Showing posts with label observation deck. Show all posts
Showing posts with label observation deck. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Best Vantage Point in Japan


Japan is home to a multitude of observation decks atop high-rise buildings and towers, with Tokyo Skytree being the tallest and most famous. Most of the high-rise buildings are in the biggest cities, but the many towers are often found on the coast with views along the seashore.

At 289 meters in height5, the observation deck on top of the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge is taller than most of the others, and the views are astounding.

The Akashi Kaikyo Bridge opened in 1998 and connects the main island of Honshu with Awaji Island. It has the longest central span of any suspension bridge in the world at almost 2 kilometers. The total length is almost 4 kilometers.

To visit the observation deck you must book well in advance as there are a very small number of places on the tour and though relatively little-known is quickly booked up. After being kitted out in a hardhat and hi-viz vest you first have a lecture on safety protocols and how the tour will be conducted. Then you get a guided tour of the bridge museum which showcases the amazing technology that went into building it. Then you are taken out under the bridge on a walkway to the public observation deck below the bridge, 50 meters above the sea below.

Then you walk out about 1 kilometer under the bridge to the base of the tower on the Akashi, Hionshu side of the bridge where a small elevator takes you up to the top of the tower.

The observation deck is open to the elements, and there is no glass or fence obscuring your views. This makes it somehow more exciting.

The views are 360 degrees, as well as down on the bridge roadway and the ships passing underneath. Akashi is the closest view, and then west along the Okayama coast, then east to Kobe and Osaka beyond that.

I should really amend the title, as I have seen some amazing views from the tops of mountains on islands in the Inland Sea, but the views from the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge are the best I've seen from a man-made vantage point.