Glitches: Tokyo Solamachi, a commercial facility adjacent to Tokyo Skytree, crowded with visitors in Sumida Ward, Tokyo, on May 27, the first Sunday after the tower opened.More than 1 million people had visited Tokyo Skytree and its adjoining commercial facility in Sumida Ward, Tokyo, by Saturday, a good showing for the 634-meter-tall tower after its opening May 22. On the other hand, local retailers who expected a boost in sales have been disappointed.
The number of visitors to Tokyo Skytree and its commercial facility, Tokyo Solamachi, has been more than 200,000 daily.
The number of visitors passed 1 million two days earlier than originally expected, with admittance restricted for the first time on Saturday evening.
However, local retailers are disappointed with the opening. They saw increased sales before the opening, but have seen sales decline since then. A souvenir shop owner complained that visitors stayed at Solamachi and did not come out into the neighborhood.
The local government estimated Tokyo Skytree would generate 88 billion yen per year and an official said visitors would eventually visit the surrounding areas.
The operator of Tokyo Skytree is overwhelmed by the number of visitors. People wanting to go to the second observation deck, 450 meters above the ground, have to buy tickets at the first observation deck, 350 meters above the ground. The operator had estimated the number of visitors who would go to the higher deck at about 50 percent of the total, but the real numbers are believed to be higher.
A 27-year-old woman who went to the tower on Wednesday was surprised at the long line to buy tickets for the second deck. She said, "I gave up going up to the second deck because I would've had to wait 50 minutes to buy a ticket. As visitors are limited by reservations, I was sure I'd be able to go up."