Ascending the Eshima Ohashi Bridge: Thrill in the Sky Along Nakaumi Lake

Being an experienced traveller has allowed me to see some of the amazing places in the world. However, no one prepared me for the nerve-wracking and ingenious engineering of the Eshima-Ohashi bridge in Japan.

Across Lake Nakaumi this beautiful bridge is among the most exciting and stunning in the world. It was constructed from 1997 to 2004, and it is the largest concrete arch bridge in Japan and the third largest in the world.

Eshima Ohashi Bridge

The Eshima Ohashi Bridge looks like it defies gravity from a distance. Its steep climb is similar to that of a roller coaster track that goes up into the sky. The optical phenomenon partly arises from the use of telephoto lenses in photographing the bridge that distort its angle. Nevertheless, despite this distortion, the grade of the bridge is still amazing, peaking at 6.1% in Shimane Prefecture and 5.1% in Tottori Prefecture.

Eshima Ohashi Bridge

My trip to Eshima Ohashi bridge started from the beautiful Matsue city which is the capital of Shimane Prefecture. The majestic appearance of the bridge came into view as I neared it, its dark shadow stretching across the serene scenery. My heartbeat quickened with excitement as I drove my car onto the ramp leading to this memorable journey upwards.

To my surprise, the climb started off smoothly, with the gradient creeping up as I ascended. I felt completely safe in the broad lanes of the bridge and its strong railing, so that I could enjoy the spectacular scenery around. Lake Nakaumi lay down below, shining its silvery waters in the blue sky. Far off, the peaks of Mount Daisen rose with dignity; it’s snow caps added grace to the landscape.

Eshima Ohashi Bridge

As I proceeded up, it became steeper, and the “real” nature of the bridge came out. Climbing a steep vertical structure and experiencing the feeling of doing so was quite exciting, but slightly scary. The views were nevertheless interesting, providing a different view point for the lake and its surrounding.

When I went up to the bridge’s peak, it was a feeling of victory. It was just breathtaking to view a panorama from this vantage point. I was able to see Lake Nakaumi in all its glory. It shone like a gem in the green surroundings. There were distant mountains and patchwork of fields and villages which formed an aesthetically beautiful landscape.

Eshima Ohashi Bridge

The descent of Eshima Ohashi Bridge, with a different view of its stunning architecture. Now that I had to climb the steep incline that was working against me but it felt like acceleration taking the windy road.

Eshima Ohashi Bridge

Thus, as I exited this piece of engineering wonderment and bid it goodbye, I went with me with an enhanced sense of admiration for the inventiveness and audacity of human achievements. The Eshima Ohashi Bridge is no ordinary transport corridor but a monument of human desire. It is also a testimony from which one can be inspired on the beautiful thing that comes out from boldness and innovation.

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Rahul Joshi

Rahul is the founder of My Architecture's Idea and has a passion for writing. He is from India and has been helping businesses grow for 3 years. Follow him on Instagram, Linkedin and Facebook

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