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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

World's largest tower opens to public in Tokyo

The world's tallest tower and Japan's biggest new landmark, the Tokyo Skytree, opened to the public on Tuesday.

Nearly 8,000 visitors were expected to take high-speed elevators up to the observation decks of the 634-metre tower to mark its opening. Some reportedly waited in line more than a week to get the coveted tickets for a panoramic view, though Tuesday ended up being cloudy in Tokyo.

Skytree is recognized by Guinness World Records as the tallest tower, beating out the Canton Tower in China, which is 600 metres (1,968 1/2 feet).

The world's tallest structure is Dubai's Burj Khalifa, which stands 828 metres. That's in a different category because it's a skyscraper, not a tower.

The Skytree will serve as a broadcast tower for television and radio, along with being a tourist attraction. It replaces the 333-mete-tall Tokyo Tower —a symbol of Japan's capital since 1958 —as the broadcast hub.

Toronto's CN Tower, which was the world's tallest tower when it opened in 1976, stands 553 metres.

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