The Rollercoaster Bridge — why Eshima Ohashi is so steep and so impressive

How is the real Eshima Ohashi bridge?

The image above shows what the Eshima Ohasi bridge really looks like. Although it doesn’t seem like much, it really gives you a roller coaster view when you’re about to climb. That’s because any inclination can cause an optical effect that makes it look higher than it really is. You can see this on roads, when you come out of a flat stretch and ahead comes a high stretch. The bridge is impressive, but what impresses is the asphalt and the cleanliness of the roads.

The Eshima Ohashi bridge was built from 1997 until 2004. It is an impressive 44 meters high. On the Shimane side its inclination is 6.1% and on the Tottori side it is 5.1%. Remember that your name in Japanese is only Eshima Ohashi (江島大橋) which can literally be translated as Great Eshima Bridge.

The videos below show what the real Eshima Ohashi Bridge looks like, which is still steep!


Why was the Eshima Ohashi Bridge built that way?

The Eshima Ohashi bridge side view explanation :

Before the construction of the new bridge, the circulation was interrupted every 10 minutes to open the bridge to let the cargo boats navigate.

Local engineers had no choice but to construct 44 meters (145 ft) high bridge. That allows traffic to flow on it without interruption.

Some characteristics of the bridge frame:

If you are a thrill-seeker, the drive is for you: 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) of a 6.1% gradient climb from the Shimane side, then a 5.1% gradient slope on the other, Tottori, side.

The roller coaster impression is more of an optical illusion. Although you will still be placed in your seat during the climb then you will have to stand for the descent.

Other interesting facts about this scenic road:

The Eshima Ohashi Bridge Japan is also named “Betabumizaka” by the locals. In Japanese, that means “the climb foot to the floor”. The reason for that naming is that unless you press the accelerator pedal of your car as much as possible, you will not be able to drive on the steep slope of the bridge.

The bridge crosses the Nakaumi lake of the view worth it even on feet. While driving you will not enjoy the view as much as you walk. Indeed, you will be to concentrate on your drive.

At night time, the bridge looks also very good and the landscape with the bridge is beautiful.

Eshima Ohashi Bridge
Eshima Ohashi Bridge

Is The Roller Coaster Bridge Really As Terrifying And Dangerous As It Appears?

Image: Trip Advisor
Image: Trip Advisor

Funny thing is, the bridge isn’t as steep as it looks. It’s a bit of an optical illusion. When photos are taken from a straight-on angle, it appears much more ridiculous than it actually is.

Once you get on to the bridge, it doesn’t look quite so intimidating.

How to Get the Best Snapshot of the Eshima Ohashi Bridge

When taking a snapshot, you’ll want to avoid capturing any part of the side view of the Eshima Ohashi Bridge. This will ruin the optical illusion and make the shot look like a typical bridge.

If you want to get the coveted picture to impress your friends (and maybe even get them to travel to Japan to see this amazing structure), you’ll need to take a photo of the Eshima Ohashi Bridge close to the convenience store at the intersection on the Shimane side.

Where to Go Next

You won’t take more than an hour to see the incredible Eshima Ohashi Bridge. Once you finish crossing and taking a picture of this incredible structure, consider checking out the other areas of western Japan. You could, for instance, check out the sand dunes of Tottori. If you love anime, go check out Conan Town located in Hokuei, Tottori Prefecture.

There’s no telling when Japan will open to tourists. What you can do for now, though, is to save money for your next trip, add Japan to your travel bucket list and check out the Eshima Ohashi Bridge in person.


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