The TOKYO SKYTREE® is the world’s tallest free-standing broadcasting tower, reaching up 634 meters into the sky (2,080 feet). The Skytree is also quite new, completed in 2012. It was designed with the concept of bringing traditional together with the future, and the name, height, design and color all have meaning relevant to Japanese culture.
What I learned is that the city of Tokyo is huge and packed full of buildings and people. We purchased the Hato Bus tour package that included the bus ride to the Tower from the train station (good idea-very big city), a stop at Asakusa Temple (extremely packed full of people—I recommend visiting temples in smaller cities), and tickets to visit the Tokyo Sky Tree.
The Skytree elevators race upwards at 600 meters (1,968 feet) per minute taking less than a minute to ascend to the Tembo viewing deck. From 350 meters (1,148 feet) up the TOKYO SKYTREE® you may enjoy the breathtaking view of this mega city via the 5-meter high glass windows and 360 degree all-round view. Tokyo is packed with buildings as far as the eye can see. My first thought was, “Wow, a population this size can eat a lot of rice!”
The structure has a center reinforced concrete pillar to better absorb seismic activity. Yikes! I’m glad I did not experience any seismic activity while there! If it’s too windy outside, the elevators stop, and the tower may even shut down to tourists. In fact, we visited on a good day; the next day was very windy and the Skytree was closed.
The Tembo deck also has a gift shop and café. Of course, elevators also access other tower features such as the entrance and exit floors as well as the galleria (a higher up viewing deck with a glass-covered skywalk for a little more money) and the broadcasting facilities. If you are interested in more educational features and information about the history behind the Japanese culture and design details, please visit the official website http://www.tokyo-skytree.jp/en/. For more interesting and fun facts, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokyo_Skytree.
After descending the tower, we exited to the outdoor plaza where a Colonel Sanders statue was beckoning us to visit his Japanese Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant. Oh well, we passed on by and enjoyed our stroll in the beautiful May weather back to the Hato Bus. We returned to the Tokyo train station as the sun was setting and got to enjoy the striking view of the huge, old train station buildings lit up against the night sky; another picturesque memory.