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Jun. 29, Sun.*This program was first broadcast on Oct. 11, 2012


Tokyo SKYTREE, completed this year, rises 634 meters. The world's tallest broadcasting tower, it's packed with the finest in Japanese engineering. Its steel framework was assembled with millimeter precision from sections lifted to dizzying heights. Special construction methods were needed to cope with the wind. And Japan is an earthquake-prone country, so SKYTREE has the latest seismic defenses, including one inspired by pagodas. The construction company that built SKYTREE commissioned an architectural photographer to record the building process. He was the only photographer permitted on the construction site, and the 40,000 photographs he took are an epic chronicle of this once-in-a-lifetime building project. Tokyo SKYTREE sits in an old-fashioned part of Tokyo with a tradition of small manufacturing enterprises. But now, an entirely new venture is emerging.

On this edition of BEGIN Japanology, our theme is Tokyo SKYTREE. This is part of our special Tokyo trilogy. We explore SKYTREE's cutting-edge technology and see what effect this new landmark has had on people's lives.