Monday, September 4, 2017

Akashi Kaikyo Bridge

The Pearl Bridge; Akashi Kaikyo Bridge

The world's longest suspension bridge is located outside of Kobe Japan, near Maiko station.

The bridge was a $3.6 billion pronect that began in 1988 and was completed ten years later in 1998.
The bridge is 4911m long (12,828ft). The central span of the bridge alone is 1991m long and gives clearance for 66m from the sea below.

The bridge was built to connect Awaji island to mainland Japan (Honshu island). The bridge is crossed by about 23,000 vehicles each day. The toll for using the bridge is high, at about 2,300¥.

The beach near Maiko station with Akashi Kaikyo Bridge in the background.

Historic residence by the sea.

The bridge has an information center with a caged in area under thr bridge that you can walk around for a few hundred yen. Furthermore the  bridge has started provided tours which are guided by an engineer who will lead visitors on a 1km walk along the metal grate catwalk that serves as a service route under the bridge. You can join these infrastructure tours on weekends (Thursdays to Sundays) for about ¥3000.
Thick glass floors for viewing the sea below from a height of about 60m.
The wooden log serves as a vertigo inducing balance beam.

A group of people taking an infrastructure tour.

About 20% of the people who take tours here are foreigners. 

Metal grate walkways pass under the bridge.
With this perspective the walkway disappears into the distance of this 4.9 km bridge.

Below is video from JADAN, a YouTube JVlogger, which is about his tour on the bridge.

There is a park near the Honshu side of the bridge with benches made out of segments of the enourmous suspension cable used in the bridge.
Note that the bench in this park is made from a section of the suspension cable.

The huge foundations that anchor the suspension cables t the coast.

Conveniently there is also a nice sandy beach located nearby, which is the best choice for a beach-going day trip from Osaka. There is also a supermarket at the nearby Maiko station if you need beach party supplies.
This beach is usually not crowded but swarms of people were visiting during the Sea Day holiday.