Tokyo: Asahi Brewery and Tokyo Skytree

After our boat trip on the river Sumida we made our way to the Skytree, Tokyo’s newest and tallest tower. But first, we took a few pictures in front of the Asahi Breweries headquarters on the east bank of the river.

The Asahi Beer Tower and Asahi Super Dry Hall with its characteristic Flamme d’Or were completed in 1989. French designer Philippe Starck designed them. The building on the left is shaped like a beer glass, while the one to the right has a flame that should represent the burning heart of Asahi beer. The tour guide on our boat tour said that the Asahi Flame is often colloquially referred to as “the golden turd” and the Asahi Beer Hall itself as “poo building” by many Tokyo residents, but not sure if that’s an urban myth!

We then walked 30 minutes to the basis of the newly opened Tokyo Skytree, which has approximately twice the height of the Eiffel Tower with 634 metres.

Unfortunately we had to realise that tickets to climb the Tokyo Skytree are hard to come by – we were given a ticket to come back at 19.30 to queue for tickets, when it was only 16.00. As impatient as we are, we left but made a note to book a ticket online for the next time!

Tokyo Skytree’s construction was delayed after the March 2011 earthquake affected the delivery of supplies to the building site. The structure was completed two months late, on February 29, 2012 with the tower opening to the public on 22 May 2012 The tower surpasses China’s Canton Tower (600 meters high) as the world’s tallest tower, but is still nearly 200 meters shy of Dubai’s 830-meter Burj Khalifa skyscraper, the tallest manmade structure ever built.

Useful info:

  • The height of 634 metres can also be read in Japanese as “Musashi,” the name of the Tokyo area from around the eighth century
  • The name was selected by public vote, the second most popular name was “Tokyo Edo Tower”
  • The Tokyo Skytree can be accessed from Tokyo Skytree Station on the Tobu Isesaki Line or Oshiage Station on the Hanzomon and Asakusa subway lines
  • Prices to the first deck: Adults: ¥2,000, students ¥1,500, children ¥900
  • Tickets to the second deck attract an additional fee and are sold only on the day. Go to http://www.tokyo-skytree.jp for more information

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