Around The Tallest Tower in Japan

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Every capital city has its flamboyant, sumptuous, and extravagant landmarks. They are easily recognized by everyone in the country and are often located at the heart of the city. They are the symbols for a city and without a doubt, one of the most popular tourist attractions of the country. The Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Clock Tower of the Palace of Westminster in London, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Colosseum in Rome, the Empire State Building in New York, and the Grand Canyon in Arizona are all examples of famous landmarks of a city. What is the landmark of Tokyo then?1There are many and if you Google “landmarks of Tokyo,” you will come across names like The Meiji Shrine, Tokyo Imperial Palace, Tokyo Disneyland, Roppongi Hills, Shibuya crossing, Tokyo Tower etc. However, the one landmark that Google did not give me is Tokyo Skytree. Of course websites like TripAdvisor and USA Today mentions Skytree, but Google does not do the same right away.Standing at a 634 meters (2,080 feet) height, Skytree is the Tallest 3Towers by Height according to the non-profit organization Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH)1. Although taller than the skyscraper, Abeno Harukas by 334 meters, due to the CTBUH criteria, it is not included as the tallest building in Japan. Nevertheless, the tower is supposed to represent Japan’s shift from analog to digital broadcasting in Japan. It is currently serving as the primary broadcasting site for the Kanto Plains.At the base of the tower, is the one of the largest commercial complexes for shopping, dining, and entertainment – the Tokyo Solamachi. It even comes with an aquarium and a planetarium. More than 300 existing and original establishments are nicely laid out across 12 floors in total. From a food court on the 3rd floor to the fashion zone on the 2nd floor, the whole complex is divided into 9 areas that have unique characteristics. In fact, there is an entire floor dedicated to only souvenir shopping. It 2is unique in the sense that the aesthetic of the whole floor and the shops in there all scream Japanese. You can find snacks, food, ornaments, etc. that are sold only at Tokyo Solamachi; something that will never fail to disappoint the curious foreigners. In addition to the food court, there is a large food market and four floors filled with a variety of restaurants. Each floor offers different dining experience, including two top floors with an exclusive view of the city.Beside the shopping and restaurants, one of the main attractions of the4 Skytree town is the Sumida Aquarium. This modern aquarium houses over 10,000 sea creatures on the 5th and 6th floor. It has one of the largest indoor open pool tanks and is home to several penguins and fur seals. Based on the theme of “cradle of life,” the aquarium has many other tanks that display some of the oceanic habitats of Japan. It also comes with a aqua lab, coral lab, and a tide pool lab, intended to provide a real life experience and understanding of the aquatic life. You can enjoy this aquarium 365 days a year for only¥2,050.2Finally, the main attraction; the Skytree itself. There are 2 floors observation floors open to public. One is at a height 5of 350m and the other is at 450m. The adult tickets to the first observation deck come at ¥2,060 and if you want to the go to the highest deck, it will be an additional ¥1,030. To make it better, the Skytree town is very close to Asakusa. So, one can easily have a relaxing breakfast, shop and eat lunch at Tokyo Solamachi Complex, enjoy the observation decks during its peak time around 3 pm, and head to Asakusa to appreciate a Asakusa temple and its traditions.Sources(1) http://skyscrapercenter.com/buildings?list=tallest-towers(2) http://www.sumida-aquarium.com/en/info/index.html