If that title sounds bonkers you might not have heard of the Eshima Ohashi bridge. The Eshima Ohashi bridge connects Matsue city with Sakiminto city spanning across the great lake of Nakaumi in Western Japan.
At first glance you might think you are watching a CGI movie but no, it’s real and out of this world. People come from around the world to drive on this rollercoaster themed road, featuring an incline of 6.1% doesn’t sound like that much does it? The photos of the bridge were taken at a specific angle to make it look even steeper than it is.
The angles used to create these images are very clever and the end result is sheer madness, that incline is 6.1% vertical on the Shimane side and a 5.1% on Tottori, what a spectacle that would be to see cars driving on the roads.
Why would someone create a bridge like this? For a practical purpose, the reason for this unique road design is to accommodate for the boat traffic on the lake. The only way for the boat traffic and the vehicle traffic to cross the lake at the same time was to create a solution for both. The high arching bridge was the agreed project and it’s still operational to this day. EurodriveUK took one of it’s rental vehicles up this bridge recently and described it as quite extraordinary.
Once in a lifetime experience
Even the most confident of drivers would have some concerns about taking this trip across the lake. However, you must add this to your travelling to do list while visiting the beautiful country of Japan. It is one of the most popular attractions in Japan, the bridge attracts over 400,000 people every year. It is a one of a kind driving experience on this apex of a rollercoaster.
Japan has different views on car rentals but you can get transport to and from the bridge. Taxi service or coach tour will be the suggested best travel tip.
Ok so we know the images shown here are all smoke and mirrors, but they do make the bridge look like an actual rollercoaster. The incline is gradual and there is no danger driving the bridge. New drivers coming to the bridge may take quick side glances when driving on the peak of the bridge to catch a glimpse of the gorgeous view. On the other hand, a savvy driver would be concentrating on the road knowing that other drivers are taking these quick and cheeky glances.
The views over the lake and of the mountain peaks would be a mind-blowing experience and the beautiful scenery makes it worth a glance. Foot traffic at the peak of the bridge is separated from the road to prevent unwanted distraction. There is a viewing platform on each side of the bridge facing the lake and adjacent cities providing an astonishing scene.
Despite the danger of distracted drivers, it’s still a driving experience like no other. Could you imagine if Fast and the furious filmed an on-location car chase on the bridge? Watching Mr Vin Diesel flying through the sky launched from the highest peak of the bridge! Now that is cinema entertainment.
The approval for the bridge construction was granted in 1996 and the work began in mid 1997. Time to completion took seven years. Built to a standing height of 144 feet high and over 1 mile long makes it the third longest rigid frame bridge in the world.
Sakaiminato had a request that they must have access with boats across the lake so the vertiginous bridge was installed. Why would Sakaiminato request this and why did the request get approved? This is because they are one of western Japans major fishing ports, so this bridge allows this large amount of boat traffic to come through.
This bridge received a sudden interest across the internet ever since it was used in a commercial from the company Daihatsu Motor Co.’s. This advert showed the bridge at a certain angle to exaggerate the sharp slope, to trick the viewer into thinking it was frighteningly steep, to demonstrate the strength of the vehicle they were advertising.
While the Eshima Ohashi bridge is not the tallest building in the world it still qualifies as one of the tallest bridges on the planet. Fun fact that the tallest building accolade belongs to the Millau Viaduct in France, this stands taller than the Eiffel Tower reaching a massive 270 metres above the ground below.