Sky Tree Turns One

News & Views - May 21st, 2013
Sky Tree:cyber0515

One giant ‘candle’ now a feature of the Tokyo skyline is celebrating the first anniversary of its opening to the public this Wednesday, May 22.

Much fanfare greeted the Sky Tree as it opened in 2012, with ticket sales backed up for three months until those lucky few with pre-sold tickets had had their chance (though we’re glad we didn’t have some for the opening day, where fog and rain ruined things for most) and things really kicked off in July.

A slightly jazzed up illumination has greeted anyone who’s spotted the Sky Tree over the last few weeks, and a few events are planned to celebrate the big day; ‘Welcome Wonder Sky!’ they cry, in the hope that many more of us will make the trip over to Asakusa…

The Tokyo Sky Tree has apparently welcomed over 6 million visitors in its first year (a press release from the tower’s operators in fact tells of the 6,340,000th customer – a Chiba family – being awarded a special replica tower this Monday, in recognition of their visitor number matching the digits of the tower’s height, 634m; it’s a neat coincidence that seems a little too planned to be true!)

We’d suggest a good time to visit will be during the Tokyo Hotaru Festival – especially if you agree with one recent visitor, who compared the Sky Tree to Mt. Fuji: it is looking at them, rather than the view from them, that’s really what’s special about these two icons…

It’s not all good news for the Sky Tree – a report in the Japan Times today suggest that it is not quite meeting its primary non-tourism function; it is yet to fulfill its “prime mission of reliably broadcasting to households in the capital and its suburbs.”

Though it has now been open to those seeking some of the top views in Tokyo for a year, broadcasters are still in the testing stages and will recalibrate their dishes and antennae over the coming weeks so that the job of superseding Tokyo Tower can be completed.

Image credit: cyber0515/Flickr