It's difficult not to be wowed when you are in Japan, especially if you get an opportunity to witness the Tokyo's biggest work in progress - the Tokyo Sky
Tree. A marvel of Japanese technology and engineering, the Tokyo Sky Tree was envisaged by a consortium of six of Japan's biggest broadcasting stations. They
wanted a new terrestrial broadcasting tower, but since construction began in 2008, the Sky Tree has come to mean a lot more to the citizens of Tokyo. It is,
when fully constructed, going to be the highest radio tower in the world. You stand in front of the iron and steel structure and you feel humbled. It stands
in front of you, a 350 meter tall behemoth, with hundreds of men and machines working on it night and day. My guide tells me that when it is completed in
December 2011, the Tokyo Sky Tree will be the tallest structure of its kind in the world - scaling an incredible 634 meters!
The building has a triangular shape at the base and as you go higher, it becomes round. An engineer working on the project tells me that this was necessary
to avoid the fierce gale that blows in Tokyo. Even as we, an excited group of foreigners from DigiCon 2010, were being escorted to the tower, it started
At the apex of the structure will sit the antenna, which will be used for digital, terrestrial broadcasting throughout Tokyo. Believe it or not, the whole
idea of reaching this height with the structure was necessitated because the Tokyo Tower, the existing terrestrial tower, at 332.5 metres, proved too short
to broadcast signals throughout the city! After Sky Tree was commissioned, in a plot of land between the Sumida River and Imperial Palace, the common
Japanese were called upon to suggest a name for the proposed mega-structure. My guide tells me that a final list of six names was put to vote from almost
eleven thousand entries. The moniker, Tokyo Sky Tree, was polled the favourite.
If you stand atop the already constructed first observatory, at 350 metres, you can look down at the fireworks in the night sky. When completed, in spring
2012, a shopping area and office building will be added at the base of the tower, making it the nerve centre of business and cultural interaction in this
part of Tokyo. One can get to the first observatory using an elevator, but beyond that one will have only one way up - through the glass-walled walkway. No
doubt, you will have a great view of Tokyo from there.
My guide insists that I visit Tokyo again in the spring of 2012, when the Tokyo Sky Tree will be thrown open to the public, along with a brand new caf
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