The height of the Tokyo Sky Tree, a communications tower under construction in Taito Ward, recently passed the 600-meter mark. It will be 634 meters tall when completed, and it is already one of the tallest structures in the world.
But what does 600 meters tall really mean?
The above photo (click on it for a larger view) is a panorama of the Tokyo skyline I shot last month that shows just how enormous the Sky Tree is when compared to everything else in the city.
I hardly need to mention that the Sky Tree is the tower at the far right-hand side of the photo. But if you look at the far left-hand side, you will see a needle-like structure sticking up above the surrounding skyscrapers. This is Tokyo Tower, a 333-meter tall communications tower with a basic design resembling that of the 324-meter Eiffel Tower in Paris. For a long time, this was the tallest structure in Japan. But now the still-unfinished Sky Tree makes it look puny.
Two other noteworthy pieces of Tokyo infrastructure related to this photo are the Tokyo Gate Bridge and the Aqualine highway.
The Tokyo Gate Bridge, also still under construction, can be seen to the left of the Sky Tree. It will be 87.8 meters tall, with 54.6 meters of clearance above the water, and a total length of 1,618 meters. (That’s just over a mile.) Ironically, it will probably not become a major Tokyo landmark, because very few parts of the city have a good view of it from ground level. Then again, visitors to the Sky Tree will be able to see this bridge just fine.
The final piece of infrastructure connected to this photo is the Aqualine highway, which cuts across Tokyo Bay between Kawasaki and Kisarazu. The road goes over a long bridge and through an even longer tunnel, with the transition made on an artificial island called Umihotaru, which has a rest area with shops and restaurants. When I took this photo last month, I was standing on an observation deck there.
By the way, you can see an earlier Sky Tree photo I took, next to the smoke from a burning building, at this earlier post.