Cross the world’s longest suspension bridge linking Kobe and Awaji Island
The Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, spanning almost four kilometers in length, holds the distinction of being the world’s longest suspension bridge. This magnificent structure connects the city of Kobe with Awaji Island and serves as a vital link in the Kobe-Awaji-Naruto Expressway, providing access to the island of Shikoku. Known as the Pearl Bridge for its stunning appearance, it is not only a means of transportation but also an attraction in its own right.
– Spans the width of the dramatic Akashi Strait
– Opened in 1998
– Illuminated by over 1,600 lights
– Visitors can climb to the top of the towers
The Akashi Kaikyo Bridge is a marvel of engineering and a testament to human ingenuity. Its construction was no easy feat, considering the challenges posed by the Akashi Strait’s unpredictable weather patterns and strong currents. Prior to the bridge’s existence, a ferry service connected Kobe and Awaji Island, but it was often disrupted by storms, making travel across the strait difficult and dangerous.
The idea of building a bridge to replace the ferry service was conceived in the late 1980s. The construction process involved extensive planning, design, and engineering to ensure the bridge’s stability and durability. The Bridge Exhibition Center, located at the base of the Kobe side of the bridge, provides a detailed history of the construction and planning behind this impressive structure.
One of the unique features of the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge is its illuminated facade. Over 1,600 lights adorn the bridge, creating a dazzling spectacle that can be seen from afar, particularly at night. The lights add an enchanting touch to the bridge’s already breathtaking presence, making it a favorite spot for photographers and tourists alike.
For those seeking a closer look at the bridge, there are several options available. From the Kobe side, visitors can access the Maiko Marine Promenade, which offers panoramic views of the interior of the bridge, as well as the Akashi Strait and Osaka Bay. It is a truly awe-inspiring experience to walk along the promenade and witness the immensity of the bridge up close.
For a more exclusive and in-depth exploration of the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, guided tours are available. The Honshu-Shikoku Bridge Expressway Company offers tours that allow visitors to climb to the top of the bridge’s towering 300-meter tall towers. These tours also grant access to areas of the bridge that are typically off-limits to the public, providing a unique and unforgettable perspective on this engineering marvel.
In addition to its functional and aesthetic qualities, the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge holds great significance for the local community. It serves as a symbol of unity and connection between Kobe and Awaji Island, bridging the gap between the two regions both physically and metaphorically. The bridge has become an iconic landmark, attracting visitors from all over the world who come to marvel at its grandeur and appreciate its architectural brilliance.
To reach the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, one can utilize the Kobe-Awaji-Naruto Expressway, which includes the bridge as part of its route. The bridge is easily accessible by car, and there are various parking facilities available nearby. For those traveling by public transportation, the Bridge Exhibition Center and Maiko Marine Promenade can be reached by taking a short walk from Maiko Station on the JR Sanyo Line.
Visiting the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge is an experience that should not be missed for anyone traveling to the Kobe region. Whether it’s admiring the bridge’s elegant design, taking in the breathtaking views from the Maiko Marine Promenade, or joining a guided tour to explore its inner workings, the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge offers a unique and unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages. It is a testament to human achievement and a symbol of the enduring spirit of innovation and progress.
Address And Maps Location:
Higashimaiko-cho, Tarumi-ku, Kobe-shi, Hyogo-ken