Tokyo Sky Tree: a Definitive Guide (part 5) – Countdown to Opening!
A few days ago the construction of Tokyo Sky Tree was officially completed.
Last week the press crowded in for a symbolic “handing over of the keys” ceremony, from the construction contractors to Tobu Railway Company (the tower operators) and now all that remains is for the complex’s numerous shops and tenants to fit out their little pockets of prime retail space.
What isn’t yet clear is whether the outside of the buildings, currently bare of any decoration, will by then be covered with huge spotlit billboards, neon signs, retailers’ logos, LCD screens and so on.
Time will tell. I’ll keep you posted.
The official public opening on May 22nd is set to be a huge event, with hundreds of thousands of excited and curious onlookers expected to descend on Oshiage from all across Tokyo and other parts of Japan.
Again, I’ll be there and will report on the goings-on.
Sky Tree Observation Decks – Going Up!
As the image shows, the cross-section of Tokyo Sky Tree gradually changes as you move upwards – from triangular at its base to circular at the top.
The large circular observation deck at 350m is the highest in Japan, and commands vertigo-inducing views. On a clear day you’ll be able to see things on the ground at a distance of up to 68km.
It also costs more to visit than any other observation deck in the country – an adult visitor will be hit for ¥2,500 (US$31).
But that’s just the beginning. If you want to go all the way up to the Second Observatory you’ll be asked to hand over a further ¥1,000 (a total of US$43).
However this viewing platform is in the form of a clear glass tube (the “Air Corridor”) suspended from the outside of the tower 450m above the ground and elegantly wrapping around the summit in a gently inclining spiral.
It is, of course, the one you absolutely have to go to.
Demand is expected to be intense. Tickets for the first couple of months are to be allocated by lottery only. One places an online reservation months in advance and then waits to see if one has gotten lucky.
Given that on grey days the top of the tower is often enveloped by clouds, you’d hope you don’t spend your hard-earned to simply get a view of a white ganzfeld.
Standard tickets to visit are not being sold until at least the middle of July.
Now, something else you’ll see when you go there.
Sky Tree Staff – and the Uniforms are…
What might be described as slightly avant-garde style by designer Akira Minagawa, the special uniforms to be worn by Sky Tree staff have been revealed:
Ticket Counter staff
Information Counter staff
Facility Guide staff
Gift Shop staff
And a group photo of the happy family!
Unique fashion indeed.
While the Ticket Counter staff appears quite smart, reminiscent of a Flight Attendant uniform, the male Guides’ outfit is something else entirely, a strange boyish hybrid of pyjamas and sailor suit. And the hat of the Information Counter staff has distinctly psychedelic overtones.
I look forward to seeing them in person in the months ahead.
links and further information
Here’s the official Tokyo Sky Tree homepage.
Ticket reservations and booking information – click here.
Read other Tokyo Sky Tree reports on JapanGasm here: