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Tokyo Sky Tree takes root as world's second-tallest structure

Kyodo via Reuters

The Tokyo Sky Tree, the world's tallest broadcasting tower, opened to the public on Tuesday.

TOKYO -- The world's second-tallest structure opened to the public on Tuesday.

The Tokyo Sky Tree is now the world's tallest broadcasting tower. It is expected to draw in 32 million visitors a year, more than Tokyo Disneyland.


Featuring two observation decks and an adjacent shopping arcade which includes a planetarium and an aquarium, it stands 2,080-feet high on the eastern side of city, away from the glitzy Shibuya and the Ginza districts.

Sky Tree overlooks Sumida and Arakawa rivers, the symbols of Old Tokyo area, and on a clear day provides a panoramic view beyond the capital including Mount Fuji.

As its name suggests, the tower employs branch-like joints made of high-strength steel tubes and is anchored with triangular, walled spikes 330 feet underground like a root of a tree to withstand strong earthquake and typhoons.

Panoramic views of Tokyo can be seen from atop the Tokyo Sky Tree, the second tallest tower in the world and the tallest freestanding broadcasting tower that opens to the public next month. Msnbc.com's Dara Brown reports.

An inner column that's separated from the outer frame, an idea borrowed from traditional five-story pagoda temples, was incorporated to reduce the impact of tremors by 40 percent.

PhotoBlog: More images of the Sky Tree

During last year's March 11 earthquake, workers were putting in place the tallest section of the tower. Although it swayed almost 20 feet, the structure wasn't damaged.

Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters

A man with a hairstyle featuring the Tokyo Sky Tree, waits to enter the structure.

Only 8000 people with advance reservations were able to access the tower's observation deck on Tuesday. But tickets will be made available again in July.

Dubai's Burj Khalifa, which stands 2720-feet high, is the world's tallest structure. China's Canton Tower was previously the world's tallest broadcasting tower.

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