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Tokyo Tower vs. Tokyo Skytree: Closeup Look at Tokyo's Two Iconic Towers!

Tokyo Tower vs. Tokyo Skytree: Closeup Look at Tokyo's Two Iconic Towers!

Date published: 20 November 2018
Last updated: 30 September 2019

Tokyo Tower has been a symbol of Japan since it began overlooking Tokyo 60 years ago in 1958. In 2012, a new symbol of Japan took form with the completion of Tokyo Skytree. Both function as telecommunications towers and their beautiful appearances adorning the city also make them highly popular Tokyo tourist spots.

So, which is the true symbol of Tokyo? What are their attractions? Do their colors and illuminations have any meaning? What is the best way to enjoy them both? Let’s take a look at and compare the attractions of each.

In this article:
1. Checking Out Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree!
2. Inside Tokyo Tower: Introducing Foot Town
3. Inside Tokyo Skytree: Introducing Solamachi
4. Why Were Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree Built?
5. Comparing Tokyo Skytree to Towers Around the World
6. Tokyo Tower and Related Links

Checking Out Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree!

Checking Out Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree!
Quick Facts: Tokyo Tower
Formal Name
Japan Radio Tower
Year Opened
1958
Height
333 meters (1092.5 feet)
Weight
Around 4,000 tons
Number of Visitors
・Total: 180,000,000
・Around 2.5 million visitors annually (as of January 2018)
Percentage of Foreign Visitors
Around 35%
Tokyo Tower Observation Decks
Main Deck (150 meters)
Top Deck (250 meters)
Commercial Facility
Foot Town (B1 - RF)
(Detailed description below)
Tokyo Tower Admission
Main Deck (150m)
・Adults, 900 yen
・Children (elementary-middle school), 500 yen
・Children age 4+, 400 yen
Tokyo Tower Hours
Main Deck: 9AM-11PM (last admission, 10:30PM)
Top Deck: 9AM - 10:15PM (last tour: 10:15PM)
Tokyo Tower Mascot
Noppon
Quick Facts: Tokyo Skytree
Formal Name
Tokyo Skytree
Year Opened
2012
Height
634 meters (2080 feet)
Weight
Around 36,000 tons
Number of Visitors
・Total: 26,310,000
・Around 4.5 million visitors annually (as of May 2017)
Percentage of Foreign Visitors
Around 20%
Skytree Observation Decks
Observation Deck (350m)
Observation Corridor (450m)
Commercial Facility
Tokyo Solamachi (B3 - 31F)
Skytree Admission
Tembo Deck (450m)
・18 years and older, 2,060 yen
・Ages 12-17, 1,540 yen
・Ages 6-11, 930 yen
・Ages 4-5, 620 yen
Tembo Corridor (350m)
・18 years and older, 1,030 yen
・Ages 12-17, 820 yen
・Ages 6-11, 510 yen
・Ages 4-5, 310 yen
Skytree Hours
Tembo Deck and Tembo Corridor: 8:00AM - 9:45PM
tokyo Solamachi: 10:00AM - 9:00PM; Restaurant floor: 11:00AM - 11:00PM
Skytree Mascot
Solakala-chan

There is more to enjoy than just the view! Each tower has a number of facilities within it, including gift shops, restaurants, theme parks, and an aquarium. Take time to visit these areas, too, to make your visit even more memorable.

Inside Tokyo Tower: Looking at Foot Town

Inside Tokyo Tower: Looking at Foot Town

Tokyo One Piece Tower
The first ever full-time large-scale theme park dedicated to the popular One Piece anime series is located at the foot of Tokyo Tower on floors 1 and 3 to 5.

There are attractions here that you cannot enjoy anywhere else: live entertainment, special events, shops, restaurants, and cafes. There are also translation services such as QR code readers and animations with subtitles enabling visitors from abroad to enjoy them, too.

Here you will also find limited edition goods and whether you are a fan or not, this is one area we highly recommend you visit when you come to Tokyo Tower.

Hours: 10 am - 10 pm (Last admission at 9 pm)

Admission fee: (tickets for that day)
Live & Park Pass
19 and older: 3,200 yen
13 – 18 years old: 2,700 yen
4 – 12 years old: 1,600 yen

Park Pass
19 and older: 2,200 yen
13 – 18 years old: 1,700 yen
4 – 12 years old: 600 yen

Tokyo Tower Aquarium

More than 900 varieties of aquarium fish from around the world numbering 50,000 in total are on display. Said to be one of the largest displays of its kind the narrow tanks are skillfully arranged in the facility. Not only are there unusual fish on display that you are unlikely to see in other aquariums, but even more surprising is that it is even possible to purchase the fish being displayed. The background music for each section has been selected for each region and there are explanations about the natural habitats of the fish.

Hours: 10:30 am - 7 pm
Admission fee: Adults (16 and older), 1,080 yen; Children (1 and older), 600 yen; Senior (65+), 600 yen
* Proof of age required for Senior admission fee

Inside Tokyo Skytree: Introducing Solamachi

Inside Tokyo Skytree: Introducing Solamachi

Konica Minolta Planetarium "Tenku"

Experience the feeling of a star-studded sky enhanced by light, music and computer graphics. There is also an aromatic healing program that provides a very relaxing experience.

