The tower is the primary television and radio broadcast site for the Kant? region; the older Tokyo Tower no longer gives complete digital terrestrial television broadcasting coverage because it is surrounded by high-rise buildings. Skytree was completed on Leap Day, 29 February 2012, with the tower opening to the public on 22 May 2012. The tower is the centrepiece of a large commercial development funded by Tobu Railway and a group of six terrestrial broadcasters headed by NHK. Trains stop at the adjacent Tokyo Skytree Station and nearby Oshiage Station. The complex is 7 km (4.3 mi) north-east of Tokyo Station.
The design was published on 24 November 2006, based on the following three concepts:
Contribution to disaster prevention - "Safety and Security"
Tokyo Skytree also resembles a 5-storey pagoda from historical Japan helping it fit to the historical area of Asakusa. The base of the tower has a structure similar to a tripod; from a height of about 350 m (1,150 ft) and above, the tower's structure is cylindrical to offer panoramic views of the river and the city.
There are observatories at 350 m (1,150 ft), with a capacity of up to 2000 people, and 450 m (1,480 ft), with a capacity of 900 people. The upper observatory features a spiral, glass-covered skywalk in which visitors ascend the last 5 meters to the highest point at the upper platform. A section of glass flooring gives visitors a direct downward view of the streets below.
The tower has seismic proofing, including a central shaft made of reinforced concrete. The main internal pillar is attached to the outer tower structure for the first 125 meters (410 ft) above ground. From there until 375 meters (1,230 ft) the pillar is attached to the tower frame with oil dampers, which act as cushions during an earthquake. Additional resilience is achieved through an "added mass control mechanism" (or tuned mass damper) - a damping system which, in the event of an earthquake, moves out of step with the building's structure, to keep the center of gravity as central as possible to the tower's base. According to the designers, the dampers can absorb 50 percent of the energy from an earthquake.
The exterior lattice is painted a colour officially called "Skytree White". This is an original colour based on a bluish-white traditional Japanese colour called aijiro ().
The illumination design was published on 16 October 2009. Two illumination patterns Iki (chic, stylish) sky blue and Miyabi (elegance, refinement) purple will be used, alternating daily. The tower is illuminated using LEDs.
From October to November 2007, suggestions were collected from the general public for the name to be given to the tower. On 19 March 2008, a committee chose six final candidate names: T?ky? Sukaitsur? (, "Tokyo sky tree"), T?ky? Edo Taw? (EDO, "Tokyo Edo tower"), Raijingu Taw? (, "Rising tower"), Mirai Taw? (, "Tower of the future"), Yumemi Yagura (, "Dream lookout"), Raijingu ?suto Taw? (, "Rising east tower"). The official name was decided in a nationwide vote, and was announced on 10 June 2008 as "Tokyo Skytree". The name received around 33,000 votes (30%) out of 110,000 cast, with the second most popular name being "Tokyo Edo Tower".
The height of 634 m (2,080 ft) was selected to be easily remembered. The figures 6 (mu), 3 (sa), 4 (shi) stand for "Musashi", an old name of the region where the Tokyo Skytree stands.
Tokyo Skytree is used as a radio/television broadcast and communications tower.
1 December 2010: The tower topped the 500 m (1,600 ft) mark and reached a height of 511 m (1,677 ft), beating Taipei 101 (509 m (1,670 ft)). A lightning conductor and two tuned mass dampers were docked to the gain tower, which was gradually lifted within the central shaft.
16 January 2013: Snow falling from the tower knocked a hole in the roof of a nearby house. No one was reported injured.
13 May 2013: Tokyo MX continued transmission from Tokyo Skytree and stopped transmission from Tokyo Tower with a gradual decrease in power since 12 November 2012.
31 May 2013: On 9:00 a.m., formal transmission of broadcast in channel 1 to 8, except 3, start from Tokyo Skytree after number of test transmission with off for minutes to hours from Tokyo Tower since 22 December 2012.
As the Skytree's opening approached, people reportedly waited in line for a week to get tickets. By the opening, trips up the tower were fully booked for the first two months of operation. The opening day drew a crowd of tens of thousands, despite rainy conditions which blocked the view from the tower's observation deck. Strong winds also forced two elevators to be shut down, leaving some visitors briefly stranded on the observation deck.
According to Tobu, 1.6 million people visited Skytree in its first week. Local residents reported that the influx of visitors disturbed the peace of their community and had, so far, generated little economic benefit for the local area.
^610? [The height of 610 meter radio wave tower, "Skytree", the main body of tower appeared on the ground]. Sankei Shimbun (in Japanese). Tokyo. Archived from the original on 9 April 2009. Retrieved 2009.