Night tours from great bridge set for autumn

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The two towers of Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge are seen from a Yomiuri helicopter.

KOBE — A night tour of the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge, which links Honshu and Awaji Island, will start this autumn. The tour will allow visitors to enjoy the beautiful nightscape of Kobe and Awaji from the top of the tower, about 300 meters above sea level.

The Honshu-Shikoku Bridge Expressway Co., which manages the bridge, planned the tour in anticipation of tourism demand recovering after the pandemic.

Courtesy of the Honshu-Shikoku Bridge Expressway Co.
Top: Daytime view of Kobe from the tower of the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge.
Bottom: Night view of Kobe from the tower of the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge

The Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge is a 3,911-meter-long structure spanning the Akashi Strait between Kobe and Awaji Island. Tourists take an elevator at dusk to the top of one of the towers that supports the suspension bridges and watch the sunset and the night view. The company plans to have the tour include a lecture on the bridge’s structure by guides, meals using local seafood and hotel stays.

The company intends to start this tour on a trial basis in October and November, and then on a full-scale basis in fiscal 2022.

“Once the pandemic is over, domestic travel is expected to increase first,” said a senior executive of the company. “We want to promote the appeal of the bridge as a tourism resource.”

The company had been offering a daytime tour up the tower since 2005. The tour was popular for its spectacular views — on a clear days — of Kansai Airport and Abeno Harukas, a landmark skyscraper in Osaka. It attracted more than 130,000 participants in total.

“Infra-tourism,” or sightseeing at infrastructure utilities such as dams, bridges and ports, is gaining popularity as it has the appeal of allowing visitors the rare experience of seeing normally inaccessible structures up close.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A map of the ‘Akashi Kaikyo Bridge’