 m tall. It measures up to 984 ft tall.

It has 62 floors: inside you can find the headquarters of Kintetsu Department Store and one of their department stores.

The Abenobashi Terminal Building doesn't house just commercial offices and shops, but also a Marriott International hotel and university campuses.


The Tokyo Skytree is an example of Japanese design: efficient, masterfully thought in every detail, and beautiful in its aesthetics.

If you ever visit Tokyo, make sure to have it on your "to-visit" list!