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The view from the Tokyo Skytree, one of the tallest structures on Earth (pictures)

The Tokyo Skytree is one of the tallest structures ever made, towering over 2,000ft (634m) above the city. Here's what the view looks like.

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Geoffrey Morrison
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1 of 32 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The tower

2.080 feet/634 meters, bottom to top. It's huge.

For the full story behind the tour, check out The view from the Tokyo Skytree, one of the tallest structures on Earth.

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2 of 32 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Ground floor: models

While you wait in line you can gander at an exhibit where artists interpreted the Skytree in their style.

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3 of 32 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Elevators await

There are four elevators that take you to "Floor 350." Each is decorated to represent a season.

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4 of 32 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Summer

I got the same elevator twice. It represented summer with these fireworks made from "Edo-Kiriko" glass.

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5 of 32 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Floor 350: Viewing Level

The round viewing deck was quite large, and quite crowded. Use a bit of patience and you could get up to the glass looking whatever direction you wanted.

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6 of 32 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Tokyo!

It was pretty hazy during my day visit (the night visit was better). I tried cleaning them up a bit, but there's only so much "dehaze" can do.

We're looking southwest here, toward the main core of Tokyo, across the Sumida river.

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7 of 32 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Northwest

Tokyo goes on forever. It's got the sprawl of LA with the height of New York. And yes, it's the biggest city in the world.

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East/southeast

It might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Tokyo, but it's a city of rivers and canals.

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South

Parks and "green spaces" are scattered throughout the city.

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Up we go

Glass-ceiling elevators take you the last 100 meters, if you so choose, for an extra 1,030 yen.

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Viewing platform from viewing platform

That's the main viewing platform, way down there.

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Curves

As you exit the elevator, you ascend this ramp to get to the 450m point. It's lovely, but the window muntins get in the way more than on the big windows down on 350.

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451.2m

The highest point you can stand (as a visitor, anyway). 451.2 meters, or about 1,480 feet.

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14 of 32 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Higher ground

As you can see, we're definitely higher up. I can't say the view is "better" per se.

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15 of 32 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Roads and rails

As impressive as all the roads are, the amount of railways is even more so, especially since these are just the ones we can see (Tokyo has two different major subway companies, and several minor ones).

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Walkway

On the right is outside of the curving walkway. There's something about how it sticks out into space, with the ground way out and down below. I dig it.

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38M

After getting bored with the picture opportunities at 450, I went back to 350.

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Vertigo

I cropped this a bit to take out the window frame, but you really can see almost straight down.

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Sprawl

I think I need to re-read "Neuromancer" again.

"The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel."

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Cafe

Tea with a view. Not bad.

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Straight down

The real "glass floor" is next. This is just a viewing window. It's somehow cooler, though, being closer to the structure itself.

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Standing in the sky

A glass (OK, plexiglass) floor lets you see the drop. Not scary really, since there's a whole other layer below the one you're standing on.

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Night tower

I went back a few days later to catch the views at night. I was not disappointed.

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Night!

I didn't even notice until I had looked at the photos, but the ceiling lights change color at night!

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Mood lighting

The Skytree has two main colors at night, purple and a sort of light-blue/cyan (miyabi and iki, respectively).

It occurs to me now that the lighting up here probably reflects that as well. As in, had I come back the next night, cyan would be the tone.

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Tremendous

I love this city, and at night, doubly so. Paris may be the city of lights, but Tokyo is the city of, um, more lights.

You can see Tokyo Tower in the upper left, lit up in its iconic orange.

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Visual aids

Touchscreens let you see the view from different times of day, and let you find out about specific landmarks.

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Lines and light

Around 38,000,000 people live in the Tokyo metro area.

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Ghost in the shell

Is it me or does this look like a shot from "Ghost in the Shell"?

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Southwest

The fabled Chiba from "Neuromancer" is way off in the distance.

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Golf

Impressive ~15 story nets for a tiny golf course.

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Long way down

At night, the drop seems far more ominous.

After this it was into the elevators and back down to the world. Thankfully, there's a great ice cream shop near the exit.

For the full story behind the tour, check out The view from the Tokyo Skytree, one of the tallest structures on Earth.

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