Tokyo Skytree, World's Second Tallest Tower, Set to Open in May

Tokyo Skytree, the second tallest free-standing structure in the world, was open to visitors and press this week and offered an unimpeded view of the city's skyline.

While the Skytree may be the second tallest free-standing structure, it is the tallest broadcasting tower. The tallest tower in the world is currently the 2,717-foot Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

The Skytree stands a commanding 2,080-feet and has been incorporated with a unique "vibration-controlling" technology which is designed to be able to withstand earthquakes, which are common in that region.

The tower was constructed with steel tubes encompassing a central concrete column which are structurally separate from one another throughout the tower's interior.

The concrete columns and the steel tubing were designed to offset each other in order to minimize the tower's motion in the event of an earthquake.

Designers of the Skytree state that the tower was built to withstand a magnitude 7.0 earthquake in the event the quake struck directly under the tower, according Sho Toyoshima, spokesman for Tobu Tower Co.

Toyoshima explained that the tower experienced no structural damage as it was being constructed from the magnitude 9.0 quake that occurred off Japan's northeastern coast last March.

The Skytree is expected to enhance both television and radio transmissions in and around the capital and its owners also hope that it will encourage tourism in the Tokyo region.

Reports indicated that there have already been 600,000 group tickets created in preparation for the opening weeks of the Skytree, while individual ticket reservations have already surpassed 140,000, Toyoshima said.

"We particularly want tourists from abroad to be able to take time to enjoy the Skytree. We encourage them to stay in the vicinity of the Skytree and enjoy it over the course of two days, say, instead of just one," he said.