Top 3 Suspension Bridges in Japan


Kurushima-Kaikyo Bridge ©mukarin/Flickr

Since the Japanese Archipelago consists of more than 6800 islands, many of them are connected through suspension bridges. From the 53 suspension bridges of the country 10 are registered between the 100 longest suspension bridges of the world.

This type of bridge requires very punctual design and construction. The main reason why Japanese architects project suspension bridges is that they can resist to earthquake movements. This design also allows very long main spans, and above all, building a suspension bridge is cheap and it requires less materials than any other type of bridge. This article presents the three longest suspension bridges of Japan.

Akashi Kaikyo Bridge

Akashi Kaikyo

Akashi Kaikyo Bridge ©Bubble Gum/Flickr

Akashi Kaikyo, also called the Pearl Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the world. It was opened in 1998 and it links Kobe with Awaji Island. The bridge is part of the Kobe-Awaji-Naruto Expressway and also part of the Honshu-Shikoku Highway. The length of the bridge is 3911 meters (12831 feet) and it is 282 meters (928 feet) high.

On the side of Kobe, at the foot of the bridge there is the Bridge Exhibition Center, which supplies  interesting facts about the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge and about other suspension bridges as well. The Maiko Marine Promenade is a long observatory hall, which is situated under the platform of the bridge. The view from here is amazing: both Osaka Bay and Akashi Strait can be seen from here.


Minami-Bisan Seto Bridge

Seto Bridge

Great Seto Bridge ©tataquax/Flickr

It is the longest and the southernmost of the Great Seto Bridges, which connects Yoshima Island and Sakaide. The total lenght of Minami-Bisan Seto Bridge is 1723 meters (5652 feet). On the world it is the 13th longest suspension bridge. Besides the Seto- Chou Expressway it also carries the Seto-Ohashi Line railways.

The Great Seto Bridges connect the prefectures of Okayama and Kagawa, affecting some small islands of the Seto Inland Sea. With a length of 13 kilometers (8 miles) it is the longest two-tiered bridge system of the world. The bridges were opened in 1988.


Third Kurushima-Kaikyo Bridge


Kurushima-Kaikyo Bridge ©mukarin/Flickr

It is part of the Kurushima-Kaikyo Bridge, which connects Shikoku with Oshima Island. It is the longest suspension bridge structure on the world (4015 meters = 13173 feet), but it consists of three separate bridges: First, Second and Third Kurushima-Kaikyo Bridge.

From the three bridges of Kurushima-Kaikyo the third one is the longest: it has 1030 meters (3379 feet) and it is the 15th longest suspension bridge of the world. The three bridges were opened in 1999.

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