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Tokyo Skytree, World's Tallest Tower, Opens In Japan (PHOTOS)

05/22/12 01:20 AM ET AP

TOKYO -- The world's tallest tower and Japan's biggest new landmark, the Tokyo Skytree, opened to the public on Tuesday.

Nearly 8,000 visitors were expected to take high-speed elevators up to the observation decks of the 634-meter (2,080-foot) tower to mark its opening. Some reportedly waited in line more than a week to get the coveted tickets for a panoramic view, though Tuesday ended up being cloudy in Tokyo.

Skytree is recognized by Guinness World Records as the tallest tower, beating out the Canton Tower in China, which is 600 meters (1,968 1/2 feet).

The world's tallest structure is Dubai's Burj Khalifa, which stands 828 meters (2,717 feet). That's in a different category because it's a skyscraper, not a tower.

The Skytree will serve as a broadcast tower for television and radio, along with being a tourist attraction. It replaces the 333-meter-tall (1,092 1/2-foot-tall) Tokyo Tower – a symbol of Japan's capital since 1958 – as the broadcast hub.

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  • This combo picture, taken on (L-R) October 13, 2009, April 14, 2010, August 17, 2010, December 1, 2010 and May 16, 2012 shows construction progression of the world's tallest radio tower, the Tokyo Sky Tree in Tokyo. (JIJI PRESS/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Emperor Akihito, left, and Empress Michiko are escorted by Yoshizumi Nezu, president of Tobu Railway Co. Ltd. during their visit at Tokyo Skytree Tower in Tokyo, Thursday, April 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

  • Visitors wait in front of the entrance of the Tokyo Skytree in Tokyo, Tuesday, May 22, 2012. The world's tallest tower and Japan's biggest new landmark opened to the public on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)

  • Observation decks of the world's tallest radio tower, the Tokyo Sky Tree are covered in cloud in Tokyo on May 22, 2012 as it opens for the public. (YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/GettyImages)

  • The world's second highest building, the Tokyo Sky Tree (R), is pictured behind cherry blossoms at a Tokyo park on April 18, 2012. (YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Japanese Emperor Akihito (R) and Empress Michiko (C), accompanied by Yoshizumi Nezu (L), president of Tobu Railway, operator of Tokyo Sky Tree, enjoy the view from the 450m high air corridor of the 634m Tokyo Sky Tree in Tokyo on April 26, 2012. (YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/GettyImages)

  • The 634-metre-tall Tokyo Sky Tree tower stands in eastern Tokyo on November 17, 2011. (YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Some 450 colorful carp streamers fly before the world's highest radio tower, the Tokyo Sky Tree at a Tokyo park on May 2, 2012. (YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Some 450 colorful carp streamers fly before the world's highest radio tower, the Tokyo Sky Tree at a Tokyo park on May 2, 2012. (YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/GettyImages)

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Filed by Eline Gordts  |