While civil infrastructure isn’t what most travelers look out for when they visit a new country, sometimes a bridge can really be a sight worth seeing! The Eshima Ohashi Bridge connects the city of Matsue, Shimane Prefecture to Sakaiminato, Tottori Prefecture, and stretches over a chunk of Nakaumi Lake. It’s the largest rigid-frame bridge in Japan, but what makes it really stand out is its extreme angles. If you trusted the artfully taken photos of the bridge, you might think that parts of it are so steep they’re close to 45 degrees!
The Secrets of the Bridge
The bridge does clearly angle up, as it’s built to let ships pass underneath. It goes pretty high! But the truth is…
There’s no crazy steep incline!
The notoriety of the bridge comes from photographs uploaded onto social media that gained a huge amount of attention. The photographer took some shots from just the right location, with the angle making it look like the bridge shot right up into the sky. It turns out it was mostly just a tricky bit of photography, though.
The actual slope of the bridge is different on each side, but the Tottori Prefecture slope is 3.44 degrees, and the Shimane Prefecture slope is 2.86 degrees. Nothing crazy!
The Photography Tricks are Key
Taking Photos Around the Lake
A More Reasonable Side View
If you take a photo from more of a side angle, you can see that the slope of the bridge is fairly normal. It’s a bit steep, but certainly nothing like everyone’s first impression! If you too want to take a picture that will wow all your friends, you have to think about the optical illusion that’s being created using the particular geometric situation of the bridge.
Shift your angle, make sure you don’t get too much of the side of the bridge, and take your perfect shot!
Ride the Rollercoaster of Eshima Ohashi Bridge
It might look like the bridge is shooting up into the sky, and vehicles are hurtling down like rollercoaster cars, but you know the secret now. So don’t let yourself be deceived!
If you want to rent a car so you can cross the bridge, it might be a unique experience, but it won’t quite live up to any amusement park ride expectations. If you are in the area for whatever reason, it might be a good idea to look for other things to do, as well! Think about heading to Tottori’s sand dunes, or drive a little further to reach one of Japan’s most famous scenic spots; there’s plenty to do all over Japan!