May 22 - Tokyo Skytree, the world's tallest broadcast tower and second tallest building, opens to the general public. Elly Park reports.
Soaring 634 meters or nearly 2100 feet into the sky is Tokyo's newest landmark. Fittingly named "Skytree," it's the world's tallest broadcast tower and the world second tallest building standing twice as high as the Eiffel Tower in Paris. And after four years of construction, 818 million US dollars in spending and withstanding the mega earthquake of last year - the Skytree is finally ready for business. Commissioned by Tobu Railway Company, its president Yoshizumi Nezu inaugurated the building. SOUNDBITE: President Of Tobu Railway Co. Yoshizumi Nezu, saying (Japanese) "I'm pleased that we could complete the construction of this tower without having any accidents, or affected by any disaster, even though there was the Great East Japan Earthquake." Only the people who reserved the first-day admissions pass weeks in advance were allowed on the observation deck - after a 350 meter climb. And though clouds obstructed the views visitors were happy to be on top of the tree. SOUNDBITE: 25-Year-Old Businesswoman From Yamanashi Prefecture, Masae Koudo, saying (Japanese) "This will definitely become one of Japan's symbolic places." And with operators expecting 32 million visitors a year, the Skytree is also expected to grow money in the future. Elly Park, Reuters.