Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tokyo, Japan's Bridges: Shin Ohashi across the Sumida River (1)

June 2011 (35.688 Degrees, 139.792 Degrees) Shin Ohashi
As we continued up the Sumida River, we passed by the mouth of Onagi Canal, filled with reminders of an older Japan. Past the canal is the Shin Ohashi, a cable-stayed bridge that was completed in 1977.

It seems like color must be significant for bridges in Japan. We just passed the dark blue Kiyosu Bridge, the aquamarine Sumidagawa Bridge, and the white Chuo Bridge. It seems like each bridge gets its own special color.

This is the third reincarnation of the Shin Ohashi. The original bridge was a timber structure built in 1693 and immortalized in a woodblock print by Hiroshige. The second Shin Ohashi was an iron bridge built in 1885. That bridge survived the Kanto Earthquake and provided protection from air raids during WWII. These older bridges are shown in bas-reliefs on the cable towers (along with a newel post from the iron bridge).

The current Shin Ohashi is 560 ft long, 80 ft wide, and with two 130 ft tall monolithic tower legs (each supporting just two cables). This bridge must have been an exercise in minimalism.

We'll take a closer look at this interesting bridge tomorrow.
Creative Commons License
Tokyo, Japan's Bridges: Shin Ohashi across the Sumida River (1) by Mark Yashinsky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

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