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Friday, June 10, 2022

Tokyo Skytree: A Timeless Landmark

Above, a night view from the Asakusa side of the Sumida River. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Now that Japan has reopened to foreign tourists (albeit timidly), there's one Tokyo landmark that visitors should go to. That's the Tokyo Skytree. Since tourists can only enter Japan through guided tours now, make sure the Skytree is part of the itinerary.

Above, a view of Tokyo from one of the observation decks. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

I went up to one of the Skytree's observation decks during my last visit to Japan and it didn't disappoint. The views of the city were spectacular.

Nippon.com has posted an article on the Skytree and it begins with:

Tokyo Skytree has been one of the Japanese capital’s preeminent landmarks since it opened in 2012. The tower’s repertoire of nighttime illuminations along with Sumida’s spruced-up neighborhoods make the area an ever more attractive tourist destination.

Strong, Slim, and Soaring

Tokyo Skytree’s slim, futuristic design, a sharp contrast to Tokyo Tower’s triangular, broad-based profile, initially took residents some getting used to. But today, its silhouette has become a familiar presence on Tokyo’s skyline.

The tower stands on a long, narrow site running east to west, necessitating that it has a compact footprint. Rather than using a circular shape, which would have limited the structure’s diameter to 60 meters at ground level, designers opted for a triangular base 70 meters on a side to provide extra stability.

However, the Skytree ideally needed to be circular to ensure even distribution of television signals and to offer visitors 360º views of the city from observations decks. To achieve this, designers hit upon the solution of starting with a triangular cross-section at ground level and gradually morphing it into a circular tower higher up. The tower’s shape takes inspiration from the graceful arc of the Japanese sword and the softly swelling round pillars at the country’s ancient temples.

Above, a view of the Skytree from its base. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

 To read the full article and see several photographs, go here

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