Sky Tree finished, ready for detailing

Kyodo

Tokyo Sky Tree, the world’s tallest tower at 634 meters, was completed Wednesday afternoon, its builder, Obayashi Corp., said.

Tobu Tower Sky Tree Co., operator of the tower, located in Sumida Ward, plans a ceremony Friday to mark its completion. Construction began in July 2008.

The tower, which eclipses the 600-meter Canton Tower in Guangzhou, China, will mainly be used for digital terrestrial broadcasting.

Originally planned to stand 610 meters high, Tobu Tower Sky Tree set the new height after getting wind that the Guangzhou tower was going to be the same height.

With snow falling heavily in Tokyo and its surrounding areas Wednesday, the operator scrambled to check the rooftops of the observation decks, the company said.

For additional safety, it positioned security guards on the ground to steer passers-by away from falling snow.

The tower’s height, pronounced in Japanese (“mu-sa-shi”), is a play on words as Tokyo and most of Saitama Prefecture were once widely referred to as the Musashi Province.

Tokyo Sky Tree surpassed the 333-meter Tokyo Tower, in Minato Ward, in March 2010. Tokyo Sky Tree’s final height was decided last March 18.

Now that the tower has been completed, the operator plans to finish the interior for stores and other facilities with an eye to opening them to the public on May 22.

“We will use all today to complete the procedures for getting control of the tower by conducting on-the-spot checks of the structure,” a Tobu Tower official said.