Tuesday, March 8, 2016

::SPECIAL:: #Travel♪ Walking the Rainbow: A Unique Trip Across the World Famous Rainbow Bridge



Walking the Rainbow: A Unique Trip Across the World Famous Rainbow Bridge


Just when the city of Tokyo seemed to have no limits
we are faced with a nearly kilometer long bridge that
seemed to stretch on for eternity connecting to a distant
man-made land mass. 

The Bridge itself has grown in popularity throughout
the years and even achieved the status of being recognized
as a symbolic landmark of Tokyo. Officially known as the 
"Shuto Expressway No.11 Daiba Route - Port of Tokyo
Connector Bridge", the public decided to rename it the
 "Rainbow Bridge" to make saying it a little easier
(good choice, Japan ^^)


Tamachi Station (田町駅)

There are many options in terms of ways to cross the bridge. 
A recommended course to take is via a JR Line (Yamanote or
Keihin Tohoku line) to Tamachi station, then continuing on
a south-easterly direction towards the bridge itself. It's a fairly
brisk walk and there are interesting things to see along the
way so it won't be a waste of 30 minutes.



(clickable link)


Recently, we took a ride on the world famous Yamanote line
loop. Take this opportunity to familiarize yourself
with this 1 hour journey through the major spots in
metropolitan Tokyo.

Yamanote Loop: Day 1

Yamanote Loop: Day 2






top left: Shinbashi Yurikamome Monorail Station, top right: Yurika Monorail, 
bottom: Shibaura-futo Station

The Yurikamome Monorail Route

You can also take the train route if you're too lazy to 
make the 30 minute walk. Depending on which direction 
you're coming from, it may be best to transfer to the
 Yurikamome monorail from Shinbashi station. However, you
must be sure to get off the train at Shibaura-futo Station
 otherwise the monorail will continue on across the bridge!


(clickable link)





After embarking from Tamachi station you'll notice
this isn't a heavy foot traffic locale in Tokyo. The smooth
walk is littered with stunning views from the bridges
connecting the various waterways leading to Tokyo Bay.

You'll also find unique things near the pier as well! ^^*




Towering Giant

The bridge itself sits about 52 meters (170.6 ft) 
above sea level and it's quite astounding to see up 
close. Take a good walk around and soak in the 
surroundings. The entrances are clearly marked and once 
you enter you'll be directed to an elevator with two options.



Walking across the bridge will bring us to Odaiba, a man-
made artificial island created as a main defensive post during
the 1850s. After massive renovations it's now a site of Several
attractions including Fuji TV studios, Venus Fort Outlet Malls, 
and a life-sized replica Gundam!


::North Walkway: Tokyo Harbor (left)::   ::South Walkway Odaiba (right)::        


Before you reach the top, the sides of the bridge are
 divided by separate elevators to the North and South.
The different walkways across the bridge offer radically
different views of the city with The North walkway shows off
Tokyo's inner harbor and Tokyo Tower. The Southern
side gives you a view of Odaiba, Tokyo Bay and occasional 
views of Mt. Fuji! Personally I found both routes enjoyable 
so we'll go down the Odaiba side first then snake 
back on the Tokyo Harbor Side.

::Rainbow Bridge (Tokyo)::
Address: Kaigan 3-chome to Daiba 1-chome, 
Minato Ward, Tokyo, Tokyo
Admission: Free
Hours: 10:00 to 18:00 (9:00 to 21:00 in April to October). 
Entry is permitted until 30 minutes before 
closure of gates. No bicycles are permitted.
*Walkways closed to public: 3rd Monday of every
 month. (Following day if 3rd Monday is national holiday)*
Website:



The walk

From one end of the bridge to the other is only
a short 798 meters (2618.11 ft) but you must
make your way down this narrow walkway with 
cars whizzing past blowing all sorts of wind at you.
The amount of wind is substantial so be sure to
hang on tight to anything that may be blown away!



Don't look down!

