Ramping up for its gala opening next month, developers this week gave domestic and foreign journos a heart-stopping over quarter-mile ride up, up, way up to the observation level of Japan’s latest entry into the ongoing “biggest and longest” competition among industrialized nations ~ the 634-meter-tall (2,080 feet) Tokyo SkyTree. White-knuckled reporters boarded the SkyTree’s high-speed elevators with nervous smiles and waited a minute and 20 seconds to be lifted to the imposing tower’s observation level 1,476-feet above the metropolis. Earthquake’s? The Skytree survived last March’s 9.0 with no damage. The SkyTree has a restaurant and two cafes on the observation decks, a vertigo-inducing glass floor that lets vomitous visitors look straight down and an emergency staircase with 2,523 steps just in case you’re in the mood for a workout. Yomiuri Shimbun has video of the high-level junket (in Japanese but the flyover footage really doesn’t need translating) and HuffPo has a writeup and a slideshow.