Japan’s Tokyo Tower is a lattice work of orange metal shaped like the Eiffel Tower and reaching 333 meters high. From 1958 until 2010, Tokyo Tower was the highest structure in Japan. Tokyo Skytree, which opened to the public in May of 2012, now takes top honor as Japan’s tallest structure, reaching a dizzying 634 meters high. Tokyo Skytree is the tallest tower in the world and the second tallest structure in the world, second only to the UAE’s absurdly tall Burj Khalifa.
Believe me, I would have loved to have visited Tokyo Skytree. Not a chance. For the first six months after Skytree’s opening, only Japanese Nationals were given tickets to go up into the tower. So I had to settle for second tallest, Tokyo Tower.
Tokyo Tower serves as a broadcasting tower and visitor center. There are two observation decks on the tower. The main observation deck is at 145 meters up; the second observation deck is at 250 meters. Two elevators run up the middle of the tower from the ground floor, carrying visitors to the main observation deck. From the main deck, a single elevator runs to the second deck.
When I visited Tokyo Tower, there were many tourists. Once on the first observation deck, I found out that the wait to ascend to the second deck was an hour and a half. So I decided to forgo heading to the second deck. It was my last day in Japan, and I wanted to visit as many things as I could before saying goodbye to the greatest country in the world. So I stayed on the main deck snapping pictures for a little while. The 360 degree view from the first observation deck was quite satisfying. It was high enough to see out to the horizon and feel astounded by the massive size of the Tokyo metro area. By just about any measure, Tokyo is the largest city in the world.