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Sunday, May 8, 2016

Eshima Ohashi Bridge And The Urban Legend

Considered one of the scariest bridges in the world, the Eshima Ohashi (Eshima Bridge) links the cities of Matsue-shi in Shimane-ken (Shimane Prefecture) to Sakaiminato in Tottori-ken (Tottori Prefecture), and spans Lake Nakaumi.

But it's not really all that scary.

For one thing, the bridge has a gradient of 6.1 percent on Shimane side and 5.1 percent on Tottori—and despite the crazy images above, the bridge doesn't really look like that, it's a camera trick used by a Japanese car company for a commercial, and picked up by western media as the real deal.

Baka (stupid).

In a commercial for the Tanto mini van from Daihatsu Motor Co., they purposely exaggerated the slope of the Eshima Ohashi bridge to fool the viewer into thinking that the bridge is very steep and that the Daihatsu Tanto is a strong car.

Actually, I think the Daihatsu Tanto looks pretty neat. However, judging from the small space up from where the engine would sit, I'm thinking this kei (small) car isn't exactly a true powerhouse... but hey, if it can get up and over that Eshima Bridge, what more do you need? Well... maybe something more than 58 horsepower.
I can only hope that even in tiny print—somewhere on that commercial—Daihatsu says that it altered the view... but who knows?

As for being fooled... Hells... I said the gradient was a maximum of 6.1 percent... that's not all that much. You don't need a special car or tires to get up that incline.

Here... take a look at a video of what the bridge is really like:

See? It's not a terrifying bridge at all. It has been exaggerated by a telephoto lens...

This is Japan... and while they might have a lot of weird things that the non-Japanese might shake their head at an go "WTF?!", there's always a method to the madness.

They would never build a real working bridge that was dangerous.

The Eshima Ohashi - which in Japanese is 江島大橋, which means River Island Big Bridge is:
  • 44.7 meters (146.6-feet) at its highest point from water's surface;
  • 1.7 kilometers (1.056 miles) long;
  • 11.3 meters (37.07-feet) wide.
Eshima Ohashi is the is the largest rigid-frame bridge in Japan, and the third-largest such bridge in the world.

See... not all that scary.
It was built that high to cross the lake because it there are a lot of large ships that pass along the waters.

Before the bridge was built, there was the Naka-ura-suimon Bridge but, whenever a ship needed to pass, it would raise up and shut down road traffic for seven to eight minutes at a time.

Anyhow... don't believe everything you see or hear, unless you see or hear it hear... I mean here. You could also check out

Andrew Joseph