The Eshima High Bridge connects the fishing town of Sakaiminato City, Tottori Prefecture with the beautiful Mihonoseki area of Matsue City, Shimane Prefecture. A picture of its slope on the Tottori side actually went viral, with people around the world asking how and why it was constructed and even adding it to their bucket lists of places to see with their own eyes.
The roughly 1700 meter long bridge was constructed with a considerable maximum height of about 45 meters to allow large ships to pass under it as shipping and fishing are two of the region’s main industries.
Judge for yourself, but although it looks intimidating, the Tottori side only has a slope incline of 5.1% while the Shimane side comes in at 6.1%. Compared to some of the inclines that you are sure to experience on Japan’s many mountain roads, those numbers are rather tame.
What is impressive is that the Eshima High Bridge is not a mountain but a human-made construction and perhaps this is where some of the anxiety that sent its image around the world came from. Besides the element of having come from human hands and being designed to cross imposing terrain, it is not exactly straight. The wobbly appearance is more than likely related to the course the bridge takes.
The Eshima High Bridge is an engineering wonder that you don’t have to drive over. Like many of the bridges around Japan there is a pedestrian lane. Trek across it of foot!
Enjoy the sights and scenery on both sides of the bridge and cross one more thing off your bucket list.
Access: Take the Super Yakumo Express train from JR Okayama Station to Yonago Station or alternatively, take the Hakubi Line from JR Okayama Station to JR Yonago Station. Transfer to the Sakai Line. Take the Sakai Line from JR Yonago Station to JR Sakaiminato Station.
About the Area
Matsue is the vibrant capital city of Shimane Prefecture that has been shaped by its feudal heritage as a castle town and its unique location on Lake Shinji, Lake Nakaumi and the Japan Sea. The city center is dominated by the presence of Matsue Castle and its surrounding canals. This area is also a cultural zone as it is home to museums and historic quarters. One of the best ways to appreciate the beauty of the city is from the water and there are several cruise companies that make this possible.
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