This article explores the Akashi Kaikyo Ohashi, a remarkable feat of engineering located in Kobe, Japan. Recognized as the world’s longest suspension bridge, it offers stunning views and serves as an essential transportation link in the region. This piece delves into the history, design, visitor experiences, and nearby attractions of this iconic structure.
The History and Engineering of Akashi Kaikyo Ohashi
The Akashi Kaikyo Ohashi, or Pearl Bridge, spans a total of 3,911 meters (12,831 feet) across the Akashi Strait, connecting the city of Kobe on Honshu Island to Iwaya on Awaji Island. Construction of the bridge began in 1988 and was completed in 1998. It was designed to withstand the forces of nature, including earthquakes and typhoons, thanks to its state-of-the-art engineering.
The bridge’s resilience was put to the test during the Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1995. Despite the significant seismic activity, the bridge emerged relatively unscathed due to its robust design. Today, the Akashi Kaikyo Ohashi stands as a symbol of Japanese engineering prowess and a source of national pride.
Experiences and Views at Akashi Kaikyo Ohashi
Visitors to the Akashi Kaikyo Ohashi can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding area, with the Akashi Strait below and distant mountains on the horizon. The bridge offers a unique experience for both pedestrians and drivers, as they traverse its expansive length and marvel at the architectural achievement.
The Maiko Marine Promenade, situated beneath the bridge, provides an up-close look at the structure’s intricate design. This attraction features a series of observatory walkways, allowing visitors to examine the massive steel cables and towering supports. The Promenade offers a one-of-a-kind perspective on the engineering marvel that is the Akashi Kaikyo Ohashi.
Visitor Information and Nearby Attractions
The Akashi Kaikyo Ohashi is illuminated at night, creating a mesmerizing display of colors. The lighting changes seasonally and for special events, making each visit unique. Viewing the bridge during the day and returning after dark allows visitors to experience the structure’s beauty in different settings.
Several attractions in Kobe and Awaji Island are worth exploring after a visit to the Akashi Kaikyo Ohashi. In Kobe, tourists can sample the renowned Kobe beef or visit the historic district of Kitano-cho, which features preserved Western-style houses. Awaji Island offers natural attractions such as the Naruto Whirlpools and the picturesque Awaji Yumebutai gardens.
Access to the bridge is available by bus from Sannomiya Station in Kobe or by car via the highway. There is a toll for crossing the bridge, but the experience and views justify the cost. The Maiko Marine Promenade has a separate entrance fee and parking is available at both ends of the bridge.
Way to Access
JR Kobe Line
“Maiko” Station 5 minutes walk.
Part of Kobe Awaji Motorway. Possible to cross the bridge for 400 yen ~.
In conclusion, the Akashi Kaikyo Ohashi is a must-see attraction in Kobe, Japan, for its impressive engineering and breathtaking views. Visitors can explore the structure up-close at the Maiko Marine Promenade and enjoy the vibrant lighting displays at night. The bridge also serves as a gateway to the attractions in Kobe and Awaji Island, making it a perfect addition to any traveler’s itinerary.