Not really for the faint of heart, the bridge constantly
shakes due to the heavy traffic flowing through it's center.
It shakes so much that it'd be difficult to tell if there were
an actual earthquake while you are on it! For those brave
enough feel free to step out onto the strategically placed
observation decks offering 180 degree views from the
bridge. >.<



Daiba Park (No. 3 Battery)

One of the most interesting parts of the walk
has to be this inconspicuous island located right in front of
Odaiba! One can't help but notice it and inquire about
it's purpose because it's obviously a man-made structure.
If you have the time to stop by this island please do so
because it's a unreal experience.

Shall we stop by on the halfway point of our walk!^^







Enjoy long walks on the beach?

How about a long walk on a bridge? Couples can
be spotted making their rounds along the walkway,
and it's not such a bad idea for a date spot. Just think of
all the wonderful views of Odaiba you can share together. ^^



At last we've reached the end!

The walk itself doesn't take longer than 20-30 minutes
depending on how much you stop to look around. There is
a bit of an incline at the first portion but for the majority of
the way it's a decline so recommended for even those
who can't get around as easily. Taking your bike across
the bridge is allowed, however at the security checkpoints
a block will placed on your wheels so you cannot actually
 ride while on the bridge.





Take a look back

After reaching the end, take a quick look back to
plan your route when you make the return journey.
The sides of the bridge are divided as such, with
the left side leading to the Odaiba facing side and
the right side leading to the Tokyo Harbor facing side.






From the end of the bridge It's just a straight shot
to Odaiba city, but we'll save that journey for a different
trip!






Island of Mystery

After exiting the bridge area, turn to the right and
you'll be greeted wit this beautiful image. Follow this
path and you'll make your way to the mysterious island
Daiba Park (No. 3 Battery). 


Silent green

The park itself looks and feels like a deserted island
with nothing but birds in sight. It's fairly lush and green
but eerily silent for being in the highest populated
 metropolis in the world.





National Historic Site

"Daiba Park" (No.3 Battery) is actually a full-fledged
National Historic Site because the story behind it
being built is quite interesting. The island was built
as a gun battery during the mid 1800s by the Edo
shogunate in preparation for the arrival of Black
Ships commanded by Commodore Matthew Perry.
However the island itself ended up not being used
 and it was for lack of a better word, abandoned and
neglected until the great Kanto earthquake
where damages to it caused it to be refurbished
and turned into a park in 1928. It's also known as the
closest place to view the Rainbow Bridge with
beautiful cherry blooms in the spring.

Website
http://www.tptc.co.jp/en/c_park/01_01





Long walks on the beach after all!

Near the bridge, you can find one of only 2
spots in the greater Tokyo Metropolitan area
where the the seashore is accessible. The other
spot being at Minato Mirai 21 in Yokohama. Share
Another chance to share a special moment with
someone you care about! ^^





On the way back

The Tokyo Harbor side is a better side to not only view
Tokyo harbor but also to see great views of the 
bridge itself. Time it right like us and you
can catch a glimpse of the sun setting behind the city
for truly spectacular images.



Uphill battle

The walk this time is a bit more arduous because you'll
be making your return at an incline. Be sure to stop often
to grab shots of the bridge and the surrounding harbor
when you can! ^^




Beautiful bridge, beautiful harbor, beautiful sky...

The rainbow bridge is truly a remarkable architectural 
wonder and by walking across it you'll appreciate 
it that much more. During the day you can catch
beautiful views of the bridge and the harbor
but why exactly do they call it the Rainbow 
Bridge?....



Front Row seats to a spectacular view

Perhaps the most stunning view of the Rainbow Bridge
is from Odaiba's Decks Tokyo Beach shopping mall. 
While the mall itself is interesting, the views of the 
bridge steal the show for couple of hours each night.
As the sun goes down the bridge is lit up until 
midnight, using solar energy gathered throughout
the day. Each season will give you a different showing
of lights so be sure to go back when the seasons
change! ^^


Try to challenge yourself to walk across the bridge
and share your stories and pictures with us here at
JAPANKURU! ^^