Planetarium
Crescent Moon:
Elementary school age and above for 2 people 4,000 yen per seat (for 2 people)
* Price is the same even if only 1 person uses it.
* Up to 1 pre-elementary school aged child exempted.
General:
Adult (Jr. high and older) 1,500 yen/person
Child (4 yr. and older) 900 yen/person

Healing Planetarium
Crescent Moon: Elementary school age and above for 2 people (Pre-elementary aged children not allowed) 4,400 yen per seat (for 2 people)
* Price is the same even if only 1 person uses it.
General: Elementary aged and older (Pre-elementary aged children not allowed) 1,700 yen/person

Sound Dome
Crescent Moon:
Elementary school age and above for 2 people 4,400 yen per seat (for 2 people)
* Price is the same even if only 1 person uses it.
* Up to 1 pre-elementary school aged child exempted.
General:
Adult (Jr. high and older) 1,500 yen/person, Child (4 yr. and older) 900 yen/person

Hours: 11 am - 9 pm

Sumida Aquarium

The water in these tanks use sea water artificially made (excluding fresh water tanks). It is one of the largest indoor open tanks in the country enabling you to see penguins and fur seals up close and in the park yard zone you can tour the area where the animals are kept.

Hours: 9 am - 9 pm
Admission: Adults, 2,050 yen; High School Students, 1,500 yen; Jr. High and Elementary school aged, 1,000 yen; 3 yrs and older, 600 yen

Why Were Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree Built?

Why Were Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree Built?

Both were built to be used as telecommunications towers. When Tokyo Tower was constructed in the 1950s, Japan was just in the midst of economic recovery. At that time there were TV radio towers in six locations, but a single tower capable of covering all areas would need to be more than 300 meters tall.

At that time, Japan wanted to make a tower taller than the 312-meter tall Eiffel Tower to make it the tallest in the world. For 60 years Tokyo Tower has represented the realization of those dreams and continues to be a symbol of Japan. After the construction of Tokyo Skytree was completed in 2012, which made it the tallest tower in Tokyo, Tokyo Tower assumed an auxiliary role for use in times of disasters.

Do you notice a resemblance between the Eiffel Tower on the left and Tokyo Tower?

In order to keep up with the changing times, a taller telecommunications tower was needed, and when its construction was completed in 2012, Skytree Tokyo assumed that role. Situated in the middle of Tokyo, a forest of skyscrapers eventually arose around Tokyo Tower making the broadcast of radio waves more difficult. Also in 2006 one-segment broadcasts and multi-media broadcasting began for handheld devices, so to meet these new needs, a tower more than 600 meters tall was needed. After that, tall towers sprang up around the world, but when Tokyo Skytree was completed in 2012 it became the tallest in the world. Currently NHK and five commercial networks use the tower for their broadcasts and it also has disaster prevention functions for use in times of disasters.

Tokyo Skytree and Skyscrapers Around the World

Tokyo Skytree and Skyscrapers Around the World

As of May 2018, Tokyo Skytree is the tallest free-standing tower (a tower excluding a branch tower) in the world and when compared to all architectural structures, it is the second-tallest overall.
There are various ways for ranking height, such as the height of the observation deck. The world has seen a surge in the construction of ultra-high buildings. Lubricated by oil money in the Middle East and the economic development of China, the record for tallest structure continues to be rewritten.
The following is a ranking of the world’s 10 tallest towers and buildings.

Top 10 Towers in the World (As of 2018) *Construction scheduled for after 2019
#1
Tokyo Skytree (634m / Tokyo, Japan)
#2
Canton Tower (600m, Guangzhou, China)
#3
CN Tower (553m / Toronto, Canada)
#4
Ostankino Tower (537m / Moscow, Russia)
#5
The Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower (468m / Shanghai, China)
#6
Milad Tower (435m / Tehran, Iran)
#7
Kuala Lumpur Tower (435m / Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
#8
Tianjin Radio and Television Tower (415m / Tianjin, China)
#9
Central Radio & Television Tower (405m / Beijing, China)
#10
Kiev Tower (385m / Kiev, Ukraine)
Top 10 Towers in the World (As of 2018) *Construction scheduled for after 2019
#1
Burj Khalifa (828m / Dubai, UAE)
#2
Shanghai Tower (632m / Shanghai, China)
#3
Abraj Al Bait Towers (601m / Makkah, Saudi Arabia)
#4
Ping An International Finance Centre (600m / Shenzhen, China)
#5
Golden Finance 117 (597m / Tianjin, China)
#6
Lotte World Tower (555m / Seoul, Korea)
#7
One World Trade Center (541m / New York, USA)
#8
CTF Finance Centre (530m / Guangzhou, China)
#9
Taipei 101 (509m / Taipei, Taiwan)
#10
Shanghai World Financial Center (492m / Shanghai, China)

The Jeddah Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia is scheduled for completion in 2020. Another possible name for it being Kingdom Tower, it will be 1,008 meters tall! It will be the first building ever to surpass the 1,000 meter height and it will then be the tallest structure in the world.
The 636-meter tall Wuhan Greenland Center in Wuhan, China is expected to be completed in 2019, eclipsing Tokyo Skytree and putting it in the number 1 position.

Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree are the new and old symbols of Tokyo. The beautiful style of Tokyo Tower nostalgically reminds us of Japan during its postwar economic recovery and its popularity has withstood the trials of time remaining loved by old and young, men and women, and people from around the world to this day. Tokyo Skytree represents a new age with its stylish form and advanced technology that makes it capable of withstanding the many earthquakes that frequently shake Japan. Both towers are symbolic of Tokyo and afford majestic views of the city. We hope you will visit them both.

Tokyo Tower in Related Articles

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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