'Sky Tree' - the world's tallest tower opens in Japan

By Guinness World Records News
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The Tokyo Sky Tree, holder of the record for the world's tallest tower, has today opened to the public for the first time.

An expected 8,000 visitors are due to take high-speed lifts up to the observation decks of the 634m (2,080ft) tower to mark its opening today.

Eager visitors have reportedly waited in line for more than a week to purchase coveted tickets for the building's panoramic views, although today ended up being a largely cloudy day in the Japanese capital.

Along with becoming a major tourist attraction, the structure's main purpose is as a television and radio broadcasting tower.

Tokyo's current broadcasting tower, Tokyo Tower, is at 333 m (1,093 ft), and is no longer tall enough to give complete digital terrestrial television broadcasting coverage because it is surrounded by many high-rise buildings.

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The Sky Tree was confirmed by GWR in November as beating the record previously held Canton Tower in China, which stands 600m (1,968 and a half feet) high.

Under Guinness World Records guidelines a tower is a structure in which less than 50 per cent of the total height is useable floor space.

The world's tallest building and also the tallest free-standing structure on land remains Dubai's Burj Khalifa, which stands at 828m (2,717ft).