The Tokyo Sky Tree, formerly known as New Tokyo Tower, is a broadcasting, restaurant and observation tower under construction in Sumida, Tokyo, Japan. It has been the tallest artificial structure in Japan since 2010. The tower reached its full height of 634.0 metres (2,080 ft) in March 2011 but will not be finished until at least late 2011.
The project is being led by Tobu Railway and a group of six terrestrial broadcasters (headed by public broadcaster NHK). Construction of the tower is scheduled to be completed by December 2011, with the public opening on 22 May 2012. The completed structure will be the centrepiece of a massive commercial development located equidistant from Narihirabashi Station and Oshiage Station.
One of Tokyo Sky Tree's main purposes is as a television and radio broadcasting tower. Tokyo's current broadcasting tower, Tokyo Tower, is at 333 m (1,093 ft), and is no longer tall enough to give complete digital terrestrial television broadcasting coverage because it is surrounded by many high-rise buildings.
The Tokyo Sky Tree is currently the tallest tower in the world. It is taller than Canton Tower (600 m (1,969 ft)); the tallest structure on an island, taller than Taipei 101; and the second tallest structure in the world, after the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
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
- Contribution to disaster prevention "Safety and Security"
The base of the tower has a structure similar to a "tripod", but from a height of about 350 m and above, the tower's structure is cylindrical to withstand very strong winds.
The tower also has state-of-the-art seismic proofing, including a central shaft made of reinforced concrete.
The exterior lattice is painted a colour officially called "Sky Tree White". This is an original colour based on a bluish white Japanese traditional colour called aijiro
The illumination design was published on 16 October 2009. Two different illumination patterns (Sky blue and Purple) will be used, alternately daily. The tower will be illuminated using LED lights.
From 26 October to 25 November 2007, suggestions were collected from the general public for the name to be given to the new tower. On 19 March 2008, a committee chose six final candidate names: Tokyo Edo Tower, Tokyo Sky Tree, Mirai Tree, Yumemi Yagura, Rising East Tower, and Rising Tower, with the official name to be decided in a nationwide vote. On 10 June 2008 the official name of the tower was announced as "Tokyo Sky Tree". The name received around 33,000 votes (30%) out of 110,000 cast, with the second most popular name being "Tokyo Edo Tower".
The height of 634 m was selected to have a height that is easy to be remembered. The figures 6 (mu), 3 (sa), 4 (shi) stand for "Musashi" an old name of the region where the Tokyo Sky Tree stands.