Room with a cloudy view

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iol travel may 23 Tokyo Skytree REUTERS A view of Tokyo Skytree, the world's tallest broadcasting tower at 634 metres, in Tokyo.

Tourists who waited in line for up to a week to scale the world’s tallest tower on its opening day last Tuesday were left disappointed when clouds ruined play.

But it didn’t stop about 8 000 visitors taking the high-speed lifts to the observation decks of the 634m Tokyo Sky Tree.

Misty weather saw them missing out on the promised stunning panoramic views.

Japan’s structure, recognised by Guinness World Records as the tallest tower on the planet, fended off competition from China’s 600m Canton Tower to win the top prize.

It was originally planned to stand at the same height as its Chinese counterpart, but added a few crucial metres when getting wind of those plans.

The world’s tallest structure is Dubai’s 828m Burj Khalifa, but as it is a skyscraper, and not a tower, it falls into a different record category.

Construction of the tower near the already popular Asakusa traditional district on Tokyo’s eastern side began in July 2008.

It was originally scheduled to finish last December but was delayed due to a shortage of supplies after the Japanese tsunami the previous year.

Tourist bosses hope the tower will be a big draw for foreign visitors, whose numbers have plummeted in the aftermath of the disaster and the nuclear crisis it sparked.

Japan’s six top broadcasters are building the tower, which is expected to bolster television and radio transmissions in the capital region.

It also houses shops, restaurants and other entertainment and is expected to become a new tourist destination in Tokyo.

At the base of the tower there is a “town with a tower” that spans 400m from east to west, connecting two nearby train stations and encompassing an area of 3.69 hectares.

The cost of building the tower has been put at 60 billion yen (R6 billion). – Daily Mail

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