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  • Writer's pictureOlivier

Japan: Akashi Kaikyo, a Bridge Between Islands, a Link Between Ages

Updated: Mar 9

The Akashi Kaikyo Bridge is more than just a means to cross a strait; it is a symbol of human ingenuity and perseverance. As the longest suspension bridge in the world, you will find it incredibly inspiring. It offers an endless range of opportunities to capture the grandeur of human engineering within the natural landscape of the Seto Inland Sea.


Japan: Akashi Kaikyo, a Bridge Between Islands, a Link Between Ages

The Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, also known as the "Pearl Bridge," is an engineering marvel located in Kobe, Japan. It holds the record for the longest suspension bridge in the world and represents a masterpiece of design and functionality.


Introduction

Akashi Kaikyo transcends the simple notion of an engineering structure to elevate the bridge to the status of a symbol. In overcoming the challenges of nature, including tumultuous sea currents and seismic threats, it also reflects, in my opinion, our perpetual quest to overcome obstacles, whether they are concrete or abstract.


This bridge is not just a technical feat; it is a manifestation of human will, a reminder that our ability to unite separate worlds is as timeless as the ocean it crosses.


Japan: Akashi Kaikyo, a Bridge Between Islands, a Link Between Ages

Design and Architecture

The bridge was designed by Satoshi Kashima, an engineer at the Honshu-Shikoku Bridge Authority, and the architectural design is the work of the Tadao Kamei company. The construction process began in 1988 and was completed in 1995. The bridge was built to solve the transportation issue between the islands of Honshu and Shikoku, replacing ferries that were often disrupted by difficult weather conditions.


Technical Features:

  • Total Length: 3,911 meters

  • Main Span: 1,991 meters

  • Height of Towers: 298.3 meters

  • Cost: Approximately 5 billion dollars

  • Capacity: 6 lanes of traffic


The bridge holds the world record for the longest central span and is designed to withstand violent winds and earthquakes.


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Features

The Akashi Kaikyo Bridge is a crucial transportation route that allows the movement of people and goods between the islands of Honshu and Shikoku. It has greatly improved the efficiency of inter-island transportation and has stimulated the economic development of the region.


Visit and Observation

The bridge can be visited and photographed from several viewpoints. One of the best places to observe it is the Maiko Marine Promenade, which offers a panoramic view. You can also climb to the top of the towers through guided tours, providing a unique opportunity to capture breathtaking images.


As a photographer, I find this achievement fascinating, not only for its architecture but also for how it blends into the surrounding landscape, a perfect example of the coexistence of nature and technology.


I never tire of returning to observe it every time I pass through the Kobe area. Not only is the Seto Inland Sea exceptional in itself, but this architectural work adds an obvious note of modernity and elegance to a landscape composed of hundreds of islands.


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