Tokyo Skytree: World's second tallest structure is now open

Need a reason to visit Tokyo? Aside from the allure of Akihabara and Shibuya, Tokyo is now home to the Tokyo Skytree, the world's tallest broadcasting tower and second tallest man-made structure after the Dubai's Burj Khalifa.

Rising 2,080-feet into the sky, the Skytree has two main purposes: 1) to relay TV and radio signals that the Tokyo Tower can no longer do reliably and 2) to act as a tourism hotspot with two observation decks and a restaurant that will draw up to 32 million visitors annually.

Construction on the Skytree first began nearly four years ago on July 14, 2008. Although the entirety of the structure was completed on February 29, 2012, its grand opening to the public wasn't until today. It is also built to be even more earthquake-proof than any previous structure in Japan. It's said to be capable of absorbing 50 percent of a quake's energy.

Additionally, the tower can glow blue and purple thanks to built-in LEDs. Flickr user hiropismo has a nice timelapse of the Tokyo Skytree changing colors that is worth a look.

We've compiled some of our favorite Tokyo Skytree photos we've seen in the gallery below. If you can't fly over to Japan and check it out in person, this is the next best thing.

The Skytree was designed by architects at Nikken Sekkai and developed by Tobu Railway and NHK, Japan's national broadcasting organization.

Via MSNBC and Wikipedia

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