In these modern times when taking photos has become so easy with digital cameras and smartphones, scenic spots that are uploaded on social media have been enjoying a massive wave of popularity worldwide. Below are five of the most photogenic bridges in Japan where you can enjoy not just the bridges, but the superb views they offer, too.
1. Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge (Hyogo)
Linking Kobe City and Awaji Island together and crossing the Akashi Strait, Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge is the world’s longest suspension bridge with a total length of about 3,911m. Here, you can take dynamic photos that capture the whirling tides of Naruto Strait and the overwhelming power of nature. At night, it becomes beautifully lit by as many as 31 illumination patterns that look like pearls, which perfectly fit the bridge’s name – Pearl Bridge. You can also join tours (3,000 JPY) to get shots of huge panoramic scenes from the main tower that is 300m above the sea. This is an extremely photogenic bridge that is guaranteed to give you gorgeous photos wherever and whenever you shoot – from the top or from the bottom, during night, and during sunrise or sunset.
2. Tsunoshima Bridge (Yamaguchi)
Tsunoshima Bridge is a 1,780m-long bridge set across the cobalt blue sea that connects Shimonoseki City in Yamaguchi with Tsunoshima Island. The gentle curve that avoids the small island (Hato Island) floating on the water is what characterizes this bridge. It became instantly famous thanks to its appearance in films and TV commercials. Today, it has even become one of the Top 3 scenic spots in the world that “must be visited before you die”. Note, though, that stopping at the emergency bay in the middle of the bridge to take photos is prohibited.
3. Kouri Bridge (Okinawa)
Kouri Bridge is a 1,960m-long bridge that links Yagaji Island (on the side of the Okinawa Mainland) with Kouri Island. It is designated as a special wildlife reserve, so there are no lights on the bridge in order to protect the birds. You can take photos of the beautiful open sea that flows on both sides of the bridge. If you want to take a photo from the top of the bridge, you may only do so by walking or riding a rental bicycle since cars are not allowed to stop in the middle of the road. If you prefer to go by car, then you can use the free parking area at the foot of the bridge. It takes about 10 minutes by car to go around Kouri Island. Another recommended way to enjoy this bridge is to search for picturesque spots while driving.
4. Jogakura Bridge (Aomori)
Jogakura Bridge is a beautiful 360m-long arched bridge that can be found inside Towada-Hachimantai National Park. From the parking spaces at both ends of the bridge, you can take a photo of this gorgeous arched bridge that seems to float between the trees. However, that’s not the only enjoyable thing about this place. Walk to the middle of the bridge via the promenade and the thrilling sight of Mt. Hakkoda’s rich nature will spread before your eyes. You will see the beautiful Jogakura Streams underneath and your legs will probably freeze when you realize you are 122m above ground. You will enjoy marvelous views every season, but the highlight of this bridge is the massive and truly exceptional panorama created by the autumn leaves.
※Passing through this bridge at night is not allowed during the winter.
5. Yume no Tsuri Bashi (Shizuoka)
Measuring about 90m long and around 8m high, Yume no Tsuri Bashi is a suspension bridge over Oma Dam that is dedicated to pedestrians. The view of the milky blue lake and the beautiful surroundings that spreads before you is nothing but photogenic. Although you can walk on the bridge, the space is only big enough for one person, so the walk is sure to be thrilling. The bridge can accommodate up to 10 people, and you would need to fall in line during the fresh verdure season and the autumn foliage season. There is a hiking course you can take that will bring you from the nearby Sumatakyo Onsen to the bridge in 30 minutes on foot. There is a photography spot overlooking the suspension bridge along the way. There are steep stairs, so make sure to wear shoes and clothes that are comfortable for walking.
Dotted with islands and a lot of mountains, Japan is home to many bridges. The above list features photogenic bridges that are famous for their gorgeous views. So, how about going on a trip to search for bridges that go beyond being merely structures?
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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