Tokyo Skytree: World’s tallest tower, but not tallest building

Tokyo Sky Tree, the world's tallest TV tower and second-highest building.

Visitors flocked to the opening of Tokyo Skytree in Japan this morning. Measuring in at 2,080 feet, according to the Guinness Book of World Records it is the new tallest tower in the world.

Wait, what about the Burj Khalifa, which opened in Dubai in 2010? That tower clocks in at 2,716 feet, 6 inches, which makes it the tallest man made structure in the world. How then, can Skytree in Tokyo claim the title of world’s tallest tower?

The difference lies in the fact that the Skytree is a broadcast structure, apparently. The Burj Khalifa is an “occupied” tower with space for both residential apartments and offices, which makes it a “building” rather than a “tower.”

Still, Skytree in Tokyo is an impressive man-made feat and certainly one of the biggest architectural accomplishments of our time. Just to put it in perspective, the height of the building is equivalent to:

  • 1.41 Empire State Buildings
  • 366 Ryan Seacrests
  • 411 Smart Cars
  • 2,641 iPads

Tens of thousands of people eagerly lined up for a trip to the tower’s observation decks: One at 1,148 feet, which can hold 2,000 people and one at 1,476 feet, which can hold 900 people, according to CNN. The tower will accommodate 6,000 people per day and tickets are sold through an online lottery system.


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