Japan – Akashi Kaikyo Bridge

Japan has some of the most impressive bridges in the world. Being a civil engineer, Andrew loves bridges. Having done a research assignment on three bridges at university, the chance to see the real thing was exciting (must be a civil engineer thing!). So its no surprise that travelling to visit a few of the best in Japan was on the to-do list. On our previous Japan trip, we visited one of the three; the Tatara Bridge. Boasting a centre span of 890m, it is the second longest span cable-stayed bridge in the world.

This time around in Japan, and second on the list, was the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge. Also known as the Pearl Bridge, it links the city of Kobe on the mainland on Honshu to Iwaya on Awaji Island. It crosses the Akashi Strait and leads to Shikoku, one of Japan’s four main islands. The bridge has the longest central span of any suspension bridge in the world at 1,991m.

Akashi Kaikyo Bridge

Akashi Kaikyo Bridge

In fact, during construction when only the two towers had been built, the Great Hanshin earthquake of 1995 which rocked Kobe, moved the towers so much that the central span had to be increased by 1m. Its three spans have an overall length of 3,911m.

On the mainland Kobe side, there is a tourist centre below the bridge with great views. It displays information about its monumental construction and allows visitors inside the massive foundations.Frame 2

2 down, 1 to go.
(The third bridge, out of interest and also on the to-do list, is the Millau Viaduct in France; a cable stayed bridge and the tallest bridge in the world.)

Must be a civil engineer thing...

Must be a civil engineer thing…

After a short train ride back to Kobe, we stopped by a city temple and noticed many turtles catching some sunrays.

Turtles. Teenage Mutant Ninja style?

Turtles. Teenage Mutant Ninja style?

Not sure what the temple was called, nor even specifically where it was.
That’s the beauty of Japan.
Amongst the gloss and gleam of the modern cities lies a plethora of temples and shrines where the traditional culture of Japan can be found.DSC09066Frame 3DSC09053

Around Kobe the cherry blossoms were blooming now. A good sign of more to come as the peak cherry blossom time was nearing.Frame 4

Visited 29th March 2014.


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