I used to think Tokyo Tower was expensive, but then the world’s tallest free-standing telecommunications tower (documented by Guinness World Records) took over as Japan’s tallest structure, with sky-high admissions to boot. Opened in 2012 to handle digital broadcasting and cellphone transmission, the 634m (2,080-ft.) tower contains two observatories, one at 350m (1,150 ft.) and the highest at 450m (1,476 ft.). Yet despite the steep price and potentially long queues, I have to say I found identifying Tokyo’s landmarks from such a lofty vantage challengingly fun, with plenty of 360-degree viewing areas that make the hour or so you spend here go quickly. For those less familiar with the capital’s iconic buildings, high-tech touch panels let you zoom in on the cityscape. Other diversions include a cafe in the first observatory and Sky Restaurant 634 (http://restaurant.tokyo-skytree.jp/english; reservations required), offering Japanese/French fusion cuisine with what is certainly Tokyo’s most expansive views. At the tower’s base is Solamachi, a complex with 300 more shops and restaurants, including a Pokémon Center. To beat the long lines, go early on a weekday or head to the fourth-floor Fast SkyTree Ticket counter, open only to international visitors, though you’ll pay extra for the privilege. If you’re in Tokyo only a couple days, I’d spend my time elsewhere. But for people who have been here, done that, this makes for an entertaining new destination. In any case, visible from many areas of Tokyo, SkyTree makes Tokyo Tower seem downright diminutive.