The Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge connects the island of Honshu with the smaller island of Awaji and, together with the Onaruto Bridge, it is a key structure connecting Honshu and Shikoku. It is 3,991 m long, it took 10 years to build and the structure resisted strong earthquakes even before it was completed.
The Akashi Strait is located between Osaka Bay and the Seto Sea. It is approx. 4 km long and has a maximum depth of around 110 metres. The strait is a well-know fishery and is also a major Japanese shipping route. The bridge was built under strict nature and social conditions.
The Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge is located in a seismically unstable area and also in an area with the heaviest storms, which is why a system of counter-weights and pendulums is used, due to which the bridge is capable of resisting wind speeds of 285 km/h and earthquakes of a magnitude of 8.5 on the Richter scale. The central span is 1,991 metres long and this deluxe bridge has two main supporting towers.
Construction began in 198 and the area was hit by an earthquake of a magnitude of 7.2 on the Richter scale in 1995. The epicentre was 10 – 20 km deep. Both the island of Honshu and the island of Awaji suffered extensive damages during this earthquake. The bridge was under construction at the time: the two towers had been erected and the main cables had been suspended. An investigation was carried out after the earthquake and it was found that the span lengths had changed. However, the earthquake had minimal impact on the bridge in general and construction could continue, although the lengths of the beams had to be modified.
Visitors have the opportunity to view the interior of the bridge, discover the technologies used and find out more about the history of the bridge and walk along the maintenance route. The beautiful panoramic view from the top of the supporting tower, at a height of 300 metres above the sea, which you can reach by elevator in just under two minutes, is also a deluxe experience.
The Kobe-Awaji-Naruto speedway leads across the bridge. It has a total of 6 lanes, 3 in each direction.
Over 1,000 lights are connected to the main cables and light up in various colours depending on the season or time of year. This gives the beautiful straight a romantic ambiance and, with regard to the fact that the illuminated bridge reminds one of a string of deluxe pearls, it is also called the Pearl Bridge.