The Tokyo Sky Tree: Second Largest Building in the World

Written by Samuel Phineas Upham

Standing over 2,000 feet above the ground, the Tokyo Sky Tree is the second largest building in the modern world and the largest free-standing tower on record. It trumps the Canton Tower in Guangzhou China by thirty-four meters, and it’s twice the size of the Tokyo Tower that it is meant to replace. It will be run by a consortium of railway and broadcast companies, carrying messages into the surrounding Kanto region.

The land the tower stands on is known to be unstable, and the tower was completed nearly a year after the 9.0 magnitude earthquake that rocked the city of Tokyo. Still, Obayashi, the builder behind the project, seems confident the tower will resist quake damage. The tower uses a central column that helps stabilize the structure by acting like a kind of pendulum. This counterbalances the effects of seismic waves and reduces the sway of the building.

Visitors can take a high-speed elevator to an observation deck that is over one-thousand feet above the ground. The ride is extremely smooth, most don’t even feel the acceleration of the elevator, and you rise in less than a minute. On clear days, you can spot Mount Fuji in the southwest. Standing atop the deck, with a 360 degree view of Tokyo, it’s hard not to think of the rich history of Japan. You can see that history from the deck itself, admiring a screen painting of Edo from Japan’s feudal era while you compare the layout of the city it would eventually become.

Samuel Phineas Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Samuel Phineas Upham on his LinkedIn page.