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The Tallest Tower in the World: Tokyo Skytree

Tokyo Skytree

Tokyo Skytree is a broadcasting, restaurant, and observation tower in Sumida, Tokyo, Japan. It became the tallest structure in Japan in 2010 and reached its full height of 634.0 meters (2,080 ft) in March 2011, making it the tallest tower in the world, displacing the Canton Tower, and the second tallest structure in the world after Burj Khalifa (829.8 m/2,722 ft).

Led by Tobu Railway and a group of six terrestrial broadcasters headed by NHK, the tower project forms the centerrpiece of a large commercial development equidistant from Tokyo Skytree and Oshiage train stations, 7 km (4.3 mi) Northeast of Tokyo station. One of its main purposes is to relay television and radio broadcast signals; Tokyo's current facility, Tokyo Tower with a height of 333 m (1,093 ft), no longer gives complete digital terrestrial television broadcasting coverage because it is surrounded by many high-rise buildings. The project was completed on 29 February 2012, with the tower opening to the public on 22 May 2012.

Tokyo Skytree

The design was published on 24 November 2006, based on the following three concepts: fusion of futuristic design and traditional beauty of Japan, catalyst for revitalization of the city and 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. There are observatories at 350 m (1,150 ft), with a capacity of up to 2000 people, and 450 m (1,480 ft), with a capacity of 900 people. The upper observatory features a spiral, glass-covered skywalk in which visitors ascend the last 5 meters to the highest point at the upper platform. A section of glass flooring gives visitors a direct downward view of the streets below.

Tokyo Skytree

The tower has seismic proofing, including a central shaft made of reinforced concrete. The main internal pillar is attached to the outer tower structure 125 meters (410 ft) above ground. From there until 375 meters (1,230 ft) the pillar is attached to the tower frame with oil dampers, which act as cushions during an earthquake. According to the designers, the dampers can absorb 50 percent of the energy from an earthquake.

The exterior lattice is painted a color officially called "Skytree White". This is an original color based on a bluish white traditional Japanese color called aijiro.

The illumination design was published on 16 October 2009. Two illumination patterns Iki (chic, stylish) sky blue and Miyabi (elegance, refinement) purple will be used, alternating daily. The tower is illuminated using LED lights.

Naming and height

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: Tokyo sky tree, Tokyo Edo tower, Rising tower, Tower of the future, Dream lookout, Rising east tower. (The actual names of course are Japanese, and the glosses are just that, and not "official English" versions.) 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".

Tokyo Skytree

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." The official website states "TOKYO SKYTREE" (all caps) as a registered trademark in English, but the version in the logo is clearly "SKY TREE." English-language publications are divided between the two versions.

